Headless commerce works to decouple the presentation layer from the backend systems. The question is – what advantages does it deliver for mobile app development? Are there any complexities in striking a balance? And what considerations should be taken into account? Let’s discuss.
Headless Commerce and Mobile App Development – The Advantages and Challenges
The 2022 Commerce Innovation Report by Commercetools reveals quite a few interesting insights about the future of commerce. About 74% of the respondents (i.e., global decision-makers) agree about a presumable negative impact of not adopting emerging commerce solutions. Further, 72% are worried about losing millennials, followed by 54% about losing the edge with GenZ. The report goes as far as to outline the three key areas that would take the most severe hit – customer experience (41%), sales (40%), and customer loyalty (28%).
If there’s one thing that this report confirms, it’s that businesses will have to invariably evolve their eCommerce infrastructure to stay relevant to the new generation of customers. These users are particular about the experience they get as they seamlessly navigating through the products and services, interacting with customer support, and consuming product information.
And this is what brings us to the discussion about the impact of headless commerce on mobile app development.
As of Q4 of 2022, mobile devices constituted about 59.16% of the global web traffic. Considering how mobile commerce has proliferated over the years and how consumer behavior has changed with respect to personalization preferences, it only makes sense to explore the viability of headless commerce for mobile-first commerce models.
That said, here’s how businesses can benefit from headless commerce for mobile-first strategies:
Enhanced User Experiences
Because the headless CMS or the backend platform is decoupled from the frontend presentation layer, businesses are at an advantage of delivering the content as and where they want to – based on their users. The interactive frontend facilitated by the technology works particularly well for mobile apps, as businesses can explicitly concentrate on enhancing the user experience without worrying much about system updates.
In fact, headless emulates the capabilities of native mobile apps by facilitating the development of headless PWAs. These web apps can then be responsively rendered for the user’s cross-device (including mobile) viewing experience.
Reduced Development (& Maintenance) Costs
Favorably, headless commerce also works to reduce costs. A lot of businesses can do without dedicated apps and instead have PWAs to streamline experiences across devices. Of course, then there’s the facility of modifying and enhancing the eCommerce storefront rapidly. So, we’re essentially talking about more customizations and relatively meager development costs.
Seamless Third-Party Integrations
One of the major benefits for developers is that a lot of headless CMS platforms allow for easy third-party integrations. Keeping in mind how mobile app users expect a great checkout experience, developers can have the third-party services hooked up right where needed.
Administrators can manage headless mobile applications from the mobile device itself. The reliance on on-premise systems is significantly reduced – making for faster approvals and easier modifications.
But are there any complexities? As it stands, headless commerce, in general, as well as for mobile apps, can be concerning in the following ways:
- The decoupled architecture suffices the expectations of business users in terms of speed and flexibility. But it’s challenging for the developers to have this system set up in the first place. The separation of functionalities can entail a lot of work for development teams.
- Not every business has the resources to invest in hiring competent mobile app development teams. This can serve as a barrier for them to leverage headless commerce to its optimal potential for mobile apps.
From usability to navigational mechanics, design choices work to play a pivotal role in the overall user experience. Developers should put in efforts to ensure that the user flows and information architecture align with what they want their target customers to do while using the app.
The employment of a headless CMS ensures that the content management system is abstracted from the presentation layer. This gap inhibits the possibility of a breach, not to mention how it also doesn’t let problems escalate across functions.
Mobile apps need to grow, especially as the business expands. There’s new profile and geospatial data developers need to incorporate to ensure smooth transactional experiences. This is where testing the application under extensive traffic is critical to unearthing potential bottlenecks. This is also where load balancing can be especially useful.
Why Mobile App Development (with Headless Commerce) Needs Partnering with an Expert?
It’s important to cultivate an in-house discussion around the impact of headless commerce in mobile app development. But it’s also crucial to trust an expert with a proven track record of successfully implementing headless commerce for mobile-centric functionalities.
First off, an expert partner like Ignitiv can extensively guide businesses through the potential benefits and challenges of headless commerce specific to their mobile development initiatives. Second, they can help with the choice of headless CMS and define a roadmap to derive success with it. Finally, they can support the implementation, maintenance, and optimization of headless-powered, mobile-centric strategies.
For more information, get in touch with us today!