3 Ways Mobile Drove the Need for Headless Commerce

In 1997, the term ‘mobile commerce’ was coined and brought to life through mobile-enabled vending machines. Since then, ecommerce has continued to evolve with each new iteration creating a better customer experience than the last. 

Innovative customer experiences (CX) that delight shoppers across every device require continuous CX experimentation – a nearly impossible task with a bulky legacy system. A headless commerce approach enables brands to unlock the agility needed to provide these amazing experiences to consumers – and it all began with mobile.

Mobile was the catalyst for faster experience innovation

Mobile web was the catalyst that opened the doors to faster experience innovation. For the first time, the stock desktop website did not fulfill customer expectations. 

This was only the beginning of the disconnects between what consumers expected and what retailers delivered. Computing innovation continued to move outside the browser window with the introduction of chatbots, AR/VR, AI, apps, and other great ways to experience products, services, and entertainment. These mediums all required APIs and a different culture of deployment, delivery, and experimentation, which could simply not be fulfilled through a monolithic ecommerce platform. This was difficult news for some brands, as it required a complete overhaul of their website architecture.

Mobile demanded superior performance 

On mobile devices, poor performance is more than just a nuisance – it’s a blocker. More than half of users will abandon a mobile website that takes more than three seconds to load. 

As a result, a whole new breed of technologies like Progressive Web Apps (PWA), Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and Server-Side Rendering (SSR) were introduced to guarantee better performance on mobile. All of these technologies leveraged a headless approach with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as legacy monolith front-ends could not do the job natively. 

Mobile set a new bar for continuous innovation

Mobile app stores shifted consumer expectations around the quality of the experiences they received. They allowed continuous integration of additional features and hassle-free updates. Customers often expect to see multiple updates per month, if not per week from high usage apps, and won’t tolerate any sort of continued malfunction or downtime. 

Continuous experimentation drives the need for decoupled architectures that enable an agile approach to digital experience innovation. Big name ecommerce retailers like Amazon are leading the way – they are able to deploy updates every 11.7 seconds thanks to their agile tech stack. A modern web storefront like Mobify can act as the decoupled presentation layer to unlock agility and deliver best-of-breed commerce and content functionalities to create truly immersive experiences. 

Headless enables CX differentiation

Mobile commerce will continue to disrupt the ecommerce industry beyond 2020 as the driving force behind digital innovation. Monolithic legacy systems do not enable the agility necessary to create the premium experiences your customers expect at every touchpoint. Only a headless approach will give you the freedom to focus on differentiation through customer experience – paving the road to success ahead of your competition. 

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