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Headless Commerce for B2C Brands: Where to Start
January 10, 2023
The year 2023 is set to be when headless commerce – particularly in the B2C segment – really takes off. Headless commerce technology is an emerging trend in the world of digital commerce that allows B2C eCommerce businesses to separate the frontend and the backend of their website. As an innovative way to provide customers with a seamless online shopping experience, it increases the flexibility and efficiency of the business’s operations.
In this article, you will learn all about headless commerce & B2C synergy. We will elaborate on the benefits and key elements of a B2C headless commerce strategy, and show you how to implement this cutting-edge technology in your business.
What is a B2C headless commerce?
B2C headless commerce is a type of an eCommerce system that separates the frontend (presentation layer) and the backend (commerce platform) part of a B2C eCommerce website in order to gain more flexibility, scalability and faster web performance, to name just a few benefits.
Headless commerce enables B2C brands to compose their tech stack with best-of-breed eCommerce technologies like headless CMS , headless commerce platform , payment gateways and search engines. It allows B2C businesses to quickly introduce changes to the frontend layer, as well as test and update the presentation layer to create a seamless shopping experience for their customers.
Headless commerce is a part of a wider concept of composable commerce and MACH architecture (microservices-based, api-first, cloud-native, headless).
Headless commerce for B2C: key benefits
In the last few years headless commerce has been one of the most debated and least understood eCommerce buzzwords. As eCommerce businesses are embracing the trend, you might still be wondering what the benefits of headless architecture for B2C brands are. We can start with this:
- With headless commerce, B2C companies can improve web performance and their SEO metrics.
- By separating the frontend and backend layers of the system, marketing teams get more freedom to test, update and quickly add new content and features to the frontend without developer help. This positively influences both UX and conversions.
- Headless technology allows business-to-consumer companies to deliver excellent customer experience, which drives conversions and sales.
- Headless commerce architecture gives you freedom to compose the best technology stack with the tools and frameworks that are aligned with your business goals, rather than being limited by the capabilities of your all-in-one legacy system.
- With a headless architecture, your B2C eCommerce business achieves unlimited flexibility – you can scale it in any direction you choose.
Read the entire article focused on the benefits of headless commerce .
How to implement headless commerce
If you're considering implementing headless architecture for your B2C company, congratulations! However, before taking the first step, you need to approach it in a strategic and thoughtful manner to ensure a successful rollout.
Define your goals and objectives
Before you begin, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve with your headless commerce strategy. Do you want to improve the customer experience, increase conversions, or reduce maintenance costs? By defining your goals and objectives at the beginning, you can make sure you're working toward a specific set of goals, which will help you with the decision-making.
Evaluate your current technology stack
Before you start implementing a headless commerce solution, it's important to take stock of your current technology stack. What systems and technologies are you currently using, which features are crucial, which are redundant and how well does the current system support your business needs?
If you’ve been using a legacy system (aka monolith application ), you need to find out if it’s possible to add a decoupled frontend on top of it and run the migration without replatforming. This is a fast-track way to headless, which focuses on the presentation layer, where the entire customer journey happens.
With Vue Storefront, decoupling without replatforming is open for SAP Commerce Cloud , Elastic Path , BigCommerce , Magento , and other all-in-one software.
Download our technical whitepaper to learn how to start headless transformation with Vue Storefront
Find a Solution Integrator
In order to implement a headless commerce strategy successfully, you would need to consider hiring an experienced agency (Solution Integrator). Fortunately, there is already a vast array of companies which specialize in headless commerce implementation for B2C brands. They will help you design, build and maintain your headless commerce stack, with the understanding of the unique needs of your business.
Solution Integrators have the knowledge and expertise to ensure a successful headless commerce strategy. They can provide valuable insights into the best technology stack and are able to optimize the system for maximum efficiency. To find Solution Integrators partnering with Vue Storefront, visit the Agencies Directory .
Choose the right headless commerce vendors
There are many headless commerce solutions ( microservices ) on the market, each focused on a different set of functions. To create a full-fledged headless commerce stack, you would need:
a fast, mobile-first frontend solution like Frontend as a Service
Other third-party services like: Payment, Reviews or Search solutions
However, to speed up time-to-market and reap the benefits of headless commerce, you don’t need to ditch your current legacy system for the sake of an entire set of completely new headless-oriented solutions. You can go frontend-first, starting the migration with the presentation layer, and adding the other components later on, if needed.
Develop a migration plan
Together with the Solution Integrator and your in-house developer team, you need to decide on the best migration strategy. Do you opt for full replatforming, when the entire stack is exchanged, or do you prefer a gradual, frontend-first migration?
If you decide to run the full replatforming, be prepared for a more complex, time-consuming and expensive process. On the contrary, with the frontend-first approach, the migration should take less time, money and resources. At the same time, since it’s 100% focused on the customer, it should bring ROI much faster than full-replatforming.
Implement and optimize
Depending on the project, its complexity and the method, the implementation process might take from several months to more than a year. When the new stack is in place, you can test it, update it and exchange particular microservices thanks to the API-first architecture.
Find detailed instructions on how to go headless here.
Start with the frontend
Starting your headless commerce journey frontend first provides a fast-paced and cost-efficient alternative to full replatforming. Instead of changing the entire system, you add a fast, mobile-friendly frontend on top of your current eCommerce engine to quickly reap the benefits of the headless approach.
There are numerous benefits to starting your headless transformation with the frontend:
- Accelerated time-to-market
- Lower TCO
- Faster web performance
- Improved customer experience
- Increased conversion rates and ROI
Read to elaborate more: 5 reasons to start with the frontend
Start with Vue Storefront
With all the advantages of the frontend-first approach to headless, there also comes one challenge: building a custom frontend from scratch takes a lot of time and resources. To deliver a fast, mobile-first storefront, you must take care of multiple aspects and perform plenty of repetitive tasks.
Fortunately, there is a cost-effective way to speed up time to market and ensure excellent customer experience: starting your headless transformation with Frontend as a Service like Vue Storefront.
Download our technical whitepaper and learn how to implement headless commerce with Vue Storefront fast.
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