The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing the buyer’s patterns. Changing buyer habits are proving the link between content and commerce can no longer be ignored. While legacy ecommerce platforms struggle to keep up, SaaS innovations have helped retailers adapt and prosper without having to rip and replace existing ways of doing business.
In eCommerce industry the most discussed and least understood buzzword is “Headless Commerce”. In this article, you’ll learn how headless commerce architecture allows high-volume brands to operate. In addition, we’ll explore to take full advantage of CMS options why merchants, and partners, need a headless commerce solution.
In the U.S. eCommerce market, many top brands including Walmart, Nike, Amazon.com have gone headless and many are in the process. In 2018 Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) offered a cheaper way to deliver websites. They brought this headless approach to the mainstream with three basic benefits: increase ROI, eliminate TCO of maintaining native mobile apps and freedom from vendor lock-in.
But before discussing why Headless Commerce is vital for eCommerce, let’s see what Headless Commerce is.
What is Headless Commerce?
In a simpler form the meaning of Headless commerce is – Front end and back end is not connected directly. eCommerce owners are separating what users see, from what they have in their databases. I t enables brands to enrich the customer experience. This headless architecture gives retailers the freedom to upgrade the eCommerce platform without changing the complete website. In traditional eCommerce model, even a small project turns into huge headaches, if you requires any update in the front end, simultaneously, backend also have to update.
The main twist in the Headless architecture is the use of APIs, along with tools such as Heroku and Mulesoft, and experienced IT partners in the Headless architecture. If you’re in ecommerce, experiences that engage customers, delivering new functionality and stay ahead of customer’s expectations are critical part of your innovation strategy.
As mentioned above, headless commerce architecture is the decoupling of functionality layer from presentation layer of a website. This leverages developers to add plug-ins in the backend that manages all the functionality of the eCommerce website without disturbing front end which is delivering the high-quality of content experience or vice versa.
What are the Benefits of Headless Commerce?
Headless commerce enables your company to leverage many devices for shopping cart checkout and payment and for this feature, it is often referred to as ‘anywhere’ commerce. This includes all creative storefronts such as kiosks, smart mirrors, apps, billboards, voice technology, vending machines and more. By doing so, it offers many advantages for retailers, including:
Andy Burton, CEO of international digital commerce consultancy Tryzens, told Which-50 –
“Having a headless model actually is quite handy, because you can then start thinking about what is it I can afford to be constrained by and what is it I need to keep in place, as a strategy to maintain a bridge between transitioning from a legacy architecture to future architecture.”
Why Headless is Popular
Decoupling the presentation layer and functionality layer, an headless approach makes the whole matter easier business to upgrade features like improving shopping cart functionality, adding payment gateway etc. In amid of COVID 19 pandemic, consumer shopping behavior shifted dramatically from offline to online. This forces many business to update more swiftly without risky their main look and feel.
Headless approach makes it easier to deploy new user interfaces by encouraging separation of the bank end and front end layer using well defined APIs. This approach enables to modify core complex customizations quickly.
By enabling the brand experience to co-exist with the shopping experience in one sit, Headless commerce breaks the barrier of having a brand site and commerce site. This approach allows two ends to work with harmony, by integrating back-end technology with front-end experience delivery, and putting the customer experience in the first.
Within the new digital economy, by building a flexible infrastructure, it can deliver an outstanding customer experience without tearing up the legacy systems.
API is Bridging Back-End and Front-End Layers
Headless architecture decoupled the front end and backend layers but they have give output in a synchronized manner. But what makes it possible. Here API comes in the picture. API works as the missing links between the front end and backend. API is playing the role of user interface for the other software.
All the information travels back-and – forth through API from business process to the presentation Layers. This allows decoupling the data from presentation and the functionality. That makes your infrastructure highly flexible and connects a new application quickly by turning every application into a service.
In order to successfully build, deploy, support, and continuously improve a large-scale headless eCommerce solution, along with the change in architecture, a cultural shift is also equally important.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud with Headless Commerce
Until a platform or product emerges, retailer generally builds custom solutions, when new needs emerge in the ecommerce tech stack. This trend was apparent with ecommerce platforms until solutions like Salesforce Commerce Cloud emerged.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) renamed from Demandware in early 2016, is a multi-tenant, cloud-based commerce platform that inspires a personalized shopping journey for every customer across all commerce channels: web, mobile, social, store, and more.
In order to maintain their rapid innovation in the future, they needed to build out capabilities and detect early signs of shifting of the retailer industries towards headless commerce. Salesforce Community Cloud, API Community empower app developers, partners, and employees with the self-service resources and support. Commerce Cloud Developer Center (CCDC) enables developers to discover new Commerce Cloud APIs, software development kits and toolkits.
Salesforce B2C Commerce enabled headless commerce for their customers by decoupling APIs from the platform and unlocks data. Overall, developers appreciate CCDC as it is making Commerce Cloud a future-proof commerce platform.
“The Commerce Cloud Developer Center is truly the one-stop-shop for Commerce Cloud developers. It provides our customers with what they need to build headless apps quickly, and gives Commerce Cloud the structure it needs to innovate and introduce new services and features going forward.”
– Andrew Lawrence, Director of Product Management, Commerce Cloud
Time to go Headless?
In Digital Commerce, we are witnessing a change in customer behavior, customer journeys are increasingly fragmented and new touch points are emerging, which calls for new shifts in technological strategies. In “headless” commerce solutions Organizations can build personalized customer experiences, gain the freedom to experiment, increase their agility and scale more efficiently. To have best-in-class commerce functionalities backed by powerful platforms such as Salesforce, it provides businesses with maximum flexibility.
ETG Global Services Inc, is a global Salesforce Implementation partner with tremendous expertise and experience in implementations, platform migrations and dedicated support teams. Our expertise in Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Mulesoft has helped many customers in the US with tailor made custom solutions according to their convenience.
ETG can help you to quickly adhere and implement headless SFRA and its practices in most cost-effective way, thus helping you go live immediately.
ETG is a Salesforce development partner, providing- Demandware Implementations, Demandware Consultants, Headless SFRA consultants.
If you are looking for a Salesforce Commerce Cloud Implementation Partner, drop us a note firstname.lastname@example.org