It’s that time again – you’re replatforming or redesigning your current ecommerce experience and/or architecture to something that is more modern and customizable, reduces operational overhead, and hopefully moves the needle on the company’s bottom line.
Unfortunately, many replatforms and redesigns are leaving brands back at square 1 (with a lot less money in their pockets). The reason? The ecommerce landscape has become exceedingly more complex over the years, with more touchpoints and devices than ever before, and sadly most platforms are not equipped to keep up.
Hope isn’t all lost though, there’s an API-Led approach that industry leaders are adopting called headless commerce (“headless”) that’s arming brands for the modern era.
What is Headless Commerce?
Currently, there are 3 main approaches to delivering front-end experiences in ecommerce: commerce-led, experience-led and API-led (otherwise known as headless commerce).
Traditionally, brands have opted for commerce-led or experience-led approaches. With commerce-led, the ecommerce platform delivers the front-end experience (i.e. the “glass”). With experience-led, the CMS delivers it. The challenge with these approaches is that all of your front-end and back-end systems are tightly coupled (glued) together, making it slow and difficult to implement changes to your experience. This reduces your ability to future-proof your offering since any replatform on the backend forces you to replatform the front-end as well.
For this reason, leading brands are now migrating over to an API-led approach – known colloquially as headless commerce or “headless” – which decouples the backend systems from the front-end using APIs. This clean separation between the customer-facing experience and all the backend business logic enables organizations a new level of freedom that wasn’t otherwise possible. Here’s a look at some of the key benefits and why nearly every major technology platform is adopting this new API-led approach.
5 Key Benefits of Headless Commerce
- With a headless architecture, the front-end only has to focus on delivering content – which allows it to be much faster than a monolithic approach. This also reduces the level of effort and time to market to deploy cutting-edge front-end technology like Progessive Web Apps (PWAs) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which are drastically higher performing than traditional responsive web experiences.
- Separating the front-end enables faster customer experience innovation because it’s not locked into the same pace of change as backend systems. Since the deployments are smaller and less risky, retailers can do frequent UX experimentation and deployments to drive compounding value quickly.
Future-proof customer experience investments
- Decoupling the front-end experience ensures hard-fought wins and customer experience investments don’t need to be thrown out when it comes time for a replatform. This architecture enables teams to quickly adopt the latest web innovations, and continuously iterate, which can replace large website redesigns that need to start from scratch.
Activate full value of CMS and ecommerce systems
- The CMS and ecommerce platform are both crucial parts of creating immersive commerce experiences – but teams aren’t able to activate the full value if they have to force one application through the other to expose it on the front-end. With a headless architecture, teams can line them up side-by-side to equally expose both.
Security and Scalability
- Separating the front-end and backend also reduces security vulnerabilities by isolating entry points. At the same time it allows for improved scalability by adding the ability to have dedicated front-end servers, reducing downtime for maintenance.
Where Does a Front-end as a Service Fit In?
Mobify’s Front-End as a Service acts as the head of your headless commerce stack. We provide a cloud hosting solution, an integration architecture, and developer tools to build, run, test, and evolve fast, immersive PWA and AMP experiences across mobile, tablet, desktop and native apps – all from a unified codebase.
With 75+ product integrations to different ecommerce, CMS, analytics, and other third party platforms, Mobify’s Front-End as a Service platform drastically reduces the effort, cost and time to market to build a new industry leading front-end, while also shrinking the price tag of maintaining it.
To dig deeper on headless commerce and how to approach your next replatform or redesign, download the Enterprise Guide to Headless Commerce Front-ends.
If you want to learn more about headless commerce, Progressive Web Apps, Mobify’s Front-End as a Service, or just want to briefly consult on your replatform/redesign to make sure you’re taking the right approach, contact us here – we’d love to connect.