Headless eCommerce: Unfolding the growth strategies of selling online in 2022

ecommerce Strategies
09 Jul

Headless eCommerce: Unfolding the growth strategies of selling online in 2022

Headless eCommerce is fast becoming a viable option for brands to enhance the performance and flexibility of their e-commerce websites. With this, you’ll be able to provide the fluidity that your customers want effortlessly and break down the restrictions of traditional, monolithic platforms which are quickly becoming obsolete. But it can only do this for your business if you implement it properly.

Properly establishing a successful headless digital presence requires implementing a few good headless eCommerce strategies. These strategies should point you in the right direction for reaching your company goals & requirements, and must also be easy to implement as you will want to use them repeatedly due to market changes.

Migrating to a new platform is a big step, especially if your new platform needs redesigning your entire architecture. Thus, you can't do it lightly. You should plan and define your company goals for the new technology and clear strategies to achieve those goals. You must also make sure that the new platform won't negatively affect your company internally which includes both your operation and development teams. You also want to reduce any troublesome hurdles between development and marketing. Due to this, the most extravagant and popular options may not be the correct fit for your company. So, it's better to research which solutions are the most appropriate for your needs and requirements.

Luckily, there are a few good strategies for implementing headless eCommerce successfully. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the most commonly used headless eCommerce strategies and let you know how you can use them to grow your company.

Headless eCommerce Strategies

ecommerce Strategies

1. Consider These Factors for Successful Headless eCommerce Implementations

Successful eCommerce Implementations

One of the most important Headless eCommerce strategies is to study the following factors when considering headless eCommerce for your company.

  • Your company Goals

    Not every technology will be suitable for every company. Before you take the plunge, you must ensure that the component will properly align with your company goals.

    Luckily, headless eCommerce is flexible. You only need to obtain the components you require at the moment, expanding or contracting your network as you go. Thus, understanding the technology needs you to know how a headless platform works and integrate it into your company goals and processes.

  • Cost and Time Investment

    Headless eCommerce platforms can require a considerable upfront investment in logistical and financial resources. Nothing comes in mass pre-set packages. You must acquire and develop each component of your platform separately. So, you must contemplate if each desired function is worth your time based on your budget and present-day IT resources.

  • Framework Considerations

    While various specialists talk about going full headless, you can take a more hybrid approach instead. This will allow you to test headless architecture while keeping conventional content delivery as a backup. Thus, it might be a more appropriate solution for your company, especially if your customers only use a few channels to reach you.

  • Finding the Right Platform and Partner

    The most fundamental factor for any successful technology investment is to have the right partner who can give ongoing support, development, maintenance, and consultation. This is especially true with headless eCommerce which highlights discrete platform components that connect only through API calls and microservices.

2. Set up a Headless eCommerce Plan Before Making the Leap

Headless eCommerce Plan

Recognizing what goes into a successful headless platform is not sufficient. You must make sure that your entire organisation is ready and properly trained for it. To accomplish that, you must set up a comprehensive plan for your transition to headless eCommerce.

Your comprehensive headless eCommerce plan must:

  • Find out how you will control external and internal risks, scope creep, and technical debt.
  • Allocate development teams to various components.
  • Set up re-evaluation milestones for planned upgrades and changes.
  • Allot resources.

Ideally, you should record this plan as a part of your comprehensive e-commerce strategy document that includes:

  • Your company goals.
  • Infrastructure considerations such as scalability, monitoring, security, and quality assurance.
  • Data architecture specifications and needed technological tools and services.
  • Change control procedures for prolonging stability and integrity through the initiative’s lifecycle.
  • Any recommended or needed outsourcing.

This planning stage is significant to keep everything on track. You are probably implementing several headless eCommerce strategies at once, and each one will need the appropriate funding and executive sponsorship. Your plan should determine what needs to be done and when as well as set up measurable objectives for the journey.

3. Remember to Plan Every Upgrade as Well

Plan Every Upgrade

Besides your comprehensive plan, you will want to plan out each upgrade to your infrastructure. You can develop each component separately, but that also means that they can diverge from your goals if you are not careful.

Each of these mini-plans should answer the same questions as your overall plan. It is these smaller plans and upgrades that allow you to quickly respond to market changes. So, they should help you determine if you:

  • Utilise every optimization opportunity before you broaden your network.
  • Have the budget and resources to deal with any potential maintenance cost.
  • Have the right partners for your needed service expansion.

With a solid set of plans in place, you can reduce much of the “fear of missing out” that often arises from new technology.

4. Start with a Small Headless eCommerce Platform and Expand as Required

Headless eCommerce Platform

Motivated to become more agile and changeable on the fly, every industry has gone headless in full force. While headless eCommerce can help you give your customers dynamic and exceptional experiences, you should avoid going all in at once with some monolithic platform.

