Headless Commerce Platforms: 3 Key Benefits

Lately, businesses running their online stores powered by traditional or legacy eCommerce platforms are finding it more and more difficult to meet customer expectations. And many of these businesses are wondering why it’s becoming such a challenge. Turns out, most consumers have decided they want more control over how and when they purchase what they purchase across multiple channels. And businesses are faced with the challenge of keeping current across multiple fronts - branding, messaging, features and product merchandising.

Unfortunately, if you have a legacy system powering your eCommerce storefront you’re most likely missing out with customers. Using an older legacy system, you may very likely be unable to provide your customers with the control they want over their purchasing experience. You just don't have the capabilities to stay competitive.

Enter Headless Commerce

What is headless commerce? Simply put, The key difference between headless commerce and traditional online stores is that the front end (or the “head”), which is the presentation layer that your customer sees when they’re interacting with your store, has been decoupled from the backend data and systems (that the customer never sees).

So what does that mean for businesses trying to stay in the game? In short, with a headless commerce platform, you’re in control. Using a headless commerce system allows businesses to update their customer-facing store much easier than when using a legacy system. Meaning no back-end coding or system updates. In the same way, they can update their back-end without disrupting their front-end customer experience. 

In headless architecture, you’re basically separating the business logic layer from the content presentation layer. In other words, there’s a separation between what your customers see and what you see.  

Here’s another way of looking at it. With a typical legacy system, your developers are forced to ask themselves, “What will this system allow us to do?” With a headless commerce platform, your developers and designers can ask “What do we want this system to do?”

The 3 Key Benefits to Headless Commerce

So what’s the big deal about back-end and front-end separation? Let’s break it down into three key points. Headless commerce means:

1. More Customization: When we think of customization options and flexibility for the front-end and user interface, the idea that marketing and design teams can create exactly what they want is important. But it’s not everything. Businesses moving to headless commerce now also have the ability to layer additional services into the system. 

Customization means more choice. For example, as you move forward with your new system, you now have more freedom to select other service options (enhance search capabilities, customer analytics engines, loyalty programs, etc.) and easily connect them to the platform. It’s now much easier to enhance your technology while reducing the number of core eCommerce platform upgrades. This in turn makes innovation easier, faster, and more efficient. With headless commerce, the capability and framework to connect other services are now available to you:

  • Business platforms (ERP, PIM, etc.)
  • Marketing services (email, CRM, etc.)
  • Front end tools and experience services

2. Better Speed: Now when we say ‘better speed’ we mean it in two ways. Yes, a headless commerce platform will run faster than a legacy platform, but you can also build and customize this type of platform more quickly. Better site speed, built faster.

A larger legacy platform comes with its own way of operating. And with your original platform, you’ve probably spent a considerable amount of time undoing some of the core processes of that platform in order to make it work with your business. Once that was done, you probably had to figure out how to connect that platform to the rest of your business. Only then could you try to connect additional services. You would have ended up with a disjointed and hacked-together storefront that’s neither optimized for speed or optimized with integrations.

As we mentioned above, while working with a legacy platform your team has probably been working under the idea of ‘what will this system allow us to do?’ With headless commerce, your team will spend much less time hacking a system in order to make it work the way you want it to. A headless commerce system offers:

  • Easier development
  • Layout and UI compromises
  • Better site performance
  • Less bloat to the front-end

3. Space for Experimentation: In business, we expect that the marketing team wants to experiment. They want to test copy, features, banner ads, and store behavior all in an attempt to improve conversion rates and boost sales. While legacy systems may make that difficult, a headless commerce platform without limitations on the front end due to restrictive languages, template structure, or API limitations makes both testing and experimentation possible.

4. With the ability to experiment and adjust marketing activities, you now set your business up to provide better customer experiences, meeting their rapidly changing demands, and basically future proof your digital strategy.

Other Things to Consider

Now you know three key benefits to a headless commerce platform. Let’s throw out just a few more for you to consider. A headless platform will also offer:

  • A better customer experience: Because you now have easily accessible consumer data through the API, you can use it to improve and personalize your customers’ experiences or integrate with a personalization engine.
  • Higher conversion rates and lower acquisition costs: A headless commerce system allows businesses to better use content to boost acquisitions. 
  • Better employee/developer adoption: Because of the standardized methodology for working with a headless commerce platform, reduced backend (server and infrastructure requirements), developers are able to get up to speed with utilizing the technology faster than they would with a legacy system. Secondly, because developers can leverage their existing toolsets and fit an eCommerce platform service into that toolset, they will be working with the tools that they’re already familiar with. 

Let Slatwall’s Headless Commerce Solution Power Better Storefronts

Because headless commerce platforms are engineered differently and built with a different mindset, they offer both you and your customers flexibility and choice. Headless platforms are designed to enable commerce decisions and not inhibit them. If your business is ready to make the move to a headless commerce platform, we can help.

To learn more about how Slatwall’s Headless Commerce Solution can help you continue to grow Contact us.

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