Headless Commerce

Imagine a Commerce Experience and See it Come to Life with Headless eCommerce Platforms by Elastic Path

What is Headless Commerce?

Headless commerce describes the decoupling of the customer facing front end of your eCommerce experience, from the commerce functions and business logic in the backend system that powers your business. At the center of this decoupled architecture lies headless commerce APIs. These enable developers to deliver customer experiences to any screen or customer experience platform they desire.  The headless commerce architecture is represented below.

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What Are the Benefits of Headless Commerce to Your Team?

Headless Commerce provides a variety of benefits across various departments within your business. Explore the benefits of each role below.

Director of eCommerce

 

 

headless commerce for director of ecommerce

Director of eCommerce

 

Create and offer seamless omnichannel shopping for better customer experiences

As a Director of digital, it is imperative that you are able to move fast in order to outpace the competition. By deploying a Headless Commerce architecture you will be able to easily launch new products lines, brands, and new touchpoints using one single solution.

 

eCommerce Merchandizer or Marketer

 

 

headless commerce for eCommerce marketer

eCommerce Merchandizer or Marketer

 

Design content rich experiences to cater to each customer’s personal needs

As an eCommerce Merchandizer or Marketer, you are committed to keeping your audience engaged with new content and features. By deploying a Headless Commerce architecture, you are granted with the flexibility to seamlessly personalize your shopper experiences with content rich pages and AI powered search and merchandizing that keep your customers coming back.

 

IT Executive

 

 

headless commerce for director of ecommerce

eCommerce Merchandizer or Marketer

 

Design content rich experiences to cater to each customer’s personal needs

As an eCommerce Merchandizer or Marketer, you are committed to keeping your audience engaged with new content and features. By deploying a Headless Commerce architecture, you are granted with the flexibility to seamlessly personalize your shopper experiences with content rich pages and AI powered search and merchandizing that keep your customers coming back.

 

Developer

 

 

headless commerce for Developer

Developer 

 

Reduce technical debt for your development team

As a Developer you'll ideally want to support the technical needs of your business as frictionless as possible. By working with a Headless Commerce Architecture, you'll be granted the freedom make as many changes to the backend as needed without ever interrupting the frontend. This will allow you to continuously innovate and spend less time on development, updates and maintenance. 

 

Developer

 

 

headless commerce for Developer

Developer 

 

Reduce technical debt for your development team

As a Developer you'll ideally want to support the technical needs of your business as frictionless as possible. By working with a Headless Commerce Architecture, you'll be granted the freedom make as many changes to the backend as needed without ever interrupting the frontend. This will allow you to continuously innovate and spend less time on development, updates and maintenance. 

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What does it mean to be truly Headless?

Explore the difference between Retrofitted Headless and Headless Microservices →

 

Choosing the Right Headless eCommerce Platform

If you have decided that traditional commerce platforms no longer satisfy your business requirements and would like to migrate to a headless solution, it is important to pick the right headless solution for your business. Given the popularity of the “headless” approach for the flexibility it offers, it’s worth noting that some traditional eCommerce vendors offer a version of headless that we identify as “Retrofitted Headless Solutions.” This should not be confused with truly headless microservices solutions.

Retrofitted headless solutions were designed to fix the problem of the coupled architecture in traditional platforms. To address the issue, they have modified their platform to remove (rip) the frontend experience from the already established platform. This is demonstrated in architecture diagram below labelled “Traditional Retrofitted for Headless.”

This change created design freedom and has provided the flexibility to developers to customize their user interface (UI) experiences. However, teams will still lack the freedom to change the rigid business processes of the platform.

A headless microservices solution was designed to be headless from the ground up and therefore is not attached to a rigid platform in the back end, but rather connected to a web of independent componentized services by APIs. This demonstrated in the architecture diagram labelled “Headless Microservices.”

It is only with a truly headless commerce solution that teams will be able to unlock both design freedom and business process freedom. Elastic Path solutions allows users to customize and deploy differentiated commerce experiences. There are two main solutions provided: the Commerce platform and Commerce Cloud platform. Feel free to get in touch with one of our experts if you have any questions or would like a demo of how we can transform your eCommerce website.

headless_ecommerce_microservices_explained

 

 

Why Should You Care About Headless Commerce?

 

Flexibility

It fosters flexibility to allow the front and the back end to work independently at their own pace and create new user experiences without risking old ones.

Accelerated Innovation

You achieve accelerated innovation to experiment with new ideas and touch points to keep up with customer expectations without disrupting the IT teams that handle the back end.

Personalized Customer Experience

It uses customer data, such as past purchases, to enable personalized customer experiences. These include promotions, offers, and browsing capabilities that are relevant to each customer.

Unified Commerce Experience

It allows a business to power all customer touchpoints in a single platform. Headless eCommerce also enables users to create a unified commerce experience that allows customers to begin a purchase journey at one point and seamlessly finish it on another.

Legacy enterprise-grade eCommerce platforms weren’t built for the way we purchase today. Be it B2B, B2C, the business model doesn’t matter. We’re all consumers and none of us categorize purchase experiences into various business models when we adjust our expectations. We carry those same expectations across every interaction we have when buying goods and services from anyone, anywhere.

We as consumers prioritize convenience first, experience second. We want to purchase anywhere, anytime, sometimes with little thought if any at all. The proliferation of customer touchpoints has made this a reality but, monolithic eCommerce solutions are still keeping organizations from realizing it.

This is why, as the pioneer of headless commerce, we created this market. We knew if we fundamentally redefined the commerce platform, we could offer what we knew organizations would need.

If you want to take a deeper dive into headless commerce, check out our FAQ section here.

 

Headless Commerce FAQs

 

 

How to Get Started With Headless Commerce

 

Headless Commerce not only provides a wide variety of benefits to your customers, but it also positively impacts the day-to-day lives of your employees across all departments of your business.

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Still sifting through a plethora of information to try and decide if Headless Commerce is right for your business? Use our quick Headless Commerce checklist, to help you cut your evaluation process in half.

By adopting a Headless Commerce approach, your architecture will drastically change to allow for more freedom and customization on both the frontend and backend of your eCommerce solution. Learn more about the new options you have and how to choose the right degree of customizations for your business.

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headless_ecommerce_front_end_examples

The frontend you choose will directly impact the level of control your eCommerce team has to create a unique shopping experience. Understand whether a Frontend-as-a-Service (FEaaS), a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) or a custom-built frontend option will be right for your business.

All Headless Architectures are NOT the same and so it’s important to get a better feeling of which one will be right for you. Understand the different type of Headless Commerce solutions and get examples of the vendors that will align most closely with your business.

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How to get started with Headless Commerce?

Explore the 3 options to get started here →

 

What Are Some Challenges of Headless Commerce?

 

1. Development Resources Needed

  • A Headless Commerce architecture requires the frontend presentation layer and backend functionality layer to be separated. As such you will need to hire additional resources to customize and manage each layer according to your business requirements. So rather than working with your all-in-one platform’s support team, you will mostly likely have to hire both frontend and backend developers if you don’t already have those resources in-house.

2. Orchestration of Your Solution

  • Instead of having your platform provide you with a pre-built, all-in-one solution for your business, your teams will have to design and configure your solution from scratch. Therefore, it will take more time and budget resources upfront to customize your unique solution.
     
A Guide to Headless Commerce and the Future of Customer Experience

Break Free from the All-in-One Platform

This whitepaper addresses:

  • The most common questions about headless commerce platforms
  • Why not all headless eCommerce platforms are created equal
  • How specifically it addresses the most common business challenges organizations are facing today
  • And how to determine if a headless, API-first commerce is right for you and your team
Read the whitepaper
Ready to go Headless? Check out our Buyer's Guide

If you've made the decision to go Headless, you've made a great choice. Headless Commerce comes with a great deal of benefits, and it is only fitting that you find the right vendor to guide you through the process. Our comprehensive buyer's guide is the ideal resource to help you understand how to go about choosing your Headless Commerce vendor. Read on to learn more.

 

Go to Buyer's Guide

Want to See Elastic Path Commerce in Action?

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is to see for yourself with a headless commerce demo.

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