Headless commerce is an e-commerce solution where the frontend commerce functionality has been decoupled from the backend functionality
By Rajiv Kumar
E-commerce has evolved and come a long way from where it all began. The developments in the industry have also triggered changes in consumer behaviour. Today’s consumer wants much beyond the facility to buy something online and have it delivered at the doorstep. They want the same experience as they get in-store as well as personalised recommendations.
Experience driven commerce is the emerging trend and an increasing number of brands are redefining their key business strategies to provide a personalised and immersive experience to shoppers through an Omni-channel approach. The focus is to ensure that the shoppers get the same experience whether they shop on mobile devices, in a brick-and-mortar store or on their desktop.
Understanding Headless Commerce
Headless commerce is an e-commerce solution where the frontend commerce functionality has been decoupled from the backend functionality which means the head – user interface, digital marketplace, social commerce and more – can be customised without interfering with the backend. This facilitates enterprises with more flexibility to create unique experiences for their visitors, ensuring best-in-class online retail without the boundaries to specific touch points. A comprehensive and effective headless commerce provides robust commerce capability such as product information management, shopping cart and promotions among many others, no matter the customer entry point. Brands can deliver API-driven experiences through CMS, application, or custom frontend.
With intensifying competition in retail, experience driven commerce is a way to differentiate. Consumers, today, are demanding experiences that include user-generated content, easy-to-use search functions and personalised recommendations. Further, mobile phones continue to shape human behaviour. According to Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to rise to 3.8 billion users in 2021 and reach over 760 million in India.
Shoppers are increasingly combining the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar shopping experience. So, the brands are tapping on advanced techniques to ensure that customers find the shopping experience more real. Additionally, physical retail space is also evolving. With lines between digital and physical stores becoming more blurred, brands continue to focus on building up their overall experience to ensure consistency regardless of where and how the customer is interacting with it.
Experience Driven Commerce Delivers a Multitude of Benefits
Experience driven commerce focuses on enhancing customer experiences right from discovery to purchase with insights from real-time consumer buying behaviour. Retailers are investing in digital opportunities right from brick to click to drive traffic & conversions, adapt & personalise shopper experience and identify the most profitable shoppers. Let’s dig deep into why investing in headless commerce is important and can have many advantages for a business.
Better User Experience and Increased ROI
Customer expectations continue to evolve and providing frictionless shopping experience as well as product and service quality is the key to success in retail. With many brands ruling the online retail space and shoppers having a choice to visit huge marketplaces to compare prices, consistent “experience” is the most significant strategy to attract more visits to your website and gain loyal customers for not only your products but your brand. By delivering personalized, immersive and compelling experiences across channels, you can connect with your customers and give them a reason to buy from you as well as keep coming back.
Freedom to Experiment without Shutting Down Site/App for Maintenance
Among many other benefits of headless commerce, one is that it allows for experiments without disturbing the backend which means there is no risk of jeopardising the whole ecosystem of an app or a website. This saves a significant amount of money as well as time.
Headless commerce is a blessing in disguise for the marketing teams of e-commerce brands. They can quickly test campaigns, roll out new features and landing pages in record time. Further, headless commerce makes it easy to expand to a new geographical area or new markets.
API integration is easy in headless commerce architecture as there is no coding involved to make these integrations possible. It ensures efficient and quicker communication between software platforms. It also ensures the users have a consistent experience across all devices and channels.
Headless is a great solution for businesses wanting to create a more experience-driven website or app. If you are already using a custom-built frontend, a headless build can help you upgrade your backend e-commerce functionality while keeping the existing solution.
With evolving consumer demands for personalised and convenient service at every touch point, it is time to transform your site into an experience-led one to differentiate you from competitors and grow your business.
The author is founder and CEO, StoreHippo