Headless eCommerce Overview

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The Concept of Headless eCommerce

Headless eCommerce is a very powerful capability to deploy for an enterprise or even a small business. It gives potential to a smaller solution to scale into a large one very rapidly and also allows an enterprise solution to be deployed to specific, catered sub segments or focused target markets within a large or even vast array of offerings.

The concept behind a Headless eCommerce is quite simple: Headless eCommerce in general is referring to the idea of separating logic and function. In a mechanical analogy, it’s something like providing a car with an engine and a chassis, without anything else. The car is fully customizable beyond this point and you can choose the arrangement of seats, upholstery, wheels, sunroof, and possibly even the outer shell of the car.

Headless eCommerce provides the same freedom of choice, customization and tailoring as you are empowered to apply any kind of interface. You start with a functional framework (like the chassis and engine, just the basic components needed for a working vehicle) and then all of the hard work is done; the backend and infrastructure are built.

Headless eCommerce offers the robust and advanced capabilities of eCommerce, without limiting the options for the consumer. Headless eCommerce applications include:

  • Multiple sites
  • Mobile devices
  • Omni-channel
  • In store
  • Tablets
  • Point-of-sale systems
  • Checkout registers

The system enables them all to interact with the same set of Headless eCommerce capabilities. The core idea is that no matter what, the end user can access different interfaces for that same set of capabilities. This is an immensely powerful solution whenever you're looking for a potential to expand the eCommerce.

Growing as Your Business Evolves

Completely Scalable and Versatile

Another significant aspect is the ability to start out with something relatively simple that can be fully scaled or leveraged to an omni-channel capability. This is especially useful in instances of multiple branding requirements or different mediums and brands that need to consume the same set of functionalities. In that case, the functionality and data have to be consistent across different devices and mediums (like a website, a point-of-sale system, or a mobile app). Headless eCommerce efficiently enables this harmony, while eliminating the need to build a very expensive and custom system.

Another kind of common use case for Headless eCommerce is when a business already has the essentials: a really nice site, a well-branded offering, high conversion rate, optimized website, mobile, and possibly a point-of-sale system. There’s just one thing missing that they want to add and that’s eCommerce for the website and mobile devices.

The eCommerce can’t be standalone and will need to integrate with the other components, such as the point-of-sale system. A Headless eCommerce would allow all of those things to happen and effectively eliminate the need to change the established basics of the site or mobile device. Instead, it would seamlessly interact within that already existing application by using the APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Just think back to the car example with the concept of an engine and a chassis that's already there and allows full customization of all the extra features.

What's really advantageous about a Headless eCommerce program is that with the API (Application Programming Interface), we can surgically insert very robust functionality into already existing designs and user experiences. For example, let’s assume a site already has products and catalogs but not the ability to actually purchase those products. We’d like to add that ability, along with a checkout and a user dashboard associated with those products and orders.

A Headless eCommerce is a great scenario to leverage in order to spin up and incorporate a robust eCommerce offering while reducing the overhead. It’s a much more adaptable option compared to a monolithic or typical eCommerce offering, where you not only have the eCommerce functionality that's built out, but also the content management system with all of the branding, styling and design.

We can leverage a very minified, trimmed-down version of the functionality and then adopt the desired user interface, layout, styling, and branding. This opportunity applies to the already existing website, mobile application or whatever scenario is consuming those API's.

One of the key prerequisites for a robust Headless eCommerce system is to possess the required offerings within the APIs, along with detailed steps and instructions on how to deploy the Headless eCommerce functionality. In addition, it would ideally provide support and resources to actually complete the deployment or provide a concierge and white glove deployment of those offerings as needed.

Finding the Right Solution for You

Headless eCommerce Selection Criteria

When you're reviewing a Headless eCommerce system, we recommend that you're not only looking at the physical capability. In other words, not just the interaction with your existing systems in a seamless way or the surgical insertion of the robust functionality into already -or mostly- completed different properties and digital mediums.

Also consider the ability to leverage that continuously improving and robust functionality, as well as the support and the resources. Assess the ability to get immediate support, training and guidance that aligns to your specific needs. Consider even the possibility of requiring actual execution of the implementation work and delivery of the custom solution that seamlessly incorporates the Headless eCommerce system for your existing team.

How Can Clarity Help

Uncover the Ample Possibilities of eCommerce

In the section below, we're going to cover these topics along with many more of the facets of Headless eCommerce. We'll also compare Headless eCommerce to decoupled eCommerce and talk about the differences between those two. We will analyze the general concept of each type of eCommerce and how their pros and cons relate to a traditional eCommerce.

You're welcome to take a look at the selection of different content and discussions that we've provided below. Our team of friendly and knowledgeable staff would be very happy to discuss any questions you might have or a potential project that you may be evaluating. Feel free to contact us and receive complimentary resources and answers to help you along your way.

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