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How headless e-commerce helps you build faster and smarter

by Korey Berg
in , , on Jun 04, 2020




After a grueling 4,800 hours, your development team finally finishes the newest application for your organization. But, leadership wants to make some changes to the front-end design. The news hits your team like a grand piano. Not only is this news soul-crushing, but it means extensive changes to the front- and back-end systems. Who knows how many more hours your team will spend to implement these changes?

This example illustrates the disadvantages of traditional monolithic architecture. Since the entire system was interdependent, every change you made affected the whole system. This worked well when systems were simpler.

But now, customers demand an omnichannel experience, getting their content wherever they might be and on whatever device they’re using. Giving customers this type of experience requires flexibility and scalability at a level previously not possible.

To keep pace with new technologies and the ever-changing expectations of consumers, developers had to chop off development’s head. But, can headless e-commerce really make that much of a difference?




7 reasons you should be using headless e-commerce

In the example we mentioned at the outset, applications traditionally have been approached as one giant structure. This makes updating anything a chore, especially when you think of all the services an app must connect to today. Headless e-commerce separates (decouples) front-end and back-end systems and allows developers to work on part of the system without changing the other.

Consider seven ways headless e-commerce can improve your development process:

1. Easily make updates to different parts of the system. Because the back end and front end are separated by an API, developers have the ability to update the presentation layer or the back end, without missing a beat. For example, let’s imagine that you want to make an update to the design or create a completely new app for a different type of device. Instead of working on the entire system, you can create a new front end and simply connect it to the API once it’s completed. The opposite is also true. When working with an outdated back end, you have the ability to upgrade it without changing the UX that customers know and love.

2. Build for the era of IoT. In contrast to traditional e-commerce methods that may require comprehensive updates to connect to smartwatches, tablets, smart home devices, etc, headless e-commerce allows you to create the front end for the new application and connect it to existing infrastructure without rewriting the entire application. This is increasingly important with new technologies being created at a dizzying pace.

3. Integrate with a wide range of systems. Headless e-commerce removes developers’ reliance on plugins and other inefficient methods to connect your systems. Instead, through APIs, headless e-commerce makes it easier to integrate with a number of other systems, such as marketing automation, CRM, ERP, and CMS systems.

4. Build faster with headless e-commerce. A traditional e-commerce solution provides an out-of-the-box experience that may require significant effort to adapt to a new channel or device by using platform customization capabilities and plugins. With the headless approach, your development team is free to use a wide range of modern tools and frameworks to create a user experience that is optimized for a given device or platform.

5. Develop applications in harmony with agile marketing practices. The fact that applications can be developed and simply connected to the back end gives marketers more agility than ever before. They can now set up websites to support marketing campaigns in a fraction of the time. This flexibility allows your team to unleash the full potential of their creativity and abilities.

6. Make your development team happier. The example mentioned at the beginning shows the frustration that developers feel when changes are sprung on them in mid-development. While changes that happen during headless e-commerce development still impact your team’s workload, they are much more manageable with the front end and back end decoupled.

7. Create the best customer experience. Gone are the days when you could throw products up on a website and call it a day. Experience is king and customers expect everything from voice search to chatbots. Applications built with traditional development methods have predefined UX experiences, which dictate how people use the app. In contrast, headless e-commerce dictates that the users design their own experience.

Leverage headless e-commerce for a truly omnichannel experience

Customer experience will only become more complex as new ways of interacting with people are developed. Traditional e-commerce development is clunky and not built to engage customers at a growing number of touchpoints. Leveraging headless e-commerce can help you future-proof your digital assets and grow with the market. What steps can you take to get started creating headless applications? Tell us about your project, and one of our experts will chat with you soon.

Korey Berg

Korey Berg

Director of Marketing

Korey has over 10 years in digital marketing and IT experience with emphasis on Strategy, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Graphical content creation, and Web Development. Korey garnered his education from the University of Minnesota, Cornell University, and vast experience in the technology space since the 90’s.

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