February 22, 2023 | 10 Min
Getting Started with Headless Commerce: A Quick Guide
Remember when the only way to shop was by visiting a store? Us neither. Nowadays, we shop using our laptops, phones, tablets, and even voice-controlled devices. Consumers want a smooth omnichannel experience. Yet, for some retailers, it isn’t always easy to provide one.
Headless commerce is a recent development in the eCommerce world, allowing you to provide a more flexible, personalized, and seamless customer experience. The value of headless lies in the ability to move away from a fixed and rigid approach to managing your commerce.
In this blog, we’ll explore why you should consider headless architecture, how it has helped customers around the globe transform their digital customer journeys, and how you can get started today.
What is Headless Commerce?
Headless commerce is a type of eCommerce architecture separating the frontend user interface (UI), from the backend. It’s a big step up from a traditional, monolithic eCommerce platform where your frontend and backend are tightly integrated on a single platform.
By going headless, you can add, swap, or remove “heads” such as apps, websites, and brick-and-mortar stores. All without worrying about how changes will impact the backend.
Reasons to Consider Headless Commerce
Here are four challenges you might be experiencing by sticking with a traditional eCommerce platform:
You struggle to deliver omnichannel experiences
It’s hard to implement new customer touchpoints
It’s time-consuming to make small changes
It’s a headache to upgrade or re-platform
How Amplience Powers Headless Commerce Success
Retailers all over the world use Amplience’s unified platform, including Dynamic Content, Dynamic Media and Content Hub, to power their businesses:
Selfologi saw consumers struggling to get their questions answered about a specific cosmetic treatment on site, and then consequently make a booking. To bridge the gap, Selfologi needed a technology stack that could deliver agile content management and eCommerce functionality.
The results: With Amplience, Selfologi saw an improvement in search engine optimization (SEO), lead generation and speed-to-market. Team productivity also increased due to the fully compostable nature of their tech stack.
“Amplience helps us to be flexible and, without that, our launch would have been a different story. We have developed our online brand quickly and successfully… It’s partly strategy and planning but it’s the tech stack that allows it to happen.” - Rob Pye - CEO, Selfologi
The Landmark Group is a multi-brand, multi-category, and omnichannel business. The company recognized that if they wanted to be more agile, they’d need to scale quicker and move away from full development support.
The results: By implementing Amplience, the Landmark Group gained flexibility, efficiency, and effectiveness without having to increase its headcount.
“Amplience has helped us to save about 30 percent of what would have been required in terms of headcount for design, copy and merchandising.” - James Dickson - Chief Product Officer, Landmark Group Digital
Crate & Barrel
Crate & Barrel struggled with the lack of flexibilityof its own content management system (CMS). They needed a new, more efficient workflow.
The results: By implementing Amplience, Crate and Barrel were able to scale and create content at a quicker pace.
“We were not reacting to the business as quickly as we needed to, we had little agility as a team.” - Melissa Liotus - Director of eCommerce, Marketing & Merchandising at Crate & Barrel
Three Headless Commerce Solutions to Consider
One of the best parts of switching to headless commerce is your ability to choose the best solutions to fit your needs. We’ve listed three options for you to consider:
Commercetools: A cloud-based, API-driven platform that provides a headless commerce solution for businesses.
Algolia: A search-as-a-service platform that provides a headless search solution for businesses.
Vue Storefront: An open-source, mobile-first headless eCommerce platform designed for building high-performance Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) that use a headless approach.
How to Get Started with Headless Commerce
So you think headless commerce might just be for you? Getting started can be a multi-step process, but here’s a general guide to get you going:
Define your requirements: What are your eCommerce needs and what do you want to achieve by going headless?
Choose a headless commerce platform: Research and compare. Consider ease of use, scalability, integration options, and technical support.
Plan your architecture: Decide on your frontend and backend components, API layer, and integrations.
Set up your development environment: Install the tools and software you need to develop and deploy your headless option.
Develop and test your solution: Develop the frontend and backend, test, and make any necessary changes.
Launch and maintain your solution: Finally, launch and monitor your headless solution closely. Always update and improve as business and consumer needs change.