4 min read

Headless Commerce Creates A Buying Journey Across All Devices

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Innovation is a key component in commerce and business, but implementing those changes can cause a bit of a headache. Back in the day, eCommerce businesses only needed to create websites for one device: the desktop computer. Fast-forward to our current era, consumers are shopping across all types of devices and channels. Smartphones, tablets, watches, and personal voice assistants can all be used to buy and sell products, which means that your business has many more opportunities to convert customers. Unfortunately, this also means that your eCommerce platform needs to optimize the user experience for every one of these different devices. So, where do businesses fall when their eCommerce platform cannot support these technologies?

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Full-Stack Platforms vs. Headless Platforms

Adapting full-stack commerce platforms for mobile usage is costly and time-consuming, and attempting to keep up with the ever-evolving devices and channels consumers use. Headless commerce solves this dilemma. The concept of headless commerce begins with a separation of the front-end customer-facing interface from the back-end systems. This allows each aspect of the business to work independently while communicating through APIs and provides less IT dependency for any changes made.

For example, your marketing team can make changes on the front end without waiting on the IT team to implement those changes on the back end. Traditional full-stack eCommerce systems make for less-than-ideal content management systems and experiences because, although they manage structured content very effectively (product image, short description, long description, price, etc.), they don’t handle unstructured content quite as well (stories, experiences, blogs, videos, etc.). This unstructured content is what ultimately engages customers and sells products. Headless commerce is the best option for businesses looking to blend content and commerce into a seamless experience for the user. It allows ambitious marketing and sales teams to drive consumer engagement and business instead of being shackled to ideas dictated by the technology available.

"Part Of A Well-Orchestrated Content Strategy Is Making Sure Your Content Works Across Multiple Devices, So You Can Reach Your Customers Whenever And However They Choose To Shop. It’s All About Meeting People Where They Are With What They Need—Forging Connections, Providing Valuable Resources, And Giving Them A Reason To Choose You Over Competitors."

- Melissa Dixon, Director of Content at BigCommerce

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Overall, executing on the promise of a headless commerce system streamlines the divisions of labor and allows each team to focus on their strengths. Marketing and creative teams can be decisive and move quickly on market trends without clogging back-end data and development. These systems allow more cohesion across all mediums and platforms while saving time and manpower. Customer acquisition costs are rising every year, so merchants are looking for content-driven marketing strategies that will get them new customers, for cheap. Over 59% of merchants have stated that improving their digital experience is a priority, and 60% want to begin creating content and publishing it on their channels.

Every point of friction in the buyer’s journey is an opportunity for a customer to get distracted and fall off the site. If a customer’s digital experience is not seamless, it can quickly become an obstacle between a brand’s products, content, and customer conversion. Melissa Dixon, Director of Content at BigCommerce, emphasizes the importance of an omnichannel strategy: “Part of a well-orchestrated content strategy is making sure your content works across multiple devices, so you can reach your customers whenever and however they choose to shop. It’s all about meeting people where they are with what they need—forging connections, providing valuable resources, and giving them a reason to choose you over competitors.”

Fewer than 4% of desktop users convert. It’s a little easier to get conversions through mobile devices, but you must work to keep their attention: 50% of mobile shoppers spend less than 3 minutes on an ecommerce site. With headless commerce, you can choose a front end that lets your marketing team build a coalition of customer touchpoints and personalized recommendations across all devices your customers use.

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The Architecture Of A Headless Platform

A headless commerce architecture is more than just splitting the front and back ends. You need to supply applications that still allow both ends to communicate and run smoothly as an integrated business. The only way this is possible is by using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs make it possible for the back-end commerce functions to communicate necessary information to the front-end systems and vice versa. Companies use APIs to deliver a seamless experience to any screen or platform the brand desires. This can be truly groundbreaking, especially in this evolving market, where customers expect tailored and unique interactions.

On top of the immediate customer benefits, headless commerce also helps with employee onboarding and retention; there is less worry, time, and investment spent in learning and adapting to outdated systems. Headless commerce has many benefits to the world of ecommerce to help companies sell more products across different platforms and devices. Companies no longer need to be apprehensive about future changes since headless commerce is designed to evolve and adapt.

"We've Invested in Integrations With Some Of The Most Widely Used CMS And DXPs Out There, Including WordPress, Bloomreach, Sitecore, Drupal, And Adobe Experience Manager. By Providing A Breadth Of Headless Integrations And Starter Frameworks, Not Only Are We Making It Easier For Teams To Continue Using The Front-End Platforms They’re Already Comfortable With, But We’re Also Removing Hurdles For Businesses That Want To Adopt New And Emerging Front-End Technologies. It's All About Freedom Of Choice."

- Sherri Bohman, Product Marketing Manager at BigCommerce

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BigCommerce Backs Headless Commerce As An Overall Solution For Your Business

BigCommerce is continuing to invest heavily in headless commerce. By providing the necessary API capacity, pre-built integrations, and an open ecosystem, BigCommerce has created a set of capabilities for a merchant to use any front-end environment they want, including custom building and connecting their own. As a result, their users have the freedom to find brand new ways to customize their web experiences. One of their most popular plugins is BigCommerce for WordPress, which lets merchants continue their WordPress content management while matching the eCommerce reliability and scalability of the BigCommerce platform. Sherri Bohman, a Product Marketing Manager at BigCommerce specializing in headless, explains the approach: "We've invested in integrations with some of the most widely used CMS and DXPs out there, including WordPress, Bloomreach, Sitecore, Drupal, and Adobe Experience Manager. By providing a breadth of headless integrations and starter frameworks, we make it easier for teams to continue using the front-end platforms they’re already comfortable with. Still, we’re also removing hurdles for businesses that want to adopt new and emerging front-end technologies. It’s all about freedom of choice."

Implement Headless Commerce For Your Business

BigCommerce merchants who choose to implement headless commerce also have Kensium on their side to do the heavy lifting. Kensium’s expert BigCommerce developers will implement the eCommerce platform while allowing merchants to have complete creative control over the front end. This way, they can focus on content creation and digital experience without worrying about performance issues and stability.

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