eCommerce is not slowing down. No matter where you are in the world right now, that’s what the numbers show.
Even though we were hit by a pandemic in 2020, consumers all across the globe spent approximately $4.29 trillion online, growing by a trillion from $3.46 trillion in 2019, as per the estimates of Digital Commerce 360. Out of this, big commerce generated an eCommerce revenue of $43.1 million, which projects 39% growth from that of 2019. Even mobile commerce has greatly enhanced and now accounts for 65% of total ECommerce traffic.
While people are investing more into online commercial platforms, they are also moving away from traditional eCommerce infrastructure. As per content trends research by Magnolia, 86% of marketers from the leading companies are disappointed in the traditional content management systems (CMS). They believe that the marketing tools at their disposal are not very diverse, and their growth is stunted. Gone are the days where a webshop with an engaging and functional online presence was enough. Today the retail giants and big brands are looking for flexible and sustainable alternatives to traditional eCommerce platforms – that headless architecture provides.
In headless architecture, the frontend and backend are separated, where the marketers and developers can take complete control of either of the frontend and backend, without impacting the other.
In other words, the developers can separate the technology managing the operational and commercial aspects of their eCommerce platform (shipping, payment, inventory, etc) and the storefront side (the browser that displays the products to shop).
Headless Architecture With PWAs
Progressive Web Apps or PWAs are also gaining prominence with their huge advantages over native apps. They are faster to load and can have several UX advantages, reshaping eCommerce.
A progressive web app is simply a website running through a web browser, but its architecture is such that it can behave like a downloadable native app instead of just a static web page.
Headless architecture with PWAs is revolutionizing the eCommerce industry in various ways as the backend components are disparate systems, giving complete liberty of customization to the developers and marketers.
Reasons To Adopt Headless Commerce
Unlike traditional platforms, headless commerce brings in the option of keeping the frontend and backend separate, alongside incorporating PWAs with their benefits. This step towards modernity can bring several positive developments to the business model of companies, that several organizations have already started adopting.
Some of the most prominent reasons to adopt headless commerce right away are:
Better customer experience
Headless commerce can offer you a customer-centric solution with multi-channel commerce support, to make the overall customer experience better. With the flexibility of headless commerce, it also gets easier to innovate and add better experiences with constant updates. Headless commerce takes personalized marketing to the next step by catering to individual needs and customizing for each target market. Not to forget, a better customer experience translates to more word-of-mouth marketing and increased conversions.
Redbox wanted to have a homepage that engages the users and drives the conversion. A Single Page Application seemed like their best choice while shifting to headless commerce. They relaunched their storefront as a Single Page Application and received great appreciation for delivering responsive content while retaining their high-end performance.
Enhanced marketing options
Keeping the commercial aspects distinct from content management opens up opportunities for agile marketing. It gives the marketing team more control over updating their geographical locations, portfolios, brands, and divisions. Headless commerce evolves with the growing technology as per the customer needs. It also offers seamless integration with services like email marketing campaigns, social media marketing, etc.
Kirkland, with its headless approach, is now one of the fastest retail websites and is constantly experimenting with different facets of headless commerce. They even implemented site modifications like thumbprint check-out, one-click login, etc. Similarly, Pure Formulas adopted headless commerce to reduce their cart abandonment rate. They are now the first company in the health and supplementary sector to fully embrace PWA and headless commerce.
Headless commerce is also helpful for API integrations that allow quick data transfer, faster integration, and seamless connections in comparison to traditional eCommerce sites. You can create processes and workflows as per your requirement – by including third-party software as well. For example, you can use PIM software and reduce the burden from your backend to increase the loading time.
For example, the website of Venus Fashion had a slow loading time as 15.25% of the site pages loaded under a second. Ever since Venus embraced headless commerce, they changed their storefront into a PWA and incorporated Backend for Frontend (BFF) as the infrastructure. Currently, 72.75% of their pages load under one second, and Venus has also noted a 24% increase in conversion rate.
It is easier to scale up with headless commerce as the front and back ends are completely separate, so you can only make the crucial changes to either end and save time. This also gives you complete control over your web store such that different teams can work on their separate domains.
One of the top 100 trusted companies in the world, a merchandising company Overstock, grew to be a billion dollars. They adopted the headless commerce approach and rebuilt their product browsing pages into interactive SPA pages. With this simple change, their conversion rate increased by 8%, and the revenue increased by 36%. Thus, the full success story of Overstock can be conveyed in just two words – headless commerce.
For all kinds of commerce solutions, security remains a big challenge. With headless commerce integration, you can be assured that all the customer data and other information are not accessible to unauthorized personnel, thus doing away with the risk of a data breach. As headless commerce supports customizable integrations, you can also control and monitor the APIs and their extent of access. PWA integration with headless commerce also enhances cyber security by routing the content through HTTPS protocol.
From booking to landing, traveling by air requires high-security features for data protection. United Airlines now relies on PWA to shift to headless commerce and serve the users better.
To Sum Up
Choosing headless commerce is not the right decision for every company, but once you consider the benefits, you can customize it to meet your goals and needs. As you can see in all the use cases mentioned above, adopting headless commerce methodology has worked out for companies in all sectors.
All you need to do is thoroughly analyze your requirements and understand the reasons why shifting to headless commerce is definitely the way to go!
Note – all the examples included are from public domain websites.