Headless commerce is a relatively new approach to e-commerce that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves decoupling the front-end of an e-commerce website from the back-end, which allows for greater flexibility and customisation in the design and functionality of the user interface.

For many businesses, it tends to be the first step towards a composable commerce infrastructure. We have written a guide on composable commerce which details more about this microservices approach.

In this article, we will explore some of the many benefits of headless commerce and how it can revolutionise the way businesses operate online.

Increased Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of headless commerce is increased flexibility. With traditional e-commerce platforms, the front-end and back-end are tightly integrated, which means that any changes to the user interface or design must be made through the same platform. This can be limiting for businesses that want to create a unique and custom user experience.

In contrast, headless commerce separates the front-end and back-end, allowing businesses to use any technology they want for the front-end. This means that businesses can choose the best tools for their specific needs and customise the user experience in any way they see fit. They can also easily add new features and functionality without having to make changes to the entire platform.

As an example, the fashion e-commerce company, Rebecca Minkoff, implemented headless commerce to provide their customers with an innovative experience.

The brand used a CMS to build a website that visually represents the brand’s style while decoupling the shopping cart from the website. They also used the decoupling as an opportunity to implement augmented reality and 3D modelling of their products.

Using an API to connect their website and POS system, resulted in a faster checkout process, improved inventory management, and enhanced user experience.

And it paid off. Customers that use the 3-D function are 27% more likely to buy, and 65% more likely to buy after engaging with the product via augmented reality. In a previous article, we looked at the benefits of AR for digital commerce and how our AR solution, ARES, can help.

Improved Performance

Another benefit of headless commerce is improved performance. Because the front-end and back-end are separate, the website can be optimised for speed and performance without affecting the underlying functionality.

This means that businesses can create lightning-fast user experiences optimised for any device, without compromising on the back-end.

One of the greatest examples of businesses going headless is Nike. They implemented headless commerce to enhance their website speed and performance.

Their adoption was in the form of a Node.js BFF (Backend for frontend) architecture paired with React SPA for a more robust mobile shopping experience. With a combination of APIs, progressive web apps, and JavaScript, the company created a faster, more responsive website with better search capabilities, intuitive navigation, and a seamless checkout process.

They reported that mobile traffic to its eCommerce website has surpassed desktop traffic for the first time because of cross-marketing efforts and this work has resulted in them gaining market share from Adidas.

Easier Integration

With traditional e-commerce platforms, integrating with other systems can be a time-consuming and difficult process. However, headless commerce makes integration much easier.

Because the front-end and back-end are separate, businesses can easily integrate with other systems, such as inventory management, CRM, and ERP systems, without disrupting the user experience.

This is important because it is almost guaranteed that the absolute best-in-class solutions to a specific challenge will not be created as an out-of-the-box function by the core vendor but as an add-on solution via integration. Headless makes this easier to achieve.

Increased Scalability

Headless commerce also offers increased scalability. As businesses grow and expand, they can easily add new front-end technologies or channels without having to change the back-end.

Meaning a business can quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs, without having to make major changes to their platform.

An example of this could be multiple storefronts. So, for instance, if you want to have a different site for each language you support, or for product line launches you can do this without having to worry about creating different cores for each. As markets grow, expand, or change you can just continue to scale with them.

Conclusion

Headless commerce is a powerful approach to e-commerce that offers numerous benefits for businesses. By separating the front-end and back-end, businesses can create a more flexible, customisable, and scalable platform that can adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs.

Additionally, headless commerce can improve performance and increase user satisfaction. As the e-commerce industry continues to evolve, headless commerce will play an increasingly important role in the future of online commerce.