Because of the upfront costs, you want to start with your headless architecture small and to the point. Once you have a foothold, you can start expanding slowly with a well-planned-out process. This slow process will make sure that customer experience and company operations remain consistent and unharmed.

A good rule of thumb is to simply convert the level of service you already have to headless, and then eliminate or add services until your solution matches your particular requirements. You can then add new features and platforms as the requirements of your customers change. The inherent flexibility of headless architecture will let you deal with these changes easily without compromising your current offering.

5. Take a Microservices Approach

Microservices Approach

A headless platform removes any dependencies between the front-end and the back-end, enabling companies to roll out new features and carry out maintenance without disrupting the customer experience. The best way to accomplish this is by taking a microservices approach to development, where each digital function runs as its own independent component of software. This is the same technology that allows some retail giants to constantly improve their online experience without the need for any downtime in development.

6. Establish Clear Headless Migration Goals and Guidelines

Headless Goals and Guidelines

Creating feasible headless migration goals is as significant as establishing your plan to achieve them. Your headless migration goals establish your requirements, expectations, and schedule. They define what is achievable & when, and also keep your staff focused on the task at hand rather than costly tangents.

Your goals should also never be random or irrelevant to the job at hand. Instead, they must describe how your organisation will utilise and develop the technology. As such, they should be based on particular factors.

7. Determine Your Current Drawbacks and Ways to Overcome Them

Overcome drawbacks

Transitioning to headless eCommerce needs implementing and integrating brand new infrastructure and software. While you could start with a hybrid setup using your current content management solution, there will still be a considerable initial cost in employee training, equipment, and development time.

Therefore, you will want to ensure you fully understand your current resource limits and organisation drawbacks that may hinder or derail your migration. You also want to determine how you can make the necessary improvements to overcome those drawbacks. Your list should identify these drawbacks by priority to make sure your new architecture remains stronger than your current setup.

8. Identify How to Improve Your Customer Experience

Improve Customer Experience

Providing the best customer experience possible should be one of your higher priority goals during the transition to headless eCommerce. As such, you want to identify the customer experience you currently offer and how you can improve it.

You can gather this data by asking your customers what they want and would like to see from your platform. You can then compare this data to your current platform offering to find out what is missing. Once finalised, your list will help your front-end engineers understand how to develop your platform to make the required changes.

You can then test your potential new marketing layouts on your customers, thanks in part to the disconnected nature of headless eCommerce.

9. Appropriately Schedule Your Headless eCommerce Migration

Schedule Headless eCommerce Migration

You must unleash your development team with enough resources for your headless eCommerce migration. However, just letting your engineers do their thing without guidance is unwise. You must give them a comprehensible thought process and development timeline for the migration.

Scheduling a headless migration is more than simply giving deadlines. You must also define which parts of your network should be a priority. For example, should your developers migrate your front end before they convert your backend services, or after? You must also set priorities for each component such as your orders, product catalogues, and user profiles.

Most firms prefer starting with their front-end solutions to enhance their customer experience and metrics. But you may want to delay that development if you need to set up microservices to make sure your front-end has something to show. Either way, you want to increase your organisation’s confidence to continue forward with the migration

10. Schedule These Additional Crucial Things During Your Migration

Crucial Things During Migration

Besides the above development phases, your migration schedule should think about and leave time and resources for some crucial but smaller steps. These steps are needed for all eCommerce solutions but are especially important to the nature of headless content management.

  • Peak Traffic Management

    Is your headless infrastructure as scalable as promised? Your channels should load quickly and reliably even through traffic outbursts, especially during holidays and special events.

  • Data Security

    Because of the decoupled nature of headless CMS, the various components communicate with each other through a common set of API commands. That leaves the system vulnerable to data security risks you must reduce during your development processes.

    Your data security must observe and verify all the information passing through every CMS feature and platform, including data modelling subtypes, objects, and attributes. They should do this while your CMS is live, but also when moving your data and customer credentials from your old system to your new one.

  • Continuous Activity Monitoring and Analysis

    Your migration schedule should determine when and how your CMS administration should monitor and process all activities, solving problems before they occur. Ideally, you want to monitor constantly, but you can and should base it around your available personnel resources.

Shopygo Team’s Recommendation

As with any new technology, the headless eCommerce landscape can change rapidly. New concepts and ideas come online quickly, and the nature of architecture enables these new elements to be tested under live conditions at once. Thus, if you want to maintain your benefits, you must understand the recent developments in the field and how they would impact your company.

But keep in mind that headless eCommerce isn’t for everyone. Customer experience is crucial to a headless eCommerce strategy. Your company should reach a certain level of digital maturity to implement the approach. By understanding where it fits into your existing company model, planning your resources effectively, and ensuring all bases are covered from a security perspective, you can make sure that your transition towards a headless eCommerce model will be as smooth as possible.

If you need help devising the right strategy for your organisation, you can contact us today. Our team will work with you to establish the best headless eCommerce strategy and infrastructure that will help your company reach its goals.