As storefronts move to sell online, businesses are looking to upgrade or invest in an e-commerce platform. The challenge of managing a platform is that e-commerce websites are static. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of headless commerce and headless CMS.
Traditional e-commerce would require rebuilding the platform from scratch each time you need to redesign the user experience. Your designs and content may be restricted and outdated due to platform capabilities. Some companies using a content management system (CMS) find it difficult to integrate the two for basic business functionalities.
Headless Commerce Is Changing E-commerce
By enabling the connection between your e-commerce platform and CMS system, you can provide your customers with a better platform experience while having seamless connections between all your customer touchpoints. Headless commerce uses a specific technology called application program interface (API). This system separates the front and back end of the e-commerce platform, giving businesses the freedom to design layouts and build any content they want. In addition, headless commerce uses APIs to make customizations much simpler.
With headless, the possibilities are endless.
Businesses using headless commerce can leverage their operational agility and stay up to date with the latest trends. This means more flexibility and zero compromises. Your marketing team is free to use creativity as there is limitless customization. Headless commerce can elevate your e-commerce strategy as it is flexible enough to adapt to changing storefronts and enrich the customer experience.
Running Headless Commerce Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All-Approach
For companies with some e-commerce presence and invested in a content management system, using a headless-only approach would be a fast way to integrate headless into your e-commerce strategy. Any content, design, or layout changes would be done entirely in the CMS and delivered via API. Moreover, a headless approach would be most suitable for companies that do not require complex and customized layouts or check-out experiences. Since developers need to set up the CMS, some technical skills are required. Businesses with limited product offerings would find a headless approach to be the best fit.
Specific CMS Plug-In
Some businesses that already use a CMS can build an e-commerce platform on top of their CMS system using a specific plug-in approach. This keeps any content management centralized within your existing CMS system, which is easier for your marketing and content staff. Since the plug-in must be specific to the CMS system, upgrading the CMS may cause difficulties. Costly future investments may be needed to maintain long-term compatibility.
Businesses that choose a specific CMS plug-in approach should be fully CMS invested and have prior e-commerce experience. Further, there is the possibility for companies to apply unique functionalities from the plug in, enriching the customer experience.
Using a hybrid approach combines the accessibility of a traditional e-commerce platform with a limited CMS option. The platform will still include aspects of a traditional CMS, where content and layouts can be customized within the CMS without a headless connection. However, some sales channels may utilize the headless approach instead. Both sides will link to the e-commerce platform, but they do so by displaying content using different methods: one via CMS and one using APIs for a headless connection.
As new CMS upgrades get released, only a small investment is required to update your e-commerce platform. Your business can scale up easily due to the long-term compatibility of the e-commerce systems.
Benefits of Headless Commerce
Headless enables you to be competitive and stay relevant – but it is not for everyone. Integrating your platforms is a large project and will take time. The transition period may be longer than anticipated and can impact some revenue streams. On the other hand, if your business has very few content requirements, headless commerce may not be necessary, and you can continue to rely on your existing CMS platform.
However, if you do think this solution is right for you, here are some benefits of headless commerce for your business:
- Customers’ demands change rapidly, and businesses need to adapt quickly. Investing in headless commerce allows for flexibility and adaptability. It is perfect for companies that have yet to have an e-commerce presence. With complete front-end customization, you can personalize the customer journey and foster a stronger bond with customers. Over time, this means higher customer retention rates, which translates into profits.
- Those that start with a headless foundation will have a competitive advantage over those who transition into headless because the platform is already part of their growth strategy. This can result in long-term cost savings. As headless offers a seamless and integrated user experience across all customer touchpoints, it allows your business to have a truly omnichannel experience. Whether through a mobile app, website, or offline shopping, the customer can access to your e-commerce platform, anytime and anywhere.
Outsource Your E-commerce Platform Implementation
Outsourcing your e-commerce platform implementation means hiring a team of professionals to build your e-commerce platform, as opposed to building a platform from scratch in-house. Not only does this allow you to focus more on your core business, but it also gives you more control. Outsourced experts can make changes and adjustments to your specifications. Platform services providers also add an additional layer of security to your e-commerce platform as they protect customer information.
Outsourcing is one of the best options for scaling up your business. As it grows, the platform vendor can ensure that the brand stays consistent and that current updates are made. Platform vendors outline costs ahead of time, allowing you to budget ahead of time and allocate resources appropriately. There are fewer risks with this strategic approach. No extensive development plans to upgrade your e-commerce platform are required on your part.
Let’s discuss your e-commerce platform project. Contact our Digital and Technology Transformation Services Team for a complimentary consultation.