The eCommerce world is evolving, and this evolution is taking place beyond the debate that normally takes place around self-hosted versus cloud-hosted platforms. Today we're seeing a shift in solutions from traditional eCommerce to headless commerce solutions that offer the flexibility that stores need.
Legacy eCommerce platforms have faced difficulties with the rise of multichannel selling, the Internet of Things (IoT) and pressive web apps. Consumers are able to access stores in new and exciting ways, and this is where headless commerce is really starting to shine.
What is Headless Commerce?
Traditional eCommerce connects ecommerce functionality with the presentation layer of a website. When coupled together, the site's owner has less flexibility and is forced to use both layers together.
But when technology advances, this coupling becomes a major problem.
Since the two are so closely tied together, it makes it more difficult to offer a solution that supports the versatility that today's merchants demand.
Headless commerce decouples the store's business functionality and presentation layers. This allows the owner to use the digital experience platform, coding languages, third-party sales platforms and content management systems that they choose. The eCommerce solution, meanwhile, remains deployed as a distinct backend to handle of the store's business functionality across an array of different platforms.
Merchants, developers, site managers and marketers can then integrate any number of consumer-facing channels to the same commerce backend, using APIs, secure webhooks, plugins and the like.
Decoupling accomplishes a few things:
Headless commerce is the natural step forward for many companies, because it removes constraints that traditional platforms imposed.
Why Headless Commerce is Overtaking Traditional eCommerce
Flexibility and ease of adaptation are key in the digital world. If a new technology needs to be deployed, it's easier when the presentation layer is separate from the ecommerce functionality.
Store owners realize the importance of being 100% flexible, and the headless commerce solution does this by offering:
No design constraints
Unique experiences for admins and users
Relatively risk-free experimentation
Designers can create frontend layers as they like, either using a platform or coded from scratch, and this presentation can be adapted at any time. Users are able to enjoy an experience that is completely different from other websites which have pre-defined experiences.
Customization and personalization have always been available, but it takes a massive development undertaking to personalize some of the traditional platforms. And when customized, platforms are often so constrained that they do not offer long-term solutions.
Headless ecommerce allows for full control over the user and admin experiences.
When a new technology is developed, it's much easier for the developer to accommodate the platform with a headless ecommerce solution. The days of traditional ecommerce platforms are slowly fading away, because while the solution worked well when the internet was in its infancy, today's online shopping and digital content consumption experiences have become too varied.
When a new store is being created, headless solutions will allow for speed to market to be improved, too. If you're running WordPress, a custom CMS or different solution, a headless approach will allow you to continue using your CMS without needing to re-platform.
It's a Headless World
As the internet and technology have evolved, the demand for a CMS or web store to be radically and rapidly customizable has grown. Headless commerce makes the transition to any new platform or device easier, faster and most cost-effective.