Everyone knows you need a functional, attractive website to succeed with your business online. The problem is, every business has that now, so the playing field is even.
If you want to set yourself apart, you have to not only achieve a great website, but you have to get creative in maintaining your online presence with memorable user experiences free of the disruptions that often accompany traditional eCommerce software development lifecycles.
The answer? Headless commerce.
What Is Headless Commerce?
Headless commerce is an eCommerce architecture that decouples the front end from the back-end functionality for seamless, nondisruptive editing and updates.
Most websites and apps rely on content management system (CMS) solutions for back-end development to create, manage, and customize content across multiple pages simply and quickly.
What Is Headless eCommerce Architecture?Discover the benefits and implementation of headless eCommerce architecture for small business. Learn how a decoupled system can improve scalability, performance, and personalization while giving more flexibility to small business owners.
The problem is that CMS solutions can be clumsy and may require additional maintenance work if you want to make more significant changes to your site, especially on a site-wide level. That’s where headless commerce can be an asset.
A headless commerce approach removes the traditional front-end from the equation – essentially disconnecting the storefront from the functional part of the CMS. The presentation of your website is no longer tied to the back-end data and merchant experience, you’re not limited when you want to make sweeping changes without disrupting the user experience.
How To Execute A Headless Commerce Strategy
Headless commerce requires a lot of planning and strategy to incorporate the customer-first experience and keep the customer journey at the forefront of each stage.
Design An API-First Approach
An API-first approach provides seamless integration between the front-end and back-end systems to ensure flexibility and scalability. Your APIs are future proof, essentially.
Three Reasons Why You Should Care About APIsAsk a developer “What is an API?” and they’ll tell you that it stands for Application Programming Interface. They might go on to explain that APIs are basically a way to get two unrelated services to work together. That may be very interesting but
Other ways an API-first approach benefits you include:
- Building an intuitive user interface and experience
- Integrating your front and back-end systems faster
- Streamlining customer data collection and storage
- Enabling users to access content seamlessly across multiple devices
When you’re designing APIs, it’s important to stay consistent. As your headless commerce solution evolves, your API will need to change and adapt along with it.
Build Around A Microservices Architecture
A microservices architecture is necessary to implement a successful headless commerce strategy and break down the application into independent, manageable services that can communicate with each other using APIs.
There are several benefits for using microservices for headless commerce, including:
- Flexibility to modify or replace individual components without affecting the entire system
- Faster time-to-market with small, focused teams that can work on individual microservices for rapid development and deployment
- Independent microservices that can be scaled independently for the efficient allocation of resources
- System resilience – if one microservice fails, it doesn’t mean the rest will
- Technological agnosticism that allows microservices to be developed independently using different programming languages and technologies as needed
Prioritize Personalization And UX Design
Personalized experiences are among the biggest trends in customer service. With personalization, customers feel seen, valued, and appreciated, leading to better loyalty, more conversions, and higher revenue through relevant products and content.
You need data to personalize the experience, however. To provide meaningful experiences, you must understand your target audience and their customer profiles, browsing history, buying trends, and more, so you can deliver the content they truly want – not what you think they want.
Implement A Performance Tracking System
Using a performance-tracking system is a key part of executing a successful headless commerce strategy. This is necessary to track metrics and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and understand how your content, design, and user experience efforts are performing.
When you’re consistently measuring and analyzing your data, you can make better and more informed decisions that improve the customer experience, drive growth, and ensure success with your headless commerce strategy.
You should have a comprehensive analytics tool in place, such as Google Analytics, that tracks metrics for you based on your goals. Pay attention to a range of metrics to get a comprehensive view, such as page views, bounce rates, sessions, unique visitors, and more.
You should also consider behavioral analytics, such as heatmaps, user feedback surveys, and session recordings that highlight key details about your user’s pain points preferences, goals, and desires.
Once you have this data, compare it to industry benchmarks to see how you’re performing. Over time, you’ll gain enough data that you can compare your performance to previous KPIs to see if you’re improving or not. Make sure to evaluate your data and monitor progress regularly to stay on track.
Create Memorable Experiences With Headless Commerce
It takes work and planning for a successful headless commerce strategy, but it’s well worth the payoff. Relying on innovative approaches like API-first, microservices architecture, personalization, and UX design – combined with diligent monitoring and analysis, you can create truly meaningful experiences that earn loyalty and drive conversions.