Headless Ecommerce 101 – (Almost) Everything You Need to Know

It wasn’t all that long ago that you could build a pretty successful online e-commerce shop without too much technology “under the hood”.

Today, though, nothing could be further from the truth. Not with all the tools and technology available to savvy, smart, and strategic e-commerce business owners.

No, today you have to capitalize on as much leverage as possible to give yourself a competitive advantage over the rest of the businesses in your space.

Headless ecommerce is one of those advantages you want to press ASAP!

A Quick Overview of Headless Ecommerce

The idea behind headless e-commerce is pretty straightforward.

You essentially separate the backend of your e-commerce business (the part of your business that you and your employees interface with, the “machine” of your business if you will) from the front end of your e-commerce shop that your customers interact with.

There are a number of big advantages to utilizing headless e-commerce (which is a big part of why so many businesses are moving in this direction), but the biggest advantage is your ability to change or create new front ends for your customers without having to overhaul the backend of your business, too.

If you are familiar with web design principles you can think about headless e-commerce and the impact it’ll have on this business the same way that splitting design elements for websites (CSS) from the underlying code (HTML) had a few short years ago.

Headless Ecommerce vs Traditional Ecommerce

In the traditional e-commerce environment, you build a web shop with your front end and backend coupled together.

One doesn’t work without the other.

If you want to make a change to a traditional e-commerce shop, you not only have to change the front end quite a bit but you also have to change the backend to match. Any differences (even those just accidentally overlooked) can cause huge problems with your operation.

With headless e-commerce, though, the front end and backend of your shop are two distinct entities entirely.

Both entities communicate with one another, but there’s a lot of flexibility and a lot of freedom in how the backend and front-end are deployed.

Best of all, you can have multiple front ends (catering to different market segments, different customer bases, or even customers using different devices) that are all tied to the same backend.

Is Headless Ecommerce Really the Future?

While headless e-commerce isn’t yet the baseline standard for all new e-commerce shops, it’s not difficult to imagine this being the reality in just a couple of years.

For starters, headless e-commerce allows for tight integration across multiple different sales channels with new front ends for each in a way that traditional e-commerce really struggles with.

As competition heats up and as new market opportunities open e-commerce shops are going to look for ways to get in front of more customers without having to add a lot of complexity to the infrastructure of their e-commerce shop.

Another huge advantage for headless e-commerce (and a big part of why adaptation is happening so quickly across all e-commerce markets) has to do with PCI compliance, fraud protection, and improved security features this technology makes possible.

Lastly, the freedom and flexibility that headless e-commerce shops provide almost guarantees it’s going to be the “next big thing” in the world of online business.

Entrepreneurs are always looking to have more control and more flexibility with their online shops. Those serious about success are going to look for any advantage they can get and headless e-commerce will deliver big time for them.

Closing Thoughts

Headless e-commerce may not be a perfect fit for every single online business right now, but it’s important to remember that this new approach to doing business is still in its infancy.

Chances are good we are going to see even better tools that make implementing headless e-commerce easier and easier hit the market pretty soon.

As the tools become simpler to leverage, and the features of headless e-commerce expand, it’s not at all unreasonable to think that headless e-commerce could become the “gold standard” for these kinds of shops inside of five years (maybe even sooner than that).

If you haven’t begun experimenting with headless e-commerce yet (and especially if your competitors haven’t, either) now might be the time to start experimenting a little.

You might be surprised at just how big of an advantage this tech can give you!

This post is provided by a third party who may receive compensation from the products or services they mention.


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