| 4 min
August 10th, 2021
In this ever-growing and evolving E-commerce world, brands are having to turn to more cutting-edge tech to help them grow, evolve and stand out from the digital crowd. As the trend of online shopping and advertising grows year on year, the competition intensifies and drives rapid technological innovation in e-commerce. One of the most significant technological innovations is Headless Commerce.
In 2021, you don’t even need a screen to do your online shopping. The growing popularity of Google Home or Amazon Echo smart speakers means that the buying process needs to be as simple, adaptable and pain-free as possible. Not only are there more digitally enabled devices being added to our day-to-day lives every week, but the opportunity to shop through our social media platforms is an ever-growing trend.
With Headless commerce, you are able to create unique user experiences while utilising the different platforms your buyers may be using. Essentially, you can use headless commerce to rethink the e-commerce platform as a collection of digital services supporting commerce rather than a solution for web e-commerce specifically. Developers can utilize their front-end technology of choice to deliver high-quality content experiences without having to change anything in the back-end, creating adaptable and unique buying experiences for your customers.
Headless VS Traditional E-Commerce
To put it simply, backend development does the heavy lifting like storing data, processing orders, sending emails for example. Whereas the frontend is the lovely interface that customers/users interact with. In traditional circumstances, these two layers are interconnected like chewing gum between your foot and the floor. The two layers intimately rely on each other, by decoupling they become free of each other, each layer liberated to become the best it can be.
The use of headless commerce allows the easier customisation of the front end, producing something scalable and magical without having to completely rewrite the backend code.
If we are comparing Headless to Traditional E-Commerce then there are 2 key aspects we need to look at:
1) Front-end Development
2) Flexibility and Personalisation
Headless commerce enables front-end developers to create a user experience from scratch that fits business needs well. With the separation of the templating, presentation and interactive layers of the customer experience from order management, payment acquisition, and product information management systems, front-end developers don’t need to worry about changes in the back-end database, as API calls ease those tasks.
With traditional e-commerce, these types of changes require a great amount of time to edit the database, code, and front-end platform. Developers are also restricted by what can be edited/updated without voiding a warranty or preventing future upgrades.
Flexibility and Personalisation
Headless commerce architecture is the decoupling of the front-end presentation layer of a website from the back-end e-commerce functionality. Separating these presentation/interactive layers functions from the management/payment systems allows you to focus resources on the faster-moving world of customer interactions without worrying about impacting critical systems of record such as payment processing or product databases. This allows developers to create their own experience from scratch. They can control the platform’s user experience for both users and admins.
Traditional e-commerce, while fantastic for large, one-size-fits-all customer and administrative experience, doesn’t allow a lot of room for personalised customer experiences. This does, however, require less technical knowledge than headless commerce and is advisable to those who don’t have the budget or expertise for advanced development.
“64% of large enterprises are developing a bespoke solution to advance their e-commerce plans. A further 76% plan to adopt some form of headless tech within the next 12 months”
Using Headless commerce on Shopify
Applying headless commerce to your Shopify platform can be best represented with either Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) or Single Page Applications (SPAs).
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are regular web applications/pages that have been designed to look and function like native mobile applications. Web applications can reach anyone, anywhere, on any device with a single codebase. Essentially they have been designed to look, feel, and have the functionality of an app but with the easy coding and visibility of a website. Read more about PWA’s in our blog
Single-page applications are web applications or websites that interact with the user by dynamically rewriting the current page, rather than loading entire new pages from the server. This allows for users to use the page without interruption between successive pages, making the application behave more like a desktop application.
The Shopify Storefront API is a core part of Shopify’s headless framework. It provides companies with creative control and the functionality to offer various buying experiences irrespective of customers’ locations. With many websites, there is a lot of repeating content or content that is a part of the site’s skeleton. By developing a Shopify PWA or SPA, brands are able to easily personalise and create user experiences that fit the requirements of different devices.
How can Brave help?
As E-commerce specialists, our integrated approach involves E-commerce, SEO, Google Ads/PPC, social media marketing and a highly talented development team. Together we will create an E-commerce strategy that grows with you. We will also work closely with you to construct an E-commerce platform that appeals to your customers’ key drivers and demographics.
We know how competitive it is online, no matter which market you compete in. This is why researching your competition will help you create an online user shopping experience that will make you stand out from your competitors and increase the awareness of your online store.
If you are wanting to take your e-commerce business to the next level and stand out from the competition then contact Brave today.