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How headless e-commerce can revolutionize your business

Elevate your brand beyond sales

A headless e-commerce system does far more than simply boost the immediate sales performance of your web store. Implemented correctly, it also allows you to create amazing stories about your brand and products, resulting in more loyal and higher-value customers. Keep reading to discover why your business should consider going headless.
A great online shopping experience is something you never forget. It’s when you stumble upon a web store that not only looks incredible, but has a perfectly crafted user- journey, a great search function, and tells a story about the product that’s so compelling, you literally can’t help but throw money at your laptop.
If you’ve experienced such heights of online shopping bliss, the chances are that the web store in question was built with a headless e-commerce platform. These amazing shops have raised the bar in terms of what consumers expect from a web store, which means that any business that’s not already considering going headless risks being left behind.
But what does “going headless” even mean, and why are some of the largest brands leaving traditional e-commerce platforms behind and going headless instead? Most importantly, how can going headless help you and your e-commerce business not just survive, but thrive and grow?

Going “headless”

The term “headless” describes an architectural framework, where the customer-facing front end of your web shop is decoupled from the back-end system. In effect, this means chopping off the “head” (front end) from the body (back end), hence the rather gruesome, but accurate, terminology!
The phrase was originally coined in relation to Content Management Systems, but applies equally well to PIM, product management and e-commerce platforms too.
The benefit over a traditional, monolithic architecture with a tightly-coupled back end and front end, is flexibility. The front end of the platform is the part that consumers interact with and which determines the overall customer experience. The back end, which is invisible to the user, is where data is stored and managed.

By de-coupling these two functions and connecting them through software interfaces called APIs, the customer- facing web store can be more easily upgraded to keep pace with constantly evolving customer demands and expectations. In contrast, for a traditional e-commerce platform, where the front and back end are linked, any changes to the front end also necessitate updates to the back end, making the process more difficult, costly and inflexible.
The only downside is that headless technologies are slightly more complex to implement, but the benefits vastly outweigh this drawback. A headless platform offers better performance, faster response times, and the ability to quickly change elements in the back end to affect your front end without days or weeks of developer time. Importantly, it also allows you to create a truly omnichannel presence, while delivering a personalized experience for your customers.

The advantages of headless e-commerce

1. Omnichannel, baby!

A web store is an essential sales tool for any modern business, but you shouldn’t rely on this alone. Real success comes from selling on all possible channels, including web, app, social media, or anywhere your customers might be.
Traditional e-commerce platforms make it difficult to achieve a true omnichannel presence. For example, simply adding another sales channel can require huge amounts of developer time, increasing costs, while still not delivering a consistent customer experience.
In contrast, by providing access to content through APIs, a headless system provides a seamless experience across any device and digital channel, be it an app, social media platform or even a chatbot. Adding a channel is as simple as adding another API, making headless systems more adaptable and future proof.

2. Parlez-vous Français? Go global!

Headless platforms provide this same flexibility when it comes to opening your store to overseas customers. With a monolithic e-commerce setup, creating a web store for another market requires a significant investment in development time and resources, but with a headless platform, your entire back-end is already primed and ready. All that’s required is for you to point it in the right direction.
The best headless e-commerce and CMS platforms on the market, including Ucommerce, allow you to make further refinements to your overseas stores, to maximize the opportunities for conversion. This includes adapting the content and the language of the front-end, depending on the market in question.
Taking things to the next level, using a headless platform also makes it possible to tailor the customer experience for individual markets. For example, what works in the Nordic countries might not be as successful in Spain or Italy. As such, being able to personalize the front-end experience to individual markets is a key tool for driving success.

3. Faster development and better security

As we alluded to earlier, by decoupling the front end from the back end a headless platform is technology agnostic. This means that you can combine a headless e-commerce platform with virtually any other service you might need through the use of APIs.
For example, if you wanted to change or add a service or technology to your web store, a headless platform makes this possible without having to scrap your entire back end. All that’s required is to simply remove one API and add another. This provides your developer team with more freedom, but it also means that front-end developers can work independently from the back end, resulting in less downtime.
Also, with monolithic platforms, where the front and back end are linked, development errors risk bringing down the entire system. In a de-coupled platform, this risk is entirely mitigated. If that wasn’t already enough to convince you, consider that the headless approach also boosts your web site security. Image the scenario where a hacker breaks into a traditional e-commerce platform. Because the front end and back end are intertwined, the hacker gains access to everything, including sensitive customer data.
The phrase “GDPR breach” is not one that any business owner ever wants to hear.
With a headless design, the worst that could happen is that a hacker may take down the front end of your web store for a period of time. However, the cybercriminal won’t be able to access your back end or sensitive data, protecting you from potentially ruinous fines under GDPR.

4. Boosting performance = better conversion

Web stores built using headless platforms load faster. This is simply because of the modular, API-based approach, where instead of loading the entire store, the front end just “calls” for the specific images and content that is required.
It’s a fact that web pages that load faster have a direct benefit on sales and conversion rates. According to studies from Amazon (who know a thing or two about e-commerce...), a 100ms increase in latency reduced sales by 1 percent - and that was ten years ago. However, a more recent study from Akamai showed that conversion rates were reduced by 7 percent for every 100ms delay in loading time. That’s potentially a huge amount of lost revenue, simply because of a poorly- optimized web store.
Faster websites also benefit from an improved SEO ranking and organic performance.

Ready to take the next step?

Introducing Ucommerce

Ucommerce is a leading software company in e-commerce solutions. Our e-commerce platform is internationally recognized, and for the past 15 years, we have worked with some of the most well-known brands in Europe, and the rest of the world.
We have successfully worked on e-commerce implementations for top brands, including Tom Tailor, Southampton FC, Jackson Fencing, British Health & Safety Council, Billund Airport and many more.

The results? An example is Billund Airport. They increased their online revenue by 65 percent. Dive into this success story and many more. If you’re ready to create an amazing buying experience for your customers and increase your store’s revenue, we’re ready to meet the challenge. Get in touch today and let’s discover what we can achieve together.

Interested in what Ucommerce can do for your business?

Reach out to the Sales Team directly by shooting an e-mail here. Or hit the button below and fill out an inquiry and you will hear from us shortly.