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Apr 11, 2023 | 7 minute read

9 Crucial Headless Commerce Trends to Watch In 2023

written by Kirsten Aebersold

The world of commerce is evolving rapidly, and brands need to keep up with the latest technologies and trends to stay ahead of the game. One of the most powerful recent commerce technologies is headless commerce.

Headless commerce is a method of dividing the front-end and back-end aspects of an eCommerce platform. This strategy offers companies greater adaptability and authority over their customers’ online shopping experiences, which is crucial in today's fast-changing digital environment.

In 2023, headless commerce is expected to become a mainstay of eCommerce operations, with more brands than ever adopting it to streamline their operations and boost sales. In this post, we’ll discuss nine headless commerce trends that you need to know to stay ahead of the competition and take commerce to the next level.

The Evolution of Headless Commerce

Headless commerce has changed over time. It started as a way to address the limitations of traditional eCommerce platforms. These platforms were often inflexible and limited in terms of customization, making it difficult for businesses to create unique and engaging shopping experiences for their customers. 

With headless commerce, the front-end and back-end of an eCommerce platform are separated, allowing businesses to customize the presentation layer and integrate with other technologies more easily. 

This approach also enables businesses to provide a more seamless and consistent experience across multiple channels, from desktop to mobile to social media. Headless commerce has quickly gained widespread popularity among brands looking for more flexibility and agility in their eCommerce operations.

According to a study, over $1.65 billion in financing has been obtained for headless commerce in 2020 and 2021 alone. In addition, 80% of businesses that still don’t practice headless commerce plan to implement it in the next two years. In order for your business to stay competitive, it's crucial to be informed of the latest trends in headless commerce and make the most of your headless commerce strategy.

9 Headless Commerce Trends for 2023

As commerce technologies evolve, integrating headless commerce practices has become an important competitive advantage. To ensure your brand reaches its peak potential in 2023, be aware of these nine crucial headless commerce trends: 

1. Mobile-first Strategy

A mobile-first strategy is becoming increasingly important, regardless of your industry, in order to maximize both ease of use for your customers and revenue for your brand. With more and more consumers using their mobile devices to make purchases, it’s crucial for organizations to prioritize mobile commerce when optimizing their overall commerce strategy. 

Headless commerce allows for more flexibility and customization while creating a mobile-first experience, ensuring a strong brand presence and a consistently frictionless user experience. By adopting a mobile-first strategy powered by headless commerce, you can cater to the changing needs and preferences of your customers without sacrificing back-end functionality.

2. Voice Commerce

Voice commerce doesn’t rely on a traditional visual user interface to facilitate shopping. Instead, it uses voice-enabled technology, such as smart speakers or virtual assistants, to let your customers shop at any time that fits their busy schedules. 

Voice commerce eliminates the need for a traditional front-end interface altogether, creating a more seamless and intuitive shopping experience. As voice-enabled technology continues to advance and become more widespread, we can expect to see an increase in the adoption of voice commerce as a headless commerce trend.

3. AI & Machine Learning

AI and machine learning technologies use data and algorithms to predict customer needs and suggest relevant products or services. This results in a personalized shopping experience, boosting conversion rates and increasing personalization for the consumer. 

These technologies can also automate back-end processes like inventory management and order fulfillment. AI and machine learning are quickly becoming foundational elements of both traditional and headless commerce, giving your brand a competitive edge in customer experience management as well as operations.

4. Blockchain Technologies

Blockchain technologies allow for secure and transparent transactions without intermediaries like banks or payment processors. Decentralized data storage and management also ensure that data is less vulnerable to hacking or breaches. 

In this headless commerce trend, blockchain integration can be used for supply chain management, smart contracts, and secure payment processing in both B2B and B2C contexts. This technology offers faster and more efficient transactions across borders and lowers fees, making it increasingly popular as a headless commerce trend for brands of all sizes.

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5. Virtual Reality Shopping

Virtual reality (VR) shopping gives customers a completely immersive and interactive shopping experience. Your customers can explore products in 3D, interact with them, and easily visualize their real-life use, emulating the experience of viewing products in a brick-and-mortar store. 

VR shopping lets eCommerce brands showcase their products in a more engaging way, leading to more confident purchasing decisions and less buyer’s remorse. Also, VR shopping is cost-efficient, eliminating or reducing the need for physical retail space. 

As the popularity of virtual and augmented reality experiences of all kinds grows, VR shopping is becoming increasingly prevalent, offering customers a unique and exciting way to shop.

6. Social Media Integration

Social media integration has become a vital headless commerce trend as customers increasingly use social media to find and buy products. Integrating social media into a headless commerce strategy creates a frictionless and personalized shopping experience that meets consumers where they “live:” on their favorite social media platforms. 

With this headless commerce trend, social media can now be used for more than just colorful posts and ads or for building brand awareness. Instead, customers can now also choose to buy products directly from social media platforms with just a click of a button, a quick comment, or a chat message. 

This simple shopping experience reduces abandoned carts and buyer hesitation, making it simpler than ever to boost both short-term sales and long-term revenue.

7. eCommerce Microservices

Overall eCommerce revenues are expected to reach $7.5 trillion by 2025. To keep up, brands and retailers are seeking new systems to stand out from the crowd. Microservices are among the top choices for large brands like Amazon, Netflix, and Etsy, and could have major benefits for your organization, too.
Microservices are an effective solution for eCommerce challenges like traffic peaks and risk-free testing of new trends and technologies. They also play well with headless commerce setups and facilitate the building of complex omnichannel systems. These advantages allow for testing the latest payment methods, voice assistants, and progressive web apps without taking significant risks.

8. Omnichannel Presence

Customers today expect a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels, including online, mobile, social media, and physical stores. Headless commerce enables retailers to decouple the front-end presentation layer from the back-end commerce platform, allowing them to deliver a consistent and robust user experience across all of these channels. This means that customers can start a transaction on one channel and complete it on another quickly, painlessly, with a consistent brand experience each time. 

Moreover, retailers can leverage data analytics and AI to personalize the shopping experience for each customer based on their preferences, behavior, and context. By adopting an omnichannel presence, in addition to other key headless commerce trends like these, organizations can not only increase customer satisfaction and brand awareness but also drive revenue growth and competitive differentiation.

9. Adoption of API-Driven Platforms

API-driven platforms provide developers with the infrastructure needed to integrate new applications and services. APIs allow your business to create a flexible architecture that can deftly adapt to changing customer demands and market conditions, leading to innovative and engaging digital experiences for customers. 

This flexibility goes hand-in-hand with headless commerce’s premise of customizability. As the adoption of APIs continues to surge, so too does headless commerce integration become more prevalent. Leveraging both together is a great way to multiply and optimize the operational ease and streamlined user experience you would gain from either one or the other, creating benefits that only become more apparent with time. 

Choosing the Best Headless Commerce Solution with Elastic Path

The commerce industry is crowded with technologies that claim to offer a myriad of benefits with a simple setup. Deciding what technology—and which providers—to trust is far from easy. 

Not sure what your business needs to stay competitive in a landscape that is tilting toward headless commerce? No problem—our experts can help you select the tools you need. Get in touch with us today to take your commerce capabilities to the next level.