There’s no doubt that retail is in the middle of a serious shakeup. As online shopping replaces the brick-and-mortar retail experience for many, consumers have developed an expectation that online brands also double as providers of rich and engaging content. For them, the online experience should mimic all the trappings of an in-store experience, from making the connection with the sales associate right through to check out.
To effectively keep up with today’s dynamic consumer, a brand’s online presence must have all the bells and whistles of a high-performing e-commerce site, as well as deliver seamless usability when people browse and shop on their store. It’s all about investing in the experience from the brand side, as well as the customer’s. This is what we refer to as a “headless commerce approach”, a solution brought about by leading e-commerce platforms in recent years.
So, how do brands benefit from adopting a headless commerce solution? Well, let’s start at the back end (seriously).
Headless commerce simply refers to the act of decoupling the engagement layer (the front end) and the commerce layer (the back end) of a website. This helps brands support the latest in technology to build powerful, personalised and engaging commerce experiences for their customers, while also providing the flexibility to plug e-commerce into a variety of different customer experiences.
Brands are seeing a need to invest equally in the back end of their websites and the engagement layer where their customers interact with them. By going headless, they no longer need to compromise between which component to invest in, and can finally feel empowered to customise their store any way they want. Brands can focus on creating a world-class experience for their customers, while simultaneously covering priorities like security, inventory management, order fulfilment and points of sale from the commerce engine.
Personalising the customer journey is key to building relationships that last. We’ve moved beyond the era where interactions between brands and consumers are purely transactional — customers are looking to establish long-lasting relationships with businesses they trust.
A successful business like FireWire Surfboards invests in headless to create immersive content-forward experiences that they know their surfing customers will love. In doing so, FireWire has completed its “content forward experience” with fast and secure checkout and a scalable commerce platform. Something as simple as improving the performance of the online storefront to elevate a user’s experience can help create deeper and more sustained relationships — giving all the more reason for customers to come back to the brand time and time again.
As technology evolves to meet the growing expectations of the consumer, there have never been more opportunities for brands to connect with audiences from around the world. It’s no longer enough for brands to operate from a single web-storefront; offering omnichannel paths is now essential for a successful strategy online.
While it is still possible to achieve a great front-end experience without a headless architecture, as the market and consumers continue to evolve, brands not putting the time to invest will find it difficult and expensive to transform their digital presence over time. Needless to say, headless commerce is where the future of e-commerce is moving. It achieves the best of content and commerce like never before, empowering brands to become more nimble with customisation, scaling growth and an optimal solution to increase e-commerce innovation and revenue.
Jordan Sim, Director of Product Management, BigCommerce