What is Headless eCommerce? Discover it’s meaning and advantages

Head… what?

We’re talking about a new kind of managing your eCommerce that will help you improve user experience and strengthen your website’s omni-channel drive.

For real?

Yes, it’s called Headless eCommerce.

Get ready; we’ll start by breaking down the meaning of this phrase 😉

👉 What is a Headless eCommerce?

Let’s start with a technical definition:

Headless eCommer means breaking away from the traditional (rigid) web structure, in which the frontend and the backend are 100% dependent on each other. 

In other words, the frontend’s “all-in-one” concept changes completely in Headless eCommerce.

It’s possible you haven’t quite yet understood what we mean or that you need further explanation as to why it is useful for the frontend to break away with tradition, so let’s go over it step by step.

 ✅ 1. The 3 Keys of Headless Commerce

In order to understand the benefits of Headless eCommerce, it is important to be familiar with three words.

  1. Frontend
  2. Backend
  3. API

Here’s a simple introduction to them –whether you already know a little about them or you’re just learning about them.

➡️ A. Frontend

It’s the part of your website your customers interact with. The first thing they see when they type your name and access your store’s web address.

It’s the visible side.

  • Images.
  • Videos.
  • Different pages.
  • Banners.
  • Graphs.
  • Calendars.
  • Etc.

An example of it would be the image below of an online store selling ecologic cosmetics. Everything we can see at first sight makes up their frontend.

arquitectura headless ecommerce

As you can see, it allows us to visit their social media profiles, type in our personal info and subscribe to a newsletter or receive a coupon for discounts on our birthday.

Any element on your website that’s “public” makes up your frontend.

➡️ B. Backend

Backend refers to all the technology behind your web store and, therefore, the user can’t access any of it.

Put differently, it’s all the web development that makes your web work.

➡️ C. API

This acronym stands for Application Programming Interface.

What does this mean?

If we get technical, an API is the set of protocols (as experts call them) that allow frontend and backend data to communicate quickly and easily.

More simply, an API is a tool that joins two or more tools so they can operate together.

The API tells the backend what the user of your online business has requested on the frontend, and once this request is ready, it sends it back to the user without having both parties interacting with one another. 

Let’s see an example of it.

On this webpage you can download a lead magnet (a free gift). To do so, you only need to fill out the form.

headles ecommerce architecture

This form is connected to an email marketing tool via API, which is in charge of sending you an email containing the gift when you type in your personal information.

Thanks to the API, you’ve been able to connect two tools in a very simple way (and without dealing with coding).

✅ 2. Headless eCommerce: Structure

As we mentioned above, in traditional stores the frontend and the backend work together. Instead, in Headless eCommerce this mandatory link is broken.

Or, –in other words– the idea of a total frontend disappears.

Now, depending on the action a user requests, the backend will send whatever we want via API.

Let’s see an example.

Imagine that, depending on the size of the device the user is employing, you could use different checkouts, since some of them have better adaptability than others.

Well, that applies to everything.

Thanks to APIs, you’ll be able to customize user experience to the maximum and more simply adapt to omnichannel marketing.

👉 Benefits of Headless eCommerce

We have already mentioned that “breaking down” the frontend can help you improve user experience and strengthen omni-channel marketing.

Let’s explain in depth and present more advantages to it.

✅ 1. User experience

The game is on a whole new level now.

In other words, the customer, the user who every day goes into your eCommerce has increased their demands. They increasingly claim a more agile and personalized service.

That’s when APIs —with Headless eCommerce— come into play to make your life much easier.

The possibility of integrating different tools in a simple way opens up a world of possibilities for the user to live a positive experience. You’ll be able to customize every little detail.

➡️ Another example: Doofinder

Our search engine follows the same principles as Headless eCommerce and it uses AI to offer 100% personalized results. For example, thanks to our tracking of users’ interactions in your store, we can “read” the customers’ minds and predict what they want to look for.

So, if a person has previously bought some boxing gloves and a couple days later comes back to your store to look for “pants”, Doofinder will show them boxing pants…

And the best part is you can try it for free for 30 days.

Where?

Just sign up here.

✅ 2. Headless eCommerce for multi-channel business

Instagram.

Apps.

Smartwatches.

TikTok.

And tomorrow there will be one more channel. And your customer wants you to be everywhere and also to have perfect user experience everywhere too.

Is this madness?

No, thanks to APIs.

Thanks to them, you’ll be able to integrate your backend with every new channel in a quick and simple way (and all the information will be updated and remain identical everywhere).

✅ 3. Ability to make changes

Thanks to Headless eCommerce, making a change in your store will not take too long.

Why?

Before, any change would mean changing the entire front end; now, you can modify what you specifically want.

By decentralizing features you are now more efficient.

✅ 4. Optimizing is simpler with headless architecture

Because running A/B tests is much simpler.

Again, decentralizing features will make it simpler for you to do tests or to do more specific tests.

Would you like to know more about A/B tests? Here’s a specific post in which we punctualize it.

✅ 5. Better brand image

This just comes naturally now.

If user experience improves, so does the perception they have of you. And of course, this boosts conversion and strengthens customer loyalty.

👉 When is it convenient to move onto Headless eCommerce?

Ideally, now. But let’s be realistic: each online business has its own needs and goals.

If you just opened up your eCommerce, it’s best to first solidify your project.

If your business is already up and running though, you should seriously consider taking the leap because omni-channel marketing is already mandatory (and improving user experience must always prevail).

However, as always, first consider:

  • Prices.
  • Time for implementation.
  • Impact on sales. 

Once you have that, decide whether now is really the right time.

👉 Headless eCommerce is the future

In a highly competitive market, user experience is already mandatory.

Would you like to read more posts on how to do this?

Here’s a list of articles for you to improve UX.

And if that’s not enough, here’s our whitepapers section for you to learn more about how to improve your store (and increase sales).

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