The world of ecommerce has hit a wall. Perhaps more accurately, they’ve run into the limits of older solutions from ATG, Hybris, Magento, Shopify and even Salesforce. While online shopping is more prevalent than ever, traditional eCommerce offerings just aren’t keeping pace. Forward-thinking marketers are looking for a better way to deliver improved customer experience across all touchpoints. Enter headless eCommerce: the powerful platform that’s helping businesses grow and become future-proof.
What Is Headless Technology?
Headless technology decouples the front-end experience from backend data and functionality. Accenture, which calls headless architecture “the new normal,” describes the technology as:
“wrapping all the business logic and functionalities in a set of APIs, which are powered by the specialized backends and make them available so that any front-end channel can hook into these APIs and provide the customer experience desired for that channel.”
Choosing headless technology puts more power in the user’s hands. By separating the front-end user experience from the back-end data, it allows the developers to use the API platform to deliver its best features to any user experience without any disruptions to the back-end data. It allows them to select from best-of-breed platforms for specific functions, including eCommerce, CMS, media management, and so forth. While headless technology is positioned to shake up the tech space as a whole, it’s especially promising in the eCommerce arena. We’re predicting that it will bring eCommerce as we know it to an end. But, the leaders who are truly invested in game-changing results take an API-first approach. Here’s why that matters.
The Difference of an API-First Approach
Just as a quick refresher, API stands for “application programming interface.” Simply put, it’s a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate. Headless eCommerce only requires APIs to communicate between the back-end and front-end of the platform, unlike traditional eCommerce platforms that intertwine the front- and back-end data and provide little flexibility. Headless architecture offers the following benefits for eCommerce:
- Lower cost
- Quicker time to value
- Easier to implement, use, and maintain
- Lower total cost of ownership
- Faster consumer experience (up to 2x-4x faster than Amazon)
- Little to no need for coding
- WYSIWYG — “what you see is what you get,” meaning the display process exactly reflects what consumers will see
- No need to run a parallel site or temporarily go offline; simply roll off live updates
While all of these benefits make a compelling case for headless eCommerce, they’re only fully realized with an API-first approach. Unfortunately, not all headless eCommerce platforms are designed with an API-first focus in mind. Those that don’t offer the integration capabilities of an API-first system lead to a clunky, inconvenient user experience—the exact opposite of what users are trying to achieve by going headless in the first place. For rapidly-growing brands, the only way to leverage the value of headless eCommerce is to take an API-first approach that offers the customizable features and streamlined development options they need to scale.
For more than two decades, The Rosenstein Group has been at the forefront of the eCommerce evolution. We match outstanding talent with formative technology enterprises. Get in touch by sending us a message or uploading your resume.