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Businesses need to continuously adapt to suit the needs and buying habits of their customers.
It will come as no surprise, then, that they are always on the lookout for the latest technologies, advice and other potential improvements that will help them automate processes and eventually generate more sales.
One of the technology approaches that is growing in popularity is headless commerce. Unlike traditional commerce setups, headless commerce offers immense flexibility, encourages employees to create valuable content, and delights clients and search engines thanks to better page load speeds when properly set up.
Let’s discuss in more detail what headless commerce architecture is, and how it can specifically benefit dynamic ecommerce businesses.
What is headless commerce architecture? The basics
A headless commerce architecture consists of separating the frontend (what website visitors interact with) from the ecommerce backend (for example, Shopify). By decoupling the frontend from the backend, an ecommerce is able to pick the best tools for each purpose, instead of relying on the platform’s plugins and have vendor lock-in.
This architecture provides flexibility, meaning businesses can adapt the website design to their brand, instead of relying on out-of-the-box themes. It also allows companies to integrate their storefronts with the best SaaS,build custom features like store locators, and reach peak performance that hopefully meets users’ growing expectations.
A headless commerce setup is usually handled by an agency that offers headless commerce web development, making it even easier for businesses to adapt to this architecture.
The traditional commerce setup, on the other hand, generates the user interface, creating multiple limitations with regards to the benefits listed above
5 benefits of headless commerce
As mentioned, headless commerce comes with multiple advantages. Below, we explore the main five benefits in more detail:
Best CMS experience
Instead of relying on the CMS offered by the commerce platform, which is often rigid and not built with best practices in mind, businesses can integrate with the leading Content Management System. This helps keep content up to date, manage the layout of the pages, and link to products on-page from blog posts and landing pages.
Pick the best tools for every job
To operate an ecommerce, dozens of SaaS products and integrations are now required to keep ahead of the curve in this increasingly competitive market.
From analytics and automated translation to store finders, A/B testing and abandoned cart, there’s a lot to keep in mind. But, instead of relying on the plugin limitations of a commerce platform, businesses can now connect with 3rd party tools with APIs, and have a custom tech stack completely tailored to their ecommerce.
A design based entirely on your brand guidelines
Instead of relying on themes that competitors use, with headless commerce you have full control of how the interface looks, and can decide on the animations, colors, typography, composition, and dozens of other elements.
This makes your online store unique, and your users are more likely to remember your brand and feel the need to interact with it.
Launch in other geographies quick
With a proper localization setup, it is possible to easily launch in other markets directly from the CMS. Internationalization doesn’t need to be painful. With headless commerce, you can even integrate with translation tools to automatically create content in other languages and have it reviewed by certified translators.
With the right headless architecture setup, it is also possible to generate the sitemap in a way to inform Google about the different locales the site supports, meaning the right pages will be ranked in the right markets.
Faster page load speeds
Every single second added to page load time drops conversion rate by 2-4%, depending on the store. Search engines also prioritize faster websites.
By having full control of the frontend, a headless commerce agency is able to optimize performance.
Final thoughts: Is headless commerce for you?
Wondering whether you should start thinking about headless commerce? Well, the answer really depends on what stage you’re at, and what your specific business priorities are.
If you’re just getting started, it may sometimes make more sense to first validate your assumptions and focus more on getting traction before going headless.
However, once you start looking towards how to increase sales and generate a competitive edge, headless architecture will likely become the preferred option.
Going for a headless architecture also has a positive implication on subscription costs. To reduce CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), many of the features that are otherwise controlled by paid plugins, can be built with custom code once and be free forever.
Contrary to popular belief, headless commerce doesn’t have to be expensive to set up, especially with an experienced headless commerce web development agency that already has the internal tooling to kick-off a project in seconds. A headless commerce setup can help you cut dozens of plugin costs, considering how many of those functionalities can easily be implemented with custom code.