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What is headless commerce and how does it benefit businesses?

Let’s dive into a high-level overview of headless commerce and a few key advantages of this type of architecture.

Industry data reveals that, in 2020, about three in five businesses are either currently or planning to utilize a headless commerce architecture. The majority of retailers agree that headless commerce can boost customer engagement and conversion rates. But what is headless commerce, and how can it help your business?

Let's dive into a high-level overview of headless commerce and a few key advantages of this type of architecture.

What is headless commerce?

In simple terms, headless commerce is the decoupling or separation of front- and back-end interfaces of an ecommerce platform. With traditional ecommerce architectures, changes made to the front-end shopper interface require extra legwork on the back-end. However, with headless commerce, both sides are connected via APIs, allowing greater flexibility and rapid improvements to the customer experience.

"Roughly three in five businesses are using or planning to use headless commerce in 2020."

Using a headless content management system (CMS), businesses manage payment gateways, products and other content on the back-end. They separately develop or select the customer-centric platforms that will display product data and capture transactions. Because data from the headless CMS is compatible across various desktop and mobile website formats, apps and other front-end interfaces, retailers can more quickly and creatively adapt customer-facing platforms without ever impacting their product and payment processing functionalities.

Benefits of leveraging headless commerce

Businesses considering transitioning from a legacy system to a headless ecommerce architecture may feel concerned about a potentially negative impact on site speed due to heavy API usage, as well as additional reliance on third-party providers. But, with a trusted partner like SFG, the pros drastically outweigh the cons.

Endless customization

One of the most exciting aspects of headless commerce is that it allows virtually endless customization options without technical design constraints. The amount of time and effort required to code and align the CMS and front-end platform are eliminated. Worries about transmitting product details via the perfect responsive site melt away. Instead, businesses can select and adapt a template or build a user interface from scratch which can be instantly populated with a simple API call.

Unparalleled flexibility

With traditional systems, customization is easiest during the implementation phase, but becomes a burden after things are up and running. Businesses leveraging headless ecommerce can make large changes or small tweaks to the front-end user interface without needing to touch anything on the back-end. Whether they want to simply add a new field to the checkout page to encourage a charitable donation or bring an entirely new customer experience to market, they can do so quickly and without hassle.

Seamless omnichannel experience

Through APIs, the same product availability and pricing information can be displayed in the most optimized way across mobile devices, tablets, laptops, desktops — even smartwatches and in-store kiosks. Customers benefit from an undisrupted experience no matter where or how they're shopping. Fewer obstacles mean higher conversion rates and more engagement.

Improved customer experience

Today's consumers seek out convenience and personalization — and headless ecommerce is built to serve these needs. Agile retailers and marketers can swiftly respond to customer behaviors and preferences across various touchpoints, providing a new and improved interface within a matter of hours or days, rather than months. Additionally, headless ecommerce can support AI-driven product search functionalities and other tools that result in a truly personalized customer experience.

To leverage headless ecommerce for your business, discover SFG's ebusiness solutions.

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