So, let’s get an idea about what you will take away after reading this information piece. Here you will get answers to the following questions related to headless Magento:
- What’s headless Magento?
- How does it work?
- How is it different from traditional commerce?
- What are the benefits of headless Magento for eCommerce platforms?
- Why should you choose headless Magento for your eCommerce business in 2022?
These areas need to be covered before considering headless commerce for your business. Okay, so are you ready for this journey? Let’s start!
What’s Headless Magento?
So, before understanding the concept of headless commerce or headless Magento, let’s discuss why this term comes into existence at all. To understand this, imagine a hypothetical situation where you have owned a Magento store for quite a long time. Suppose you have a mobile interface for your users to discover your products and services online. This mobile interface might have been derived from the desktop design of your website.
Now, probably you optimize the website timely; still, the performance is not up to the mark. Since in the times where smartphone users are increasing with the pace of light, it becomes crucial to offer them the experience that binds them to your brand. So, the question arises, how do you accelerate your mobile conversion rate in such a scenario. The answer to this question is also why headless commerce comes into existence – to replace the old and boring monolithic architecture of eCommerce. We will discuss it in the next section. So, enough talking, let’s move to headless Magento.
Headless commerce is an approach where the front-end of your eCommerce platform is decoupled from its back-layer. In other words, the front-end layer (also known as the “head”) that manages the content representation and experience is separated from the back-end layer that holds the business logic and functionalities. Since there is no head left in the eCommerce system, this approach emerged as ‘headless commerce.’
So, Why is There So Much Fuss About Headless Commerce?
The answer is simple. Online stores were looking for a solution that provided flexibility and better performance which was missing in the monolithic architecture. Headless commerce came as a superhero, offering you complete flexibility and design freedom to deliver the customer experience just the way you want.
Today, one of the most significant issues that any business owner faces, whether operating physically or over a digital platform, is the changing customer shopping behavior. Earlier, the customers only had brick-and-mortar stores. They used to visit them, the business owner would show them a few options, and they had to choose one (or more) of those. Then, with the evolution of eCommerce, people started shopping online through the company’s desktop-based website. However, today, the time has taken a turn. Now, people have smartphones, tablets, and many other IoT devices, and they expect brands to deliver a seamless UX on every device they use.
Since headless commerce has decoupled back-end and front-end layers, the presentation layer is not strictly integrated into the database, thus separating the customer-facing concerns from system-facing concerns. That means you can keep, manage or deliver your business content without any “head.”
In a nutshell, you get quicker integrations, enhanced flexibility, more outstanding performance, and exceptional content personalization using headless commerce.
How Does Headless Commerce Work?
There is no specialized trick in this, yet a concept that needs to be understood. Although headless commerce includes separating the front-end and back-end layers of the eCommerce system, the two don’t precisely disintegrate completely. They still communicate with the help of application programming interfaces (APIs) or other web services. A headless eCommerce system passes requests between the two layers through these APIs to ensure that the customers get the relevant information timely.
For instance, suppose a customer taps on the “order now” button on their smartphone while shopping through your application. The presentation layer of your eCommerce system sends an API request to its application layer to process the order. As a revert, the application layer sends another API call to the presentation layer, asking it to proceed the customer to the payment or order status page.
What’s the Difference Between a Headless Commerce and Traditional Commerce?
Well, it’s understandable that you want to move further with this unique eCommerce solution, but you need to look up why the traditional approach has become obsolete. To understand this, let’s talk about Monolithic architecture in brief.
So, the monolithic architecture of eCommerce is an integrated system. Its front-end and back-end are tightly linked. For many years, most eCommerce stores operated using monolithic architecture. However, this approach has a few loopholes. Some of them are:
Monolithic commerce-based stores are relatively slow on mobile devices.
It is usual for customers to move from one page to another while exploring the products and