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Businesses usually undergo full re-platforming to embrace headless commerce. However, as this is a costly and time-consuming undertaking, which generally takes at least several months, its positive impact on key business metrics is much delayed.
Thus, because the entire customer journey happens on the presentation layer of your online store, you need to prioritize the frontend optimization and begin your composable transformation right there.
This article will explain in detail why frontend should be the first step in turning headless for eCommerce businesses.
What is headless commerce?
Headless commerce is the term commonly used for decoupled commerce software architecture, in which the system's frontend layer is detached from the backend business logic. A broader term, which encompasses a complex microservices architecture, is composable commerce .
A composable commerce stack is built of independent components ( microservices ) operating with an API-first logic. They include an eCommerce platform, a headless CMS, as well as other third-party tools, like payment solutions, analytics tools, loyalty programs, and search engine solutions.
Key business benefits of headless commerce:
Fast web performance
Excellent customer experience
Flexibility to use best-of-breed solutions
Easy frontend customization
Increased conversion rates
Reduced time to market for new features
Learn more about the benefits of headless commerce .
The role of frontend in eCommerce
The frontend, also known as a presentation layer, is the part of your website that directly interacts with your consumers from beginning to end.
Customers demands for eCommerce are easy; they want online shopping experiences that are:
Because frontend is where the entire customer journey happens, you need to prioritize its optimization. Only a fast, mobile-first storefront can drive customer experience, conversion and revenue.
Frontend as a Service vs. custom frontend
When building their composable commerce stack, more and more merchants prefer to apply Frontend as a Service (FEaaS) software, like Vue Storefront, instead of custom frontend development.
As a lengthy and complex process, custom development cuts down on much of the value of composable commerce. Meanwhile, FEaaS helps managers and tech-side specialists focus on business logic and customization to go live in a tight schedule.
What is Frontend as a Service (FEaaS)?
Frontend as a Service is a one-stop-shop that gives you a whole ecosystem of tools working together or independently, and each of them is addressing one of the challenges you will face while building your eCommerce frontend.
Benefits of Frontend as a Service:
5x faster time-to-market
Reduced TCO (resources & cost optimization)
Pre-built integrations with headless vendors
Download the Vue Storefront technical whitepaper to learn more about Frontend as a Service.
5 reasons to begin your headless journey with the presentation layer
Starting your "composable" journey with the frontend provides a fast and cost-efficient alternative to full re-platforming. Instead of changing the entire engine, you add a performant, mobile-first frontend to your current eCommerce platform. This results in lower TCO and accelerated time-to-market, which brings profits from day one.
But the benefits of starting your digital transformation with the frontend go beyond that.
Frontend drives web performance
We all live in a mobile, customer-centric digital economy, where customer experience (CX) drives commerce. In this world, performance is more critical to your customers than ever. Rising customer expectations and increased smartphone usage are driving the need for mobile speed. The competitive gap will widen between brands that provide great mobile-first lightning-fast experience and those that fail to deliver it.
Frontend technology underlying an eCommerce website impacts the performance of the entire buyer journey. Even a tenth of a second change in load speed can impact every step of the user journey, ultimately increasing your conversion rates. However, only a fast and mobile-first storefront can meet those needs.
The existing legacy systems are slowing down your page speed, performance, and overall consumer experience. Instead of expensive point solutions, you need a new underlying frontend technology already designed for online performance and SEO.
Focusing on the frontend performance makes a perfect investment, especially during an economic downturn, as it brings a fast return on investment combined with a low total cost of ownership.
Customer experience starts at the frontend
59% of customers are willing to pay more for a great experience. That is why eCommerce businesses should look for new solutions to provide their customers with outstanding
customer experience. To stay ahead, you need to adopt a mobile-centric mindset.
The majority of the digital consumer journey occurs on the frontend. This implies that your frontend platform must check all the boxes for a generation of customers who want fast, personalized and smooth shopping experiences.
Customer experience metrics will stay low if your storefront has poor speed and lacks mobile-first architecture. Therefore, one of the primary goals for your headless commerce transformation should be upgrading your eCommerce frontend for better customer experience. A high-quality, fast, and mobile-first storefront is essential to increase buyer’s satisfaction, improve conversions and grow revenue.
Begin with your customers' needs by choosing the frontend as the first step towards a headless commerce strategy.
Fast improvement on conversion and ROI
Frontend technology underlying an eCommerce website impacts the performance of the entire buyer journey. To fix conversion, you need to improve your web performance and customer experience first.
Unfortunately, all-in-one monolithic software blocks you from innovating at the speed of your customers and affects your conversion rates. Therefore, to deliver a top customer experience you need a fast and mobile-optimized frontend, decoupled from a monolithic system.
When you start your headless transformation with the frontend part, you prioritize fast improvement on conversion and ROI. Focusing on the frontend performance makes a perfect investment especially during an economic downturn, as it brings a fast return on investment combined with a low total cost of ownership.
Headless commerce without re-platforming
There is no need to change your robust eCommerce platform to reap the benefits of composable commerce. If you begin your transformation with ready, pre-built and highly customizable Frontend as a Service, you can skip custom development and add a performant frontend on top of your current monolith software without costly and lengthy re-platforming.
Decoupled architecture will quickly and efficiently solve plenty of business problems like sluggish web performance, poor customer experience and low conversion rates stopping you from revenue growth.
With 50+ ready UI components and multiple out-of-the-box integrations with popular eCommerce platforms like SAP Commerce Cloud , Vue Storefront will assist you on the way, reducing total cost of ownership and accelerating time-to-market.
Unlocked possibility to future-proof and scale easily
Limited ability to scale their business is a common pain point for monolithic legacy system users. With obstacles to expanding to the new markets, introducing new brands, or developing new product segments, business simply slows down.
When an eCommerce business is growing, it needs a tech stack that will quickly grow with it and allow for changes on the go. This is exactly what headless commerce has to offer.
Headless commerce future-proofs the system as continuous iteration and innovation are secured. You can flexibly expand your geographic reach and grow your traffic by starting your eCommerce development with a frontend solution like Vue Storefront. With auto-scaling capabilities, you can easily handle unforeseen traffic peaks.
With Vue Storefront, you are additionally provided a multi-store experience: one backend can be set up with many frontends each of the many frontends can be aligned to a specific market's needs: different products, differences in the category tree, multiple currencies, other shipping methods, various payment methods, different address validation rules, etc.)
Start with the frontend to secure your future growth.
Start with Vue Storefront
Vue Storefront is an API-driven Frontend as a Service (FEaaS) designed with Progressive Web App (PWA) technology and customization in mind. Thanks to our 30+ out-of-the-box integrations with market-proven solutions, and performance-tested templates, you can create an engaging and highly-scalable frontend 5x faster.
This approach cuts development time and saves investment, supercharging digital customer experiences and boosting your business performance from day one. Therefore, Vue Storefront is the best starting point for any eCommerce project.
Standing at the front of an eCommerce store, Vue Storefront:
Speeds up development time, bypassing thousands of hours of building from scratch
Keeps storefronts high-performing
Prioritizes small-screen customer experience
Does not limit undertakings at the customization path
By keeping the store efficient, it boosts revenue
Empowers customer lifetime value
Enables stack composition according to individual business needs
Takes overall care of the best SEO results
Overcomes obstacles posed by legacy stacks
Flawlessly leads eCommerce store on a high-growth curve
Allows to control the content on the marketing side
Download the technical whitepaper to learn more.
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