The Ultimate Guide to The New Headless eCommerce Platform

The Ultimate Guide to The New Headless eCommerce Platform

How does a company or retailer stand out in the eCommerce space? 

Originality and dynamism are core tenets for any online store hoping to remain relevant and visible to customers. In the past six months alone, over 81% of customers made purchases across three different channels, according to PwC

And despite this diverse use of channels, 73% of customers will abandon a brand after three negative experiences. In light of these, brands need eCommerce solutions to drive their digital presence, ensuring higher customer engagement, conversions, and retention.

For companies or agencies struggling with a rigid eCommerce platform, headless eCommerce is a modern solution that helps retailers create unique, flexible, and customer-centric experiences.

This guide provides an overview of headless commerce—the benefits, composition, and evolution of the modern commerce era.

What Is Headless eCommerce?

Headless eCommerce is a solution that separates the presentation layer or frontend of a commerce platform from the product data, logic, and sales functions in the backend. 

This follows the headless architecture approach where the frontend and backend of a platform are separated, enabling businesses to create and deliver agile, consistent, and future-proof omnichannel experiences. 

The headless structure of this solution enables it to function fully as an eCommerce platform, except without the head (the interface), which is connected using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). 

This gives a developer team or company the flexibility to build visually appealing interfaces using any frontend framework they desire.

For example, Brand A can create product data and sales logic in their headless eCommerce platform and serve it dynamically via APIs to multiple channels or sites built with React, Next.Js, and Vue.

Read more: How to Create a Next.Js eCommerce Website

Bidding Farewell to The Era of Monolithic eCommerce Platforms

Monolithic or traditional eCommerce platforms combine the presentation layer with the backend, along with many other services, into one rigid and complex chunk. Brands have to make do with the built-in templates that are difficult to customize and inflexible to change. 

Brands are also limited to specific programming languages or frameworks that require lengthy customizations, which often call for an army of developers with extensive training. This resulted in a long and expensive development process. 

To top it off, it’s a challenge to create consistent experiences across multiple sites, channels, or touchpoints with these traditional commerce platforms. Considering the competitive nature of the market and the diverse needs of customers, these challenges are too much to ignore.

Headless eCommerce is a solution that overcomes the limitations and challenges posed by traditional commerce platforms and enables businesses to create engaging online shopping experiences with superior agility and seamless scalability.

Headless eCommerce Benefits: Why are Retailers Choosing the Headless Architecture?

According to the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant, digital commerce platforms for B2C will be priced 30% less than in 2019, mostly due to the commoditization of features and 'headless' implementation strategies. 

Here are the tremendous benefits of going ‘headless’.

Fully Customizable Frontend

Most developers hate feeling limited by the customizability of a platform. They are more comfortable working with their familiar frameworks. Headless eCommerce gives developers the autonomy to fully customize and design frontend interfaces using any language or framework.

Highly Scalable Architecture

Before headless architecture, brands had to rely on monoliths that were difficult to customize or integrate with third-party solutions. As a result, their scalability was highly dependent on the capabilities of the commerce platform. 

Having a headless commerce architecture helps retailers and online shop owners grow their business at their pace without any limits. They can seamlessly scale up or scale down their architecture, adding or removing third solutions via APIs, according to the demands of their business.

Better SEO Positions

Site speed is an essential element in ranking on search engines. The customer-centric focus and flexibility of headless eCommerce platforms help create a truly personalized and faster site performance. Besides, you can easily improve your search engine ranking through custom SEO metadata, slugs, header, and product information available on a headless commerce platform.

Future-Proof Commerce Experience

Customer demands are immeasurable, and they keep changing. This is the same with the dynamic growth of the digital world. Retailers don’t just need technological platforms that’ll serve them now; rather, they need platforms that’ll remain useful and relevant even in the future.

The headless commerce platform helps retailers and brands future-proof their architecture, reducing their reliance on outdated vendor-locked solutions. In this way, they can power parts of their commerce experience by integrating with multiple best-of-breed services.

Higher Reliability and Security

The plugin-dependent nature of traditional commerce platforms resulted in slower site performance and security flaws. To offer the most sophisticated capabilities, brands need to add more plugins. 

Any failure in a particular service or plugin can affect the brand’s entire site, leading to significant downtime and security concerns. 

On the other hand, headless commerce enables easy integration with best-of-breed solutions, limiting the blast radius for an attack or failure to the service or feature affected, ensuring little to no downtime to the site's performance. 

It also provides unlimited hosting and deployment options, leading to higher uptime, enhanced security and compliance standards, and exceptional performance.

Boundless Commerce: Overview of the New Headless eCommerce Platform

Boundless Commerce is a headless commerce solution that helps retailers build their eCommerce store quickly, through ready-to-use starter themes and a robust backend system that handles product and sales logic and serves them through its powerful APIs.

Features of a Boundless Commerce

Using Boundless Commerce gives you access to the following features:

  • Detailed Product Definition: The product page enables you to fully add and edit products in detail with familiar features such as product title, images, description, manufacturer, weight, height, SKU, and stock, among other attributes. 
    You can also select or add specific product labels and categories. It also gives you options for setting product prices. You can also import your product catalog via a CSV or Excel file. 
  • Robust Inventory System: Every eCommerce platform requires a strong inventory tracker that spans multiple warehouses, managing different orders as well as stock quantity. This helps retailers visualize stock per warehouse, including the available and reserved stock.
  • Complete Customer Insight: In a modern headless eCommerce platform, you can visualize customer information, track total spending, and also assign custom attributes. 
  • User-friendly Dashboard: Retailers want a comprehensive view of their online store as customers navigate and make purchases. Boundless commerce enables you to keep track of store sales over time using a holistic dashboard. You can also monitor new and shipped orders, track total orders and amounts, and group the dashboard by a specific period of time.
  • Discounts and Campaigns: Most retailers want to tailor product prices to specific customers or events, often through a discount campaign. Boundless Commerce enables you to create discounts and offers tailored to your marketing campaigns. You can take advantage of custom or auto-generated discount codes, fixed or percentage-based discounts, and set predefined usage and minimum order limits.
  • Enhanced Capabilities via API-first Integrations: The beauty of the headless eCommerce platform is its API-first approach. Retailers can easily integrate with other best-of-breed services such as payment integrations, personalization, search and filter, and analytics. This helps to create an engaging and attractive digital experience for their customers. Boundless commerce is no different; its fast and reliable APIs make it possible to create, retrieve, and serve data. 

Choosing The Best Headless eCommerce Platform for Your Store

To stand out, retailers need to build customer-centric commerce experiences by leveraging solutions with the flexibility and scalability to keep up with changing customer needs. A headless eCommerce platform is the future of commerce, enabling you to keep pace with existing and future market demands.

Beyond giving you the foundation to build amazing frontend experiences, headless commerce enables you to integrate effortlessly with other best-of-breed services and create unique and personalized commerce experiences that distinguish you from other brands. 

You can start your headless eCommerce journey in just a few steps with Boundless Commerce. 

Want to know how? Sign Up for a Trial Today.

Kirill Zhirnov
Kirill Zhirnov