February 15th, 2022 | 5 MIN READ

8 Reasons to Consider Headless Commerce

Written by Elastic Path Team

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Consumers today demand full control over when and how they purchase. The days of just either going into a store or going onto a website via a desktop computer to make a purchase are long gone. People want to buy on the go - via their laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and through voice-controlled devices.

Headless commerce makes this consumer demand a reality for your eCommerce business. Separating the frontend from the backend allows you to decouple development and solely focus on customer interaction, without worrying about the impact on critical backend systems.

The idea behind the headless approach is that you can add or swap out a head seamlessly without needing to change any of the logic that backs it up. This is almost impossible to do with traditional, monolithic platforms where the frontend and backend are heavily tied together and are designed to serve a single channel.

So What Are the Benefits of a Headless Commerce Solution? Consider These Top 8 Points:

1. Headless Commerce Lets You Move Fast

As your backend and frontend are no longer so tightly connected, and you only must worry about updating the frontend, you’re able to make rapid changes and innovate quickly without impacting the eCommerce logic. This means as soon as consumer technology changes, you can keep up with demand and release new transactional touchpoints quickly without having to redeploy your entire eCommerce platform.

The learning curve is much lower with APIs; meaning your developers, no matter their experience level, are empowered to make a difference to your eCommerce strategy.

2. Headless Commerce Allows for More Customization and Personalization

Many monolithic platforms restrict you to templates and themes for the frontend. If you want to have a custom experience which includes your own brand’s unique look and feel, a headless solution makes it much easier to build those creative visions of your designer without finding yourself hitting restrictions.

3. Headless Commerce Lets Your Developer Use Any Programming Language or Framework

Unlike some traditional eCommerce platforms who impose a specific programming language, headless commerce allows your developer to build using any language or framework with which they are most familiar. This cuts down the learning curve to picking up and using a headless solution and empowers your developers to be more confident in their ability to build exactly what you envision for your eCommerce experience.

4. Headless Commerce Can Be Cheaper

Headless solutions may be cheaper to run on scale that traditional platforms because each microservice scales to meet demand. For example, during a flash sale where you may see traffic spikes, your carts and payment systems would scale independently to meet the demand, and then scale back down during quieter periods.

 

Ready to Get Started with Headless Commerce?

Discover the steps for getting started, how to implement your front-end, considerations for choosing the right platform and more with our full guide.

Read the Guide

5. Headless Commerce Lets You Integrate With Any Tools

Being able to seamlessly tailor your architecture to meet your own business circumstances is often the key to a successful eCommerce strategy.

Introducing the headless approach allows you to choose best-of-breed tools for different parts of your eCommerce project, easily glue them together, and orchestrate them in a way where they work seamlessly.

Having separate tools for different parts of your overall architecture makes it easier in future to swap parts out and replace with more modern versions without having to make changes to your full eCommerce stack.

6. Headless Commerce Makes Optimization Easier

With legacy, monolithic platforms, it can often take weeks or even months to be able to make updates and changes to your eCommerce store, meaning the ability to easily react to changes in the consumer technology landscape is limited. Consumer behavior moves fast, and if you can’t keep up with what they want, your eCommerce business may suffer.

Testing and optimizing your experience is key to winning customers. Amazon and Netflix are two prime examples of companies constantly iterating on their user experience to see what works for their market, and you should be able to do the same for your business. Headless commerce makes it easy to deploy changes; you can run multiple tests at once and optimize based on these as quickly as you like to constantly improve your commerce experiences.

7. Headless Commerce Lets You Add Transactional Functionality to Existing User Interfaces

If you already have a content site for your products but it’s not yet transactional, headless commerce allows for the separate user interface layer to plug and play into the commerce backend logic - without disrupting your overall tech stack.

8. Headless Commerce Can Help Improve Website Performance

Due to the separation of front and backend architecture, headless commerce solutions tend to work faster, be more responsive and easier to maintain or update. 

Is Headless Commerce Right for Me?

If any of the above reasons are on your eCommerce strategy wish list, then a move to a headless commerce architecture is probably right for you. In addition to choosing between a headless and non-headless solution, there are also other tradeoffs to consider when switching from your current platform. We've provided a detailed guide that comprises of all other major considerations that should be considered in our eCommerce Buyer’s Guide.

However, the headless commerce approach isn’t the right one for everyone. If you’re looking for an all-in-one generic solution where you get everything you need for an eCommerce store in one box, or you need to run your data and store it on your own internal servers, then a more traditional platform might still be a good choice for you.

It all comes down to what your individual and business needs are and what your long-term eCommerce vision looks like.  

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