Headless commerce: how to build a modern front-end? - Front-Commerce

Developing an E-commerce website in 2021 means facing many obstacles

Increased competition in terms of referencing, constantly evolving technologies, not to mention trends that are sometimes difficult to follow. It is increasingly common for an e-merchant to spend more time solving problems with the systems they operate, rather than focusing on what really matters: their business and their customers. Solutions, such as a headless architecture, exist to help B2B and B2C companies stay ahead of the curve. This type of system will allow you to build an original and modern customer experience with a front-end that is adapted not only to your company’s needs, but also to those of your customers.

What is headless commerce?

Headless commerce is a separation between the front-end and back-end of an E-commerce platform. A headless architecture consists of one or more systems that are used to store content and deliver it through APIs. Unlike traditional software, they don’t have themes or templates designed for your users: their “head” has been cut off. This leaves you able to customize your front-end display with an on-brand display.

Why is a headless architecture useful?

Headless commerce allows you to combine content and data from several different sources, leaving it possible to create the user interface that best suits your needs. This includes a web storefront, mobile storefront but also a voice assistant, IoT, social selling etc.

In an era of extreme personalization, technology has naturally evolved towards headless architecture. It allows each team to opt for best-in-class tools and provide quality content. With specialized products (CMS, OMS or PIM), you are no longer limited by the features of a monolithic E-commerce solution. Technology is finally at the service of the business, not the other way around.

What are the advantages of separating the front-end from the back-end

You can use the different solutions available on the market for each function of your platform.

This is called “best of breed”. Your front-end will be able to aggregate data from these solutions using their APIs without worrying about the technology used by the software. Your platform will become a set of solutions, each an expert in its own field. This responds to the maturity reached by e-commerce today. 10 years ago, you could be satisfied with a monolithic platform that was versatile but lacking in certain functions, but today this is no longer possible. The most obvious example is editorial content management, which has always been the poor relation of monolithic e-commerce platforms. Today, you can easily integrate a CMS into your platform.

You will have total UX and UI design freedom for your front-end

Moreover, marketing and e-commerce teams need flexibility to make the frontend evolve and be able to make changes very quickly. Whether it’s A/B testing, adding landings, design modifications, … Decoupling the front/back will allow them to be independent by internalizing the front-end competence. Another solution is to separate the responsibilities with a technical provider in charge of the backend and a digital agency (design and marketing oriented) for the frontend.

By using modern front-end solutions you can provide a much better customer experience.

Optimizing your user experience is much easier and less expensive to achieve with headless. You don’t need to touch every layer of the platform, focusing on the front end is enough. Bearing this in mind, with a solution like Front-Commerce, performance optimization is native.

The arrival of headless and its “best of breed” approach will change the way e-commerce platforms exist

Until now, a complete overhaul was necessary every 3 years, on average, (and often due to a technical constraint!). With headless, you will be able to evolve function by function without having to redesign everything at once. The positive financial impact over time is easily calculated.

The benefits of a modern front-end in a nutshell:

  • Easily build a ‘best-of-breed’ stack: choose the solutions that are not only at the top of the market, but that best fit your business needs.
  • Create unlimited front-end potential and creative freedom with a decoupled front-end and back-end. UX/UI teams and developers can experiment and innovate without stepping on each other’s toes.
  • A modern frontend will take your user experience to the next level in terms of performance, speed, and customization. Devialet launched the redesign of its e-commerce platform with Front-Commerce with the objective of improving page load times across 37 countries. Result: a bounce rate reduction of -25% and a conversion rate increase of +100%.
  • Expand your user experience with a frontend that can easily adapt to new technologies and current trends.
  • Evolve your platform as your business needs change, without having to consider a complete replatforming or make changes to multiple layers of technology.

Unsure? Front-Commerce answers your questions!

“A headless technology is for big e-merchants, I am not concerned!”

Small or big catalogs, big traffic or not, all e-retailers are concerned by the implementation of a site that perfectly matches the expectations of customers and prospects. The offers may not be the same, but the objective is : accelerate business development at a lower cost. Front-Commerce acts as a gas pedal. You can maintain parts of your original platform while achieving a gradual migration. Example: Kaporal migrated to the headless solution of Front-Commerce while keeping Magento 1.

“Such innovative technologies are risky and we have little expertise on the subject!”

If there’s one thing Front-Commerce prioritizes, is its relationship with its customers. Any change requires support. Chaperoning your apprehension of the solution is also our role. Full time support is included in our license as well as a quality audit at the end of the project to ensure that performance is up to par.

“I can’t afford to hire new developers to implement this solution!”

Don’t panic: our team will take care of training your developers. Before each project, we evaluate the technical level of the team and adapt our training. The only prerequisite: knowledge of modern JavaScript and React concepts. Otherwise, we can put you in touch with partner agencies, adapted to your budget and your requirements, to entrust them with the project rollout.

“My business is not just online, I always connect my e-commerce to my physical business!”

If this is your situation, consider it an asset! Products online only, promo codes to be used only online, click and collect, sales and events in-store… Have no fear! There are many strategies to accentuate the complementarity of your different sales channels. Front-Commerce has already integrated  omnichannel & unified commerce storefronts. Moreover, we have a connector with unified commerce solution Proximis. Ask for a demo!

Don’t miss out on headless. Contact our experts!