Technology and eCommerce are established business catalysts that are here to stay, but what they resemble today won’t be the same tomorrow. A business’s growth and success relies on how well they adapt to change. Headless architecture is big news right now, but before you make any decisions on going headless, we’ll look at what you need to know.
Is your existing tech solution letting you down?
What does your current system achieve for you? Is it letting you down? Why do you like it, and what don’t you like? How much does it cost you, not just as an expenditure but in lost revenue to your bottom line? These are the questions you should be asking yourself through every stage of growth or plateau.
Consider the ‘full stack’
Are you using a full stack eCommerce solution as your legacy system? ‘Legacy’ meaning the system you have been working with since you launched your business, and ‘full stack’ meaning a platform with a templated storefront that must be supported by plugins and apps to operate satisfactorily. The front and back-ends, the interactive layer and infrastructure are coupled into one system which is controlled by the host platform. In effect, you are restricted to what you can and cannot do.
These systems can be wonderful to launch your business immediately and see you through the initial launch phase. But when it’s time for your brand to stand out amongst the masses, non Headless solutions fall short of your needs, because they attempt to template intuition and control the platform’s capabilities. This leaves you with little room to manoeuvre brand innovation.
Legacy tech is no longer the solution.
As a result of the pandemic, digital commerce has undergone massive changes at an accelerated rate. Because of this, you need to reconsider what you need from your digital platform.
When you have established your current demands and differentiated them from past needs, you’ll notice where your legacy system and processes are letting you down. What you need for your company’s projected future growth is now more determinable.
Don’t allow the inflexibility of your legacy technology to slow you down. By embracing flexibility and Headless commerce you’ll be able to grow your business, develop your brand, and offer a much-improved customer experience.
Headless and the future
To explain ‘headless’ simply, it’s the segregation of the presentation layer (front end) and creation layer (back end) of your platform’s system. The front end’s functionality no longer must wait for the back end to implement systemic changes because the two ends work simultaneously but separately from each other. You can see updates and optimisations in real-time. In a word, it’s dynamic.
Headless is structurally different to the full stack’s all-in-one-platform solution, because you have the freedom to choose which CMS (content management system) you want to integrate with, your preferred shopping cart tool, for instance, and build your technology suite to suit your needs in the myriad ways you want it to.
The headless structure employs data in its raw form and modularises it, therefore making it more easily altered to fit different channels and platforms.
Through the use of APIs (application platform interfaces), your various system componentry are seamlessly integrated and will permit you to connect your shop’s platform to more than just your website.
Headless tech revs up your eCommerce engine and adds more horsepower by building your tech stack with better capabilities, such as convenient omnichannel selling to a global market, brand customisation, effective SEO (search engine optimisation) and rich content. Coupled with quicker response time and personalised customer experiences you can deliver a smoother, intuitive interaction with customers, allowing you to meet evolving consumer demands.
When to go headless
A major concern for changing your eCommerce system is when the consumer experience can no longer satisfy trending expectations, such as personalisation and retrofitting assets for a mobile device. You’ll recognise this failure in unconverted sales and abandoned shopping carts.
Consider also if your brand’s development is being stifled by cookie-cutter templates and poor-to-non-existent SEO. Are your storefronts getting the traffic and exposure they should? Going headless means you can choose the CMS that will cater to your storefronts needs across omnichannel eCommerce without creating a mountain of work for your marketing team.
Another reason to go headless is when your business model is set for rapid growth. Does your platform lack the scalability to match your business’s growth rate? Do you find it inflexible to change?
Growth phase. If you are in a growth phase, your business needs a website that has exponential customisation, interactive experience and is more intuitive than a generic website builder. As such, growth-oriented eBusinesses require a more technologically advanced system than the full stack solution to offer an unrestricted consumer experience and, ultimately, to prosper in a crowded marketplace.
You’ll gain freedom from limited templates that control your commerce capabilities and be able to personalise your brand and manage your offering of services. Headless allows you to compromise only when you want to. Flexibility to implement fluid content creativity will be the new norm. Urgent updates won’t lag due to slow front and back-end communication. No matter which device your customers access your website from, headless eCommerce will integrate with any system and application you choose to employ.
You will be able to offer the customer care and shopping experience that empowers your consumers and your brand’s particular vision.
Headless architecture may be the eCommerce revolution you’ve been waiting for.
Your next move
Prior to joining BetterCommerce Finlay was implementing same day delivery propositions for brands and retailers across the UK and Europe. With 16 years of commercial leadership experience across the media, digital, IoT and e-commerce industries he is playing a strategic role in developing and executing our GTM activities.