Digital transformation is booming as businesses are racing toward a common goal of conquering their respective niches with the latest e-commerce tech. For a long time, e-commerce platforms were run using monolithic architecture, but their efficacy was long ago. Monolithic architecture is losing its touch and being replaced by innovative technology utilizing headless commerce solutions. So how can headless commerce help brands improve customer engagement?
What Is Headless Commerce?
E-commerce platforms have depended on “all-in-one” architecture for a long time. This monolithic architecture was very effective before digital transformation became a core priority for most businesses. The increasing demand for advanced systems led to more flexible system architecture development. As a result, headless commerce rapidly grows and permeates almost all industries connected to the net.
Headless commerce, by definition, is an architecture that utilizes APIs to connect disparate elements that make up a single digital e-commerce platform. Therefore, elements such as front-end UI, business logic running in the back-end, and content management systems are not bundled up as an all-in-one solution. Instead, they have different codebases leveraging the use of respective development frameworks.
This contrasts with monolithic solutions that share the same codebase and have strict dependencies relying on the architecture. In layman’s terms, headless commerce functions as a digital lego set that results in functional and progressive e-commerce web apps. To get a detailed architecture breakdown, click here and learn more about headless commerce architecture.
Flexible UI/UX Optimization
Customer engagement relies heavily on the user experience an e-commerce platform provides. Therefore, the User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) stack are critical for drawing users and retaining their attention. If any of these aspects are insufficient to attract users and keep them on the platform, customer engagement statistics decline.
Unfortunately, it is challenging to adapt to any changing user preferences with a monolithic architecture. The front-end is dependent on back-end business logic and databases, which can be a challenge for developers. Changing front-end elements without impacting back-end codebases is a complex process for monolithic commerce platforms.
Headless commerce provides more flexibility because all the platform’s elements are “siloed” from each other. Changing the codebase of UI/UX elements won’t impact the back-end or CMS code. Brands can keep up with the changing user preferences of their customers. As a result, customer engagement levels can be elevated by improvements and adjustments on the platform.
Simplifying Consumer Checkout
The checkout process is a critical aspect that improves or worsens the consumer journey. However, the checkout page is an intricately integrated page that lies deep within the codebase of a monolithic architecture. The checkout process queries data from multiple sources simultaneously, and altering the code could collapse this house of cards.
On the other hand, users expect a more straightforward checkout process with fewer steps that allow users to check their carts out as a guest. Failing to meet this standard leads to customer dissatisfaction and declining engagement from consumers. The checkout process can be easily simplified with the latest payment and checking out methods with headless commerce architecture.
All changes pertaining to the checkout process do not alter business logic but instead, condense the user journey to just a few simple steps. The state of databases and other back-end technology remains unmolested.
E-commerce is not only about online shopping using a desktop or mobile web app. The landscape is changing to other platforms such as Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR). With developments such as the metaverse steadily increasing, you can expect the current AR/VR scene to change drastically.
Some companies utilize AR/VR in physical stores and online shops to market products and immerse customers. However, adding this feature is a complex process that could take months when undertaken on monolithic systems. That could decrease customer engagement and lead to a higher churn rate for e-commerce platforms using monolithic architecture.
Cross-platform scalability is attainable on headless commerce architecture because of the API-based development. Front-end interfaces could pull the same data sources, such as pricing, product descriptions, etc., without altering other codebases for advanced cross-platform scalability. E-commerce platforms could leverage this technology for higher user engagement rates and prepare for the upcoming metaverse era.
Improving Platform Speed
Monolithic systems use slow technology that relies on legacy systems dating back to the Cobol days. Currently, there are faster data processing methods that expedite loading speeds. These technologies are cloud-based, and they offer more benefits for system architecture. As part of improving user experiences, making web apps load faster should be at the top of your list.
Headless commerce allows the latest development frameworks that require smaller codebases to function. These reusable code frameworks make applications load faster, which improves customer engagement. At the same time, headless commerce makes it easier to integrate cloud-based data processing solutions that expedite loading speeds.
The entire collective characteristics of headless commerce architecture improve user experiences by fixing loading speeds at a holistic scope. The scope of headless commerce impacts both front-end layers and back-end business logic processing technology.
Updates and upgrades take significantly less time to be delivered on client-side application interfaces. The updates and upgrades can even be completed without taking the e-commerce platform out of service. In addition, since the codebases do not have strict dependencies, developers and maintenance teams can do their work on that specific codebase in a different environment.
After working on that update or upgrade, it can be easily integrated as a building block of the entire software product. Updates or upgrades that could take months to deliver can be finalized within days or weeks. Also, because the developers and maintenance team focuses on just the codebase that needs to be updated, it takes less time to complete the update.
Different teams can work on the various elements that need to be upgraded independently if the platform scales up. As a result, the time to market is significantly shortened when compared with monolithic infrastructure.
Headless commerce excels in all elements related to increasing customer engagement. Customers engage better with progressive platforms that leverage new technologies, and headless commerce provides this in abundance. Users can enjoy the scalability of e-commerce platforms using headless architecture since they can easily delve into AR/VR solutions. At the same time, the loading speeds improve drastically when the latest development frameworks are being used. Headless commerce supports the latest frameworks that promote reusing code and newer data processing tech for faster loading interfaces.