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Headless Commerce – Where The Commerce World is Headed

If there was ever a time for integration of services across various digital platforms (touchpoints) by brand and business to better meet customer’s ever-changing needs and demands, the time is definitely now.

Understanding the needs
Today’s digital world is all about choices and the freedom to make preferred choices by brands, businesses, and customers without restraints. However, rather than a simplified, more focused life for all, this myriad of available options to satisfy a need(s) has birthed a whole other world of problems. 

For consumers, these problems may seem all minimal and intangible. For example, who wouldn’t want to be able to book a dinner appointment with your wristwatch or take a quick nap on your way to dinner after a hard day’s work while your car does all the driving and even parking reservation. Simply put, it’s cool until it isn’t.

For brands and businesses, however, it’s a different ball game. Tech companies and enthusiasts keep coming up with new platforms and devices for consumers to interact with daily and keeping up with this rush as businesses can be quite the strain.

As a business, you want your customers to easily access you on whichever platform they prefer, be it a phone, a smart assistant,  a car computational system, or a smart watch. The list goes on and on, which for brands mean even more markets to get into, requiring a whole lot of work, planning as well as resources. Basically, a whole new problem to solve.

The development of another platform or piece of technology is an intricate work that involves getting the right skilled personnel, the proper mindset, the financial means, and the organizational skills to restructure the current platform to fit the latest developments. However, the work doesn’t end there, as more and more platforms and devices are created, making this process an endless cycle. Imagine the number of resources that could have gone into actually improving customers’ experiences or perhaps improving the business or brand as a whole.

The traditional eCommerce system
Traditional eCommerce platforms are built specifically to perform on a particular device. For example, iPhone apps are required to be built with a particular programming language in order to work on Apple’s  iPhone. So also is the requirement for every other platform available out there. The problem for businesses and brands, however, is that this creates a clutter of information and data scattered through various platforms. Cross-platform data management ultimately represents another issue to be dealt with. Bottom line is that the hole never ends and the cycle continues. 

In addition, customization and improvement upon your digital service become an issue. Imagine having to update your app on every platform it is available on, every time something as simple as a discount sale comes up. Having to contact various programming experts of different languages and telling them the next big move for your business over and over again isn’t only time-consuming, but also expensive.

Understanding Headless Commerce Plattforms

The Head (frontend)
When a customer opens an app or a web page, engages with an audio voice assistant, an AR or VR application, a chatbot, or even a game, he is interacting with the head aka the UI (user interface). The specific method of interaction is irrelevant, as what matters for businesses and brands  are the platform customers use to interact with your service and the need for a head in each platform out there.

The Body (backend)
Something has to do all the computing, data analysis, and data arrangements and, basically, that’s what the body does. As the operational layer of the digital service being rendered, it manages the data (storage and processing). Customers don’t get to interact with the body, because it stays hidden and inaccessible.

The Neck (API)
The Neck (API, application programming interface) serves as the link between what the customer sees and interacts with and the data the business or brand gets and organizes in the backend. In other words, the neck is the multi-platform processor tailored to help process data between the frontend and backend quickly.

Why Headless Commerce?
Apart from enhancing the ease with which businesses can operate and function, a headless commerce system provides even more real-life benefits for businesses and brands.

The average commerce website is standardized in design, e.g. the cart is mostly on the top of the page. With headless commerce, customization is more flexible and easier.

Freedom to experiment
Creating test scenarios for products or marketing campaigns on any platform without directly affecting the backed is easy and fast with headless commerce.

Speed and agility
API based structure allows quick and seamless interaction between the frontend and backend across various platforms for customers to interact with.

Regardless of the flow of traffic on each end, scaling to accommodate this traffic is easy and controllable.

Easily add new platforms (touchpoints)
A new platform or tech will be out soon? No worries, headless commerce ensures the easy synchronization between frontend and backend across various platforms regardless of origin and structure.

In conclusion

It is almost impossible to argue that the future of commerce is headless commerce, and jumping on the train is definitely the best  option for brands and businesses.

If you’d like to dive a little bit deeper and get to know a few real-life examples of organizations who’ve successfully implemented a headless solution, check out our Whitepaper on the Benefits of Headless Commerce.

Or learn how is using headless commerce to be more agile in a commerce environment where experimentation and agility is key in our blog.

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