What is headless commerce and how it can benefit your business?

By Alan Wyley, Chief Commercial Officer at Luzern

One of the most discussed terms in eCommerce phraseology, yet often misunderstood is “headless commerce” which describes the eCommerce model that separates the presentation layer (frond-end) from the platform’s underlying technology (back-end).

Unlike traditional eCommerce, in which the front-end must communicate with the back-end to retrieve information, headless commerce relies on the front-end application programming interface (API) to retrieve information requested by the end user. Simply put, the front-end is what the customer interacts with to make purchases, and the back-end is what facilitates sales. Not a new concept, it allows brands to completely change the way they present content and products, and more importantly deliver the shopping experience customers desire.

Consumer expectations continue to rise

Online shoppers are increasingly becoming less tolerant of lengthy purchasing journeys and delayed shipping times. Today’s shoppers are ‘channel-agnostic’ and expect a frictionless customer experience; one that allows them to interact and make purchases at any touchpoint and receive a seamless experience. With little patience for inconsistent or fragmented shopping, they want and are demanding a flawless experience that allows them to complete transactions as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

Resulting from the continuing rise of mobility, giving access to global shopping literally in the palm of your hand, coupled with increasing shopper expectations, brands need to become an integral part of their customers’ personal channels. And doing this requires them to engage with customers on a more individual level and meet them on their preferred channel – seamlessly and consistently.

By delivering the engaging customer shopping experiences that headless commerce enables, brands can stay a step ahead of customer expectations, as well as the competition.

Benefits of going headless

While improving the customer shopping experience is a key benefit, there are other advantages of going headless. The following lists the benefits you can expect to receive, beginning with those that impact your customers and prospects.

A headless commerce solution allows you to:

  1. Deliver personalised experiences: Taylor experiences by use case and channel to deliver more customised shopping experiences.
  2. Quickly respond to new consumer technology: As consumer technology changes, stay connected to your target audience by quickly releasing new transaction touchpoints.
  3. Respond to traffic spikes cost effectively: Since each microservice scales to meet demands, headless commerce enables you to run on scale, allowing you to reduce costs associated with traffic spikes.
  4. Make changes quickly: Introduce new content or make updates to the front-end and have them reflected almost instantaneously.

Advances in technology continue to affect a shopper’s expectations of the steps and complexity of the customer shopping journey – searching, reviewing, buying, and receiving the product. With more traditional eCommerce platforms, brands are constrained to the front-end design and locked into the processes of the monolithic solutions. Since headless eCommerce platforms don’t control the front-end design, organisations have the flexibility and agility to create and control the end user shopping experience – positioning them to drive brand loyalty and gain a competitive edge.

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