THIS IS HEADLESS COMMERCE. THE BASICS.
The stuff you should know when you’re thinking about going headless.
THE ORIGINS OF HEADLESS COMMERCE.(JUST A BIT OF CONTEXT TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN.)
Before we get going, it’s important to understand where the rise in headless technology has stemmed from.
Well, in today’s world, digital channels reign supreme. The rise in mobile, social and content have drastically changed commerce, and changed how consumers well, consume everything there is about your brand, products and services.
Businesses have to adapt. Side-step traditional platforms and relook at how they conceive, design and deliver content and commerce at scale. It’s about storytelling, about delivering digital experiences for a digital world.
It’s no easy feat. Cue the need for a paradigm shift in how we think about, create and deploy solutions. That shift is headless commerce.
It’s important to know what headless commerce actually means. We’ll try to keep it brief.
The term ‘headless’ means that the frontend is de-coupled from the backend (i.e. the head is literally not there), which also means that the backend makes no assumptions about the kinds of customer experience it will be used to deliver, at all. Headless systems present content and functionality as APIs. This makes them more flexible by being capable of supporting many different customer experiences from a single system. So with headless, ironically, you can have many heads. Confused yet?
The frontend (head), can be anything that presents information to the customer – think web storefront, mobile app, in-store kiosk. The backend (body) is the content and commerce functionality powering the “heads”.
What’s important to note is that the frontend and backend function completely separate of each other. This separation sounds like a problem, but really it isn’t. It’s the key to the flexibility and agility that ‘headless’ approaches enable. By way of comparison, in a monolithic platform everything comes connected together (tightly coupled), which means changing the backend also means changing the frontend – which is time consuming and complex!
With headless systems, frontend’s can be developed and managed independently of the backend. This leads to less complexity, more agility, and ultimately the freedom to innovate.