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Headless Ecommerce Defined

Today’s shoppers want to be in complete command of the entire purchase process. You no longer have to go to a brick-and-mortar store or visit a website on a desktop computer to buy your desired device or add your favorite designer bag to your cart.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also one of the triggering factors of the rapidly changing purchasing journey of customers. Now, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to purchase goods and services via mobile devices, tablets, voice-controlled IoT devices, and more.

In addition, e-commerce platforms are adapting to the quick pace of technological change, and new trends are emerging.  How can companies swiftly expand their brand to keep up with changing market demands?

The answer is headless commerce. 

Yes—using headless e-commerce (or headless commerce), as a strategy for creating a successful online business is the newest trend.

Transitioning into a headless e-commerce or creating a headless commerce storefront is nothing new. It’s one of the most spoken about and yet one of the least understood terms. That is why we came up with this article. This post will explain what exactly goes into a headless commerce system, including the advantages and drawbacks of headless e-commerce.

What Is Headless E-commerce?

Headless e-commerce separates the front and back end of an eCommerce platform. It can store, manage, and deliver content without requiring the front-end delivery layer, which in most cases is a template or theme, leaving only the back-end. As a result of this design, brands can do whatever they want with their own products. Most significantly, it gives businesses the ability to improve the whole customer experience.

With headless e-commerce, it is now possible to offer items, blog entries, or customer reviews to any screen or device using APIs provided by developers. Content can be presented using any framework of their choice by front-end developers, too.

Forms, blogs, banners, products, and more can all be managed programmatically with this system. The generation and administration of the content components are included in the guide below:

Headless Commerce: How It Works?

The API, or application program interface, is the key to headless commerce. Front-end and back-end information is exchanged in real-time via an API.

A back-end platform such as a CMS, is used to handle customer-facing content. You can use as many back-end systems as you want with headless shops. Included in these systems are:

  • (CMS) Content management system
  • (PWA) Progressive web app
  • (CRM) Customer relationship management
  • (DXP) Digital experience platform

Customer touchpoints like a mobile app or vending machine can be built using these extra SaaS (software as a service) tools. This data is sent to your back-end every time a customer interacts with your storefront.

No one’s front-end strategy is required when implementing Headless Commerce. They are able to choose the finest customer experience application or technology depending on the experience they have produced along with their organization’s skill set.

Benefits of Headless Ecommerce

As the Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated the pace of business exchange, brands are being forced to innovate and be more creative than ever before. A developer’s time is valuable since it can help boost the company’s cash flow.

In the long run, your company will be pleasantly surprised by the numerous advantages of headless commerce. 

The following are some of the benefits of headless eCommerce:

Customizable shopping experiences are made possible by headless commerce.

Front-end experience is isolated from back-end architecture in headless commerce. Changes to the front-end experience are easier and less dangerous if you know that they won’t affect the underlying infrastructure and design.

It is critical to pay attention to your customers’ needs and provide them with the tailored and personalized experiences they want. Business-to-business (B2B) buyers are more likely to rely on the recommendations of their colleagues and friends when making purchasing decisions. When it comes to purchasing, over 91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations. As a result, experimenting and making adjustments in response to customer demands is becoming increasingly important for B2B companies.

Traditional e-commerce platforms restrict you to the “correct” user experience. In contrast, headless commerce platforms allow you to start from zero and make constant updates, adaptations, and deployments without affecting the underlying technology powering it.

Headless commerce improves your time to value.

Consider the amount of time and money you’ll need to devote in developing comprehensive business logic and back-end services when developing custom software. Most software development projects are devoted to the back-end business logic, functionality, and capabilities. Compared to traditional commerce platforms, headless e-commerce allows you to start from the end and offer a polished solution for significantly less cost in terms of time, effort, or resources.

Using headless commerce speeds up the integration process.

Headless Commerce provides an API-based solution to connecting and exposing assets. APIs allow software platforms to communicate with each other more readily and facilitate smooth data transfers. Due to its adaptability, the data model can be used more creatively.

Back-end architecture provides the essential e-commerce operations, but APIs can be used to add additional features to enhance the user’s overall shopping experience. The back-end does not affect the user experience, so there is no need to be concerned about facilitating that integration. An easy-to-understand illustration of this is email. Yes, you could write a few lines of code and send an email using the e-commerce platform. 

8 Best Open-Source Headless Ecommerce Platforms

When deciding on an eCommerce platform, keep in mind your company’s size and the technology you plan to use. There are dozens of open-source platforms out there, but only a few of them match our standards. There is a high learning curve if you want to construct an online store without hiring web engineers.

Here are the eight best open-source headless eCommerce examples:

Flamingo

Flamingo is an open-source framework based on Go. It has a fast, simple, and scalable design. Developers can use Flamingo Core to construct custom front-end web applications.

With the help of Flamingo Commerce, online merchants can create their own personalized headless e-commerce solutions. Also,  Go developers have taken notice of its API headless eCommerce, even though it is still in Beta.

In addition to standard eCommerce features like product management and catalogs and categories, Flamingo Commerce also includes modules for checkout, payment, and cart management. The Domain-Driven Design (DDD) approach is used by Flamingo Commerce, making it well-suited for enterprises to use.

Magento

According to Alexa, Magento is one of the most prominent open-source headless e-commerce platforms in the world, accounting for more than a quarter of all online shops. While Magento 1 is nearing the end of its lifecycle with a significant chunk of its technology getting older, the Magento community, plug-in ecosystem, and customizability choices are unmatched. You can hire programmers to create whatever you want if you have enough resources.

OroCommerce

B2B e-commerce is the primary focus of OroCommerce. This adaptable solution combines CRM and e-commerce features. You can use CRM tools to acquire a 360-degree perspective of the customer, manage sales pipelines, and construct precise marketing segmentation.

Shopware

Shopware is a German invention that has swiftly become popular around the world. With an open-source and commercial license and a growing network of partners, Magento-like functionality can be found here. Symfony-based applications emphasize adaptability and growth potential for enterprises.

Shopify

There are many prominent headless e-commerce platforms like Shopify that allow businesses to separate their front-end and back-end designs so that they may use their brand on any device.

Shopify helps brands and businesses remain ahead of the competition by providing customers with the greatest possible shopping experience. As a result, it will improve the performance of your website. Shopify has all the features you’ll need to start and run a successful online business.

You can easily connect it to Amazon and eBay, two of the most popular e-commerce marketplaces. Many additional programs such as Google Sheets, Stocky, and Slack can be integrated with Shopify.

WooCommerce

It is a well-liked, free WordPress plug-in that makes it possible to create a functional e-commerce site. Paid add-ons provide extra functionality. Despite its claim to be a platform for any company size, WordPress is best suited for small businesses with limited IT resources, thanks to the ease with which WordPress developers can be found.

Spree

Spree, RoR’s first widely used eCommerce platform, is rapidly gaining traction as a tool for expanding businesses. Over half a million users have already downloaded the app, including well-known firms like Bonobos and Casper. It uses a mobile-first strategy that we can relate to.

Spree is a Next.js Commerce-based headless eCommerce platform. PWA users can utilize Spree’s SDK for JavaScript/TypeScript and its full integration with Vue Storefront.

Sylius

It is an open-source headless e-commerce platform for startups and SMEs as well as large corporations (enterprises). Sylius’s headless e-commerce platform will enable you to provide your customers with their expected service. Open-source (Sylius) and commercial versions are both available (Sylius Plus)

Many budding entrepreneurs and small-business owners can benefit from this powerful engine. Developers benefit from its developer-friendly environment, which speeds up the setup process.

Stability, ease of maintenance, and an extensive testing framework are all promised by Sylius’s headless e-commerce platform. Developed on the Symfony framework, Sylius comes with a BDD workflow and toolset pre-installed. Even though this project is still in its infancy, it is already making a significant impact. Presently, over 8 million people have already downloaded the package.

Conclusions

It is the goal of headless e-commerce platforms to save businesses and developers a significant amount of money. However, because they differ in terms of features and options, we recommend that you examine each of them carefully before making your final decision.

Ultimately, the creation, management, and distribution of high-quality content is a vital component of every company’s internet strategy if it wants to remain competitive. Headless commerce allows you to efficiently deliver an iconic digital experience to your clients by utilizing the appropriate headless commerce solution for your business requirements.

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