Headless at Dreamforce 2019: Forging a Trail to Digital Experience Excellence

Click here for a video recap of Igor’s session at Dreamforce, beginning at 24:30.

There’s a lot to be excited about at this year’s Dreamforce November 19-22 in San Francisco. For me, Salesforce’s expansion of AppExchange into commerce is right up there with the recent news that the Salesforce ecosystem is on track to become nearly six times larger than Salesforce itself by 2024. Amazing!

As part of Salesforce’s CommerceCloud Partner Advisory Board, and with Mobify recognized as a leading CommerceCloud ISV and one of the first commerce solutions to be live on AppExchange, I’ve been asked to speak about trends in headless commerce. I’ll be specifically sharing some of our best practices for integration into Salesforce Commerce Cloud and addressing how we’re using Salesforce B2C tools to help our customers harness the power of a headless front-end platform to drive digital excellence.

Stop Undifferentiated Heavy Lifting

What’s so important about the front-end? We all know that for commerce businesses, it’s all about making digital experiences that work for their customers. Highly engaged customers buy more often, spend more per purchase, and have far greater annual value than the average customer. In both B2C and, increasingly, B2B, headless architectures are becoming the norm as businesses seek differentiated front-end digital experiences using decoupled components that scale and allow them to quickly innovate with changing market demands.

As customers abandon their monolithic approaches in favor of API-connected solutions, it’s super important to stay focused on solving problems. Teams need to spend their time on digital experiences that add business value, not on building foundational elements like setting up a hosting environment and the DevOps surrounding it, not to mention deploying and scaling across smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers in a repeatable manner. That’s why we’re here as a front-end platform — as Amazon’s Werner Vogels pointedly put it back in 2013, to help our customers stop spending money on “undifferentiated heavy lifting.”

That’s our focus, too: eliminate the heavy lifting on the front-end that’s currently causing problems for commerce. With a front-end platform for headless, businesses have the development tools, release management, and cloud delivery of customer experience for any website and native app on any digital screen. This is huge, particularly for retailers and especially for those with multiple brands. With the front-end platform in place, they have tested building blocks to create front-end experiences from the same codebase, already integrated with ecommerce and content management systems. A front-end platform as a service can be thought of as the cloud-based launchpad for modern digital front-end experiences. If you want your complete focus to be on the digital experience, the front-end platform is a vitally important layer in a headless commerce architecture.

The API Economy – Working Together

Mobify has been circling the globe recently, working together with others who are enthusiastic about the growing ecosystem of partners leveraging APIs for headless. We’re already witnessing many customer-centric brands selecting a modern, API-centric digital architecture by combining three to five different providers to build the full commerce experience. The digital experiences we are collectively bringing to life as the industry rallies around headless is truly a trailblazer’s path to digital customer experience excellence.

The growth of the API economy will be a key theme at Dreamforce this year, with many experts in the field in attendance, including Matt McLarty, whose key takeaway from recent travels and customer visits was that “after ten years of prophecies, preaching, and product launches, the API economy has crossed the chasm. And it’s happening worldwide.” Matt will be presenting an introduction at API strategy at Dreamforce.

The Dreamforce website at www.dreamforce.com has tons of info on all the sessions, including the ones I’ll be participating in. I hope to meet you there!

  • “Tell a Broader Commerce Story with B2C Commerce Integrations,” Wed., Nov. 20, 11:00 – 11:40 a.m. at Park Central, Stanford. I’ll be Joining Jonah Rudman, Salesforce Commerce Cloud Technology Partnerships and Ramasree Pitla, Senior LINK Tech Engineer, Salesforce, for this technically-focused session. It’s for anyone interested in best practices for developing an integration into Salesforce B2C Commerce.
  • “New B2C Developer Tools in Action: Hear From Leading Commerce ISVs,” Fri., Nov. 22, 10:00-10:40 a.m. Moscone West, Room 2007. With Amplience General Manager Rory Dennis and Salesforce Director, Product Management Andrew Lawrence and Eric Lessard, Senior Product Marketing Manager, this session focuses on the latest in the B2C developer toolbox and how leading commerce ISVs are building new apps more efficiently, with higher performance, and more scale than ever before.

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