Headless commerce cover image

Written by:
Tim Farmer

How headless commerce is changing the world of retail

Of all the retail blogs I’ve read in the last month or so, one trend keeps popping up: headless commerce. Brands will make ‘going headless’ a priority in 2022, as they look to deliver better customer experiences and satisfaction rates.

Headless commerce isn’t particularly new, but the buzz around it has intensified in the past 12 months or so. The pandemic has played a big part in that, with brands forced to adapt quickly to changing customer needs – and that’s exactly what headless commerce is all about.

What is it?

Forbes has a great description: “Simply put, it is an approach to e-commerce architecture where the front end (the presentation layer customers interact with) and the back end (background processes and commerce functionality) of the system are separated. The front end is known as the head, making the decoupled back end ‘headless’.”

In theory, headless architecture provides brands with a platform to build whatever and however they want – custom experiences that make customer journeys as smooth and as seamless as possible, no matter what device they’re using.

Since changes to the front end can be made without any heavy lifting, brands can react quickly to new market trends, keeping costly back-end development to a minimum.

Why is it so appealing?

Until now, headless architecture was only available to the big players – Amazons and the like – but new platforms like Bolt, Magento Commerce, Shopify and Contentful are levelling the playing field.

For retailers, headless architecture is an omnichannel enabler, making it easy to “plug in” new sales channels such as voice, chatbot or whichever additional functionality they want to build into their tech stack.

For developers, it presents a fast-paced and interesting proposition as they can respond quickly to changing trends and test, review and revise new approaches at the drop of a hat without the added risk to the rest of the business.

It’s less “keep things ticking over” and more “let’s make things happen”. And what developer doesn’t want to work in an environment like that?

The recipe for a perfect headless commerce team

Retailers looking to build successful headless eCommerce teams are now searching for top talent to help them achieve their goals. This includes searching for Architects, Delivery Managers, and Business Analysts that can help build and embed it along with the team.

If that’s you, I’d love to speak with you about how our clients are utilising headless commerce. You can find our latest roles here.


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