Headless commerce empowers business owners to provide cutting-edge innovation and experience through separate front-end and back-end processes, relying on low- or no-code technologies to make it all happen.
With e-commerce, the customer experience is often the differentiating factor between you and another competitor. If you want to succeed in today’s competitive atmosphere, it’s vital to have your front-facing operations aligned with your customer’s expectations, needs, and preferences for ease of use.
Read on to understand what’s making headless commerce boom in the marketplace today, what benefits business owners can gain from switching to a headless strategy, and what you should consider when making the transition.
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What Is Headless Commerce?
Headless commerce is a simple nickname given to businesses with separate front-end and back-end operations. It has a lot to do with programming, user experience (UX), and overall layout of your site and back-end processes. Your clients will never see the code that makes the magic happen for them, they’ll only be exposed to the front-end experience that’s tailored to their preferences.
If your system is separate, you’re already operating in a headless commerce structure. If your system is reliant on both front end and back end working in tandem, you may want to reevaluate your structure.
Why Is Headless Commerce Becoming Popular?
Beyond the benefits that can be gained from headless commerce, the appeal of the system comes from its easy-to-use and adaptable nature.
Business moves at the speed of light, and the small business and service space is becoming increasingly competitive. Having a front-facing e-storefront provides you with endless versatility and new opportunities to connect with current and potential customers.
You also have the flexibility that you need to resolve back-end issues without incurring significant front-end downtime — costing you valuable time and money.
This model has grown in traction since headless commerce was first introduced by commercetools founder Dirk Hoerig in 2012, and platforms began to broaden their offerings to prepare for the no-code boom that happened in the late 2010s.
It’s since become one of the primary ways to conduct e-commerce business online, which has become more heavily relied upon in the post-pandemic era.
What Benefits Can You Gain From Switching to Headless Commerce?
Making the swap and separating your systems can unlock new areas of opportunity for your business. Learn about some of the benefits that you can enjoy when you swap to a headless system.
1. Enhanced Performance for Technical Benefit
When you swap your system, you can enjoy faster integrations — which can result in an overall higher site speed, depending on how you have your system configured. A headless commerce system can boost your SEO ranking naturally in Google’s search engine, making your e-storefront more appealing to any potential prospects and further supporting your efforts with search engine marketing (SEM).
Making the swap to headless commerce allows for enhanced site performance planning and legacy betterment. You can further enhance your client’s experiences thanks to an easy-to-edit and foundational application programming interface (API) solution through the headless framework.
Nonheadless services offer you functionality with limited ability to edit and improve, but open API systems are where true tailored innovation can take place.
2. Cost Savings Compared to Traditional Systems
Because of the overall ability to scale with a headless system, you can save significant costs over time. There is far less infrastructure to account for when outsourcing your programming and development needs as well as fewer overall fees associated with the setup due to less being needed as far as licenses, hosting fees, and other website elements.
If you’re looking to reinvest your cost spent, this is a great opportunity for you to take advantage of and greatly simplify your site’s infrastructure.
3. Elevate Your Brand in a Few Clicks
Investing in a headless system allows you to keep up with other competitors in your space, easily making changes to your front-end experience to roll out new products, launches, and services.
You can also address any customer experience issues quickly without having to wait for complex, expensive fixes. This is also ideal for any new startup businesses that may be making frequent changes to split tests for the best results.
What Should You Consider When Switching to Headless Commerce?
Before you consider switching to headless commerce, ensure that you aren’t already using a headless framework in your current business operations. If you use some of the larger e-commerce platforms to house your business, you may not have to switch platforms to go headless.
Platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WP Engine, and more may have options for you to do a simple swap and retain full control of the API to make your vision a reality.
There are several other considerations that you should think about when making the switch to a headless content management system (CMS):
1. Determine If You’re Keeping Your Commerce Platform
Switching to a headless system gives you the opportunity to make additional swaps. Make sure that your current commerce platform offers the services you need at an affordable price point when used in tandem with your current headless front-end option.
Be sure that the commerce platform of your choice uses an open API to keep all of the functionality that you need.
2. Create an Action Plan for Post-Switch Changes
Once you make the swap to a headless structure, you’ll want to update it as quickly as possible to begin earning a significant return on your investment.
Prior to switching, meet with your team to create additions and changes that you want to implement. Getting ahead of changes allows you to complete any testing processes quickly and effectively.
3. Consider Outsourcing Your Migration
When you make your switch to a headless commerce system, you’ll likely need a programmer, developer, and UX specialist to translate your overall site goals and vision to a functional system.
These specialists are well worth the initial investment and can help your business grow based on sheer appeal and functionality — all of which are key components for organic ranking in Google’s SEO practices.
You’ll also get a sleeker end product as a result, instantly elevating your presence and credibility in whatever space you serve.
Headless Commerce Can Take Your Business to the Next Level
The concept of headless commerce isn’t just trendy — it’s rapidly becoming industry standard for web-based retail sites and brands. Its popularity is for good reason, as businesses with a headless commerce model ultimately remain far more adaptable, versatile, and cost-effective than those using older, less agile web construction models of the past.
The headless commerce model also gives you the added benefit of a more customer-oriented approach, offering you the opportunity to create a tailored solution that speaks to your customer in a more impactful way. If you’re thinking of making the switch, you should — there are plenty of tools and resources available to you to help you maximize your investment.