Shopping online is becoming more and more common. According to recent researchers, e-commerce sales are expected to increase from $4.9 trillion in 2021 to $6.4 trillion in 2024. Buyers go to different platforms to find the goods and services they desire. Therefore brands should be able to develop quickly to meet ever-changing customers needs.
E-commerce business comes with many challenges. These include keeping an account of orders that come from various channels, being well-supplied with stock, various implementation, and logistics processes that are complex to rationalize. While you must manually check your inventory and data coming from many platforms, the number of tasks on hand rises and the chance to make a mistake goes up. Moreover, the e-commerce business is very competitive with 46% of global e-commerce companies evaluating the competition in their niche as very tough. In this case, the flexibility and cleverness of headless e-commerce can help you greatly in your job.
The Definition of Headless E-Commerce
Headless e-commerce is the decoupling of the front-end and the back-end of the e-commerce application. Front-end developers create what the user can see – the user interface (UI). On the other hand, back-end developers build the infrastructure that supports it. This includes the server, application, and database that work behind the screen to convey the information to the user. In traditional e-commerce, they work together to build the systems required for the application or a website to function accurately.
In headless e-commerce, the front-end and the back-end are separated and the system functions by sending requests between the presentation and application layers through an application programming interface (API) calls.
How Does API Work?
When a customer clicks a “Buy Now” button, the presentation layer of headless e-commerce sends a request to an application programming interface to operate the order. The API sends a call in reply to the buyer on the status of their order.
This type of e-commerce gives you a whole set of financial apps and business tools that might be handy for you. Among these is payment processing, inventory maintenance, logistics, etc. Headless e-commerce significantly simplifies the process of order fulfillment and we will discuss this and other benefits of such an approach in this article.
Headless E-Commerce vs Traditional E-Commerce: What Is the Difference?
Comfortable Front-End Advancement
With traditional e-commerce, when you create a webshop, you select a template solution. In this template, you already have a front-end structure and your back-end where you can run your store. When you do headless, you can create your front-end framework. Your front-end developers can create a platform that perfectly caters to the needs of your business. Your IT workers won’t need to alter databases in the back-end as they can do their tasks with a simple API call. Thus, you can set up an efficient order fulfillment process that won’t negatively affect the performance of your website. The front-end developers will therefore be free from the usual problems connected with traditional commerce platforms.
Adjusting and Personalizing the Platform
In traditional e-commerce, the template platforms provide users with the classical experience. Since headless platforms have no front-end, developers should create a new experience from the very beginning. You are in control over the look and impression users will have from working with your platform.
Working with traditional solutions to make one single change, developers have to rewrite a lot of layers of coding both in front-end and back-end layers. As headless e-commerce has separated the front-end from the back-end, you can make various changes. These are simple to execute when needed and are very cost-efficient as your team can work with them without including third-party workers.
What Are the Benefits of Headless Architecture?
Implementing Your Omnichannel Capabilities
This makes it easier for your website to sell on many kinds of different channels, like Instagram, Snapchat, Amazon, and Pinterest. You can connect your online platform with some good sales engines and headless e-commerce syncs your social feeds with trade apps. In this way, upcoming orders, sales, and returns are updated constantly by themselves in a created commerce system.
When you work with template solutions, this is also possible. However, you would need to create a separate online sales plugin on a different platform. Then, you would need to go back and forth between your e-commerce channels and sales platforms to keep them customized and synchronized. This would make your online shop too slow and deter your customers.
A Harvard study of 46,000 shoppers shows that 73% of them are likely to turn to multiple channels when going shopping. They are called omnichannel customers. You have to conduct your research, including research on what channels you must use for your sales to meet the needs of your target audience.
Moreover, omnichannel capabilities create brand loyalty. The research shows that within half a year 23% of customers are likely to do another purchase at the same company and will recommend the retailer to their friends and family.
Achieving Easier Employee Usage
Sometimes corporations unwillingly adopt new technologies because of a steep learning curve for their workers. An up-to-date commerce platform with all advantages of headless e-commerce solves this problem. This system is easier to use than a traditional e-commerce platform and more workers without progressive skills will be able to maintain it.
Simplifying the Process of Integrations
It is very easy to integrate your headless e-commerce system with different CRMs (Customer Relationship Management). Marketing Automation systems, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) tools. After all, this e-commerce environment is API-driven. This is an essential step into making your e-commerce environment flexible and carrying a successful business.
If you work with a traditional template, you don’t have much opportunity to experience different things for a customer journey. Headless e-commerce allows you to practice varied things with design changes and page template experiments. You get a chance to test numerous new details.
More than that, as soon as the brand adds the content to its front-end, users immediately can see them on their devices. When online pages are built with the traditional system implement some innovations, it can take hours for the changes to appear in users’ gadgets.
Providing You with a Competitive Edge
Using headless e-commerce you can set up different updates without having to change anything in your back-end. You can simply implement changes to your web pages to correspond to the speed of buyer’s technology.
Popular business brands that work on traditional platforms introduce updates several times a month. On the contrary, companies that go headless can present updates several times a minute!
As the front-end system is not closely connected with the back-end, you don’t need to write an update for the whole system, including writing a code in a programming language for the back-end. Instead, you only change a part of your front-end. This way you can serve your customers quicker and remain with a competitive edge.
Achieving Quicker Time to Sell
When you try to build an omnichannel experience with a traditional e-commerce system, the market will be extensively slow and the scaling will be low as you will have to do all fulfillment operations manually.
A headless architecture allows brands to focus on creating a unique front-end for various devices and touchpoints because the stock and content are stored and conveyed through API to any destination. This saves time to market when going on new channels and so on.
Headless e-commerce has a big number of advantages. Still, there is an important business detail in making a decision either to switch to headless e-commerce from the traditional form or not as this kind is not fitting for some companies and has certain downsides.
Who is Headless E-Commerce Suitable For?
The choice about going to headless e-commerce must be well-considered. There are many stories where some good technology did not bring expected results because it was implemented at the wrong time or in an incorrect way.
Before you decide to implement headless e-commerce, you should talk to your technical and sales staff to discuss how the effectiveness of your present platform can be used to the highest extent. There is always something left there that you can work with and this is the most low-cost way to lift your results on sales online. When your team states that there are no reserves there, you can contemplate switching to headless.
2 Complications To Consider
As headless e-commerce platforms don’t maintain the front-end, your company developers need to build a new one. It is good as it provides customization and personalization for a better experience for your users and this front-end will imply for all devices. Still, building a completely new platform can be very expensive and time-consuming.
Moreover, developers will need to correct the bugs in their front-end works, and this will lead to even bigger expenses than was estimated in the beginning.
As headless e-commerce tools provide no front-end presentation layer, the following options are no more accessible:
- Making content in WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) document creation system. This presents the content on a screen the same way as it will be displayed on the users’ devices
- In general, preview how a webpage will look on the user’s screen
- Publishing and creating content in a fast way without the need to rely on another department
Marketers completely rely on an IT team to build the front-end and later add new content and updates. It can’t be called a beneficial environment for traders.
So, it is necessary to double-check in advance that you have all crucial resources for turning to headless e-commerce such as a competent development team and a good budget to be able to bear a new implementation of headless e-commerce.
How Does Headless E-Commerce Affect E-Commerce Logistics?
It is easy to notice this in sales via social media. When you combine your existing social media monetization tool and headless e-commerce, you will be able to deal with your cross-channel sales together in one place. You will not need to switch platforms to process your Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter sales. Your reports will show in one dashboard that presents omnichannel sales. As a result, all logistics and order fulfillment processes can be conducted through one interface.
In a common solution, sales don’t look that easy. You need to lead your buyer away from your social network feed them to a different online website to finish their transaction. These elaborate actions raise the chances of a customer abandoning their purchase.
The biggest problem of commerce in social media is that processing payments is sometimes insecure. Only the largest cases make headlines. Even so, social network profiles are often hacked and customers feel cautious about giving their credit card information online. This Gumroad alternative is a wonderful service that provides digital product security during sales on social media.
Headless e-commerce tackles all these problems entirely. It lets you do the sales on your social media platform. Cutting down difficulties on the checkout because you don’t redirect your buyers to a safer online page. It is also a security-friendly solution as it provides anti-fraud services to give additional confidentiality of customer payment data.
Although there are some challenges associated with headless e-commerce, switching to headless e-commerce is a responsible business decision that is possible to bring in life successfully only with the help of an experienced team of IT developers. It will serve you to better customers’ experience, improved personalization and flexibility as well as simplified order fulfillment. Headless e-commerce provides reliable support of omnichannel sales and implements a quicker integration of new services. This improved version of a traditional e-commerce system caters to the needs and wants of modern users and assists marketers to raise sales and reach a new level in their businesses.
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