5 Ways Headless eCommerce Outperforms Traditional eCommerce

Jan 27, 2022 7:45:00 AM | Omnichannel Selling 5 Ways Headless eCommerce Outperforms Traditional eCommerce

We're going to break down how traditional eCommerce works, what headless commerce is, and why it is superior in many ways.

eCommerce can be overwhelming. Online, everything moves and changes so quickly that retailers struggle to keep up. eCommerce methods, best practices, and technology are always evolving, and it can feel impossible to implement every new thing, especially when each change can be costly, time consuming, and difficult.  

However, there's a solution that can make it easy and cost-effective to adapt to the ever-changing eCommerce landscape. The trick is to make your site more dynamic so that you can easily implement new tools and technology. Luckily, trading your traditional eCommerce methods in for a headless commerce framework can do just that.

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Traditional eCommerce vs Headless Commerce

Your current website likely uses the traditional eCommerce model. Switching to headless commerce would have a slew of benefits both immediately and in the future. We're going to break down how traditional eCommerce works, what headless commerce is, and why it is superior in many ways.

What Is Traditional eCommerce?

Typically, eCommerce sites operate using a framework with distinct but connected front and back-end systems. Back-end systems are made up of three fundamental parts:

  1. Server: The computer that receives information requests.
  2. Application: The program that finds and responds with the requested information.
  3. Database: The databases that store and manage information like inventory, price, product details, and much more.

Any part of a website that visitors can see, use, or interact with directly, is part of the site's front-end or user interface (UI). 

In the typical eCommerce framework, the front-end and back-end are connected, allowing customers to use the UI to request information and get a response from the backend. 

What Is Headless Commerce?

Headless commerce is an updated eCommerce framework with greater functionality. Instead of being tied down to one permanent front-end interface, headless commerce utilizes API (application programming interface) functions to allow the back-end to communicate with a wide array of applications and platforms. 

What Are the Benefits of Headless Commerce?

With Traditional eCommerce, the two ends are connected, for better or worse. Instead of teaming up to consolidate power and resources, in the end, it only serves to keep the power of eCommerce tied down. 

Headless commerce is what happens when all the power, knowledge, resources, and potential that eCommerce represents is finally unleashed. Here are just some of the benefits.

1. Heightened Control Over Site Architecture

With both ends bound together, the back-end stores web content, product information, and other details for the front-end to display, often storing much of the UIs code on the back-end as well. If developers try to customize the site, changes to the code in this format can cause unexpected damage, limiting options.

Without these limitations, headless commerce has a wide variety of customization options available. This helps eCommerce businesses with niche products and unique user needs to customize their eCommerce experience by adding specialized features general products and users wouldn't need. For stores selling more general products with mass appeal and wide competition, custom elements can help differentiate their brand from the wider market. 

2. Advanced User Personalization Options

You can also personalize each customer's on-site experience, which almost three-fourths of consumers already expect. Cookies allow you to gather demographic data about your visitors to personalize their CX, making for a much easier and faster shopping experience. This translates to less friction and better conversion rates.

3. Omnichannel Capabilities

APIs can connect your back-end site to anything with an internet connection. This offers limitless potential for omnichannel commerce which is shown to increase order amounts and improve conversions by 25%. Your customers can reach you via any device including digital assistants, wearable tech, and anything else connected to the IoT (internet of things).

4. Enhanced Speed & Performance

When the two sides share resources, it slows loading times and page speeds. With all the different plugins and solutions needed to run a successful eCommerce site, it could get bogged down easily. This is a common issue that headless commerce breaks free from by not being connected.

5. Increased Control Over More Detailed Customer Data

Data often gets collected, stored, and used differently by different departments and programs causing data silos that make information harder to access. This separation limits their big-picture insights. 

A headless approach allows everyone to access all data quickly and easily. That data can then be easily used to find patterns, shape forecasting, make improvements, and so much more. The easier it is to collect, share, access, and implement data, the more powerful it becomes.   

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Additional Solutions to Supercharge Your eCommerce Stack

Headless commerce allows you to mix and match tools and methods to create the perfect eCommerce experience. A headless approach not only makes it easy to have a comprehensive, custom eCommerce technology stack that won't slow your site down, but it also opens up some options and benefits you may not have considered.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Choosing between web apps and native apps is a difficult dilemma. A web application is universal across devices but lacks push notifications and other native features. While native apps have those features, an app must be developed for each device type. Either choice is less than ideal.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are hybrid apps with all the best features and functions but none of the drawbacks. They work across devices through web browsers but can be saved on devices for easy access and added features (like push notifications and offline use) like a native app.

PWAs have lightning-fast loading speeds, on average, improving page performance by 50%. Even better, since they perform perfectly on any device, it's much more cost-effective than building a site and a new specialized app for each device.

Headless Product Configuration for eCommerce

Customers across product categories want product customization options. The vast majority of B2B and B2C customers also want self-service options in every stage of the sales process and a self-guided buyer's journey. The process must also be quick and easy. Customer effort is the best predictor of future loyalty—40% better than customer satisfaction—with low-effort transactions increasing customer retention by 90%.

Our Logik.io single rules engine for Configure Price Quote (CPQ) and eCommerce integrates seamlessly with your existing system. With Logik.io's powerful headless configurator, you can deliver a smooth and easy self-guided selling experience to every customer, no matter how complex their configuration. With our powerful, purpose-built solving engine your configuration rules will automatically be arranged in the optimal order for lightning-fast speeds.

Your customers will have unimaginable power at their fingertips. They won't believe the ease and speed with which they'll be able to design advanced configurations for the products of their dreams. You won't believe the huge jump in conversions and profits that come with this kind of power to deliver customers' every wish.

Logik.io can supercharge your Salesforce CPQ capabilities guided selling, bill of materials, and advanced logic. Our best-in-class visualization partner, Threekit, will make sure your customers are in awe of the amazingly detailed, photorealistic visuals that allow for dynamic viewing of their customization and configuration choices. Their Virtual Photographer™ and 360° product viewer allow for the creation of 3D models, 360° visuals, and Augmented Reality (AR) for fully interactive product visualization.  

Why Should You Invest in Headless Commerce?

A headless commerce framework allows you to add whatever you need with little cost and difficulty. Every time a new platform or device becomes popular, your headless PWA is already capable of working with it seamlessly. Each time Google increases the importance of metrics that provide a great customer experience—like they did with page experience, page speed, and mobile-first indexing—you'll already have the best system in place to rank high for all of them.

No matter what happens, your dynamic and agile framework lets you easily add or alter anything without high costs, time to market, or difficulty, and your users will never notice it's under construction until the new features are in place and ready to dazzle. This is the best way to satisfy customers, provide the best features, and completely future-proof your business.

To learn more about what headless commerce is capable of, check out Logik.io's configuration solution for Salesforce with Threekit-powered visuals and see what's possible when the power of eCommerce is unleashed.

Blake Grubbs

Written By: Blake Grubbs

Blake has successfully helped several high-growth tech startups build and scale marketing over the past 10 years. Held marketing leadership roles at Seismic, Drift, Alyce, and Simplr, all who successfully doubled and tripled ARR bookings during his tenure. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management from Boston University's Questrom School of Business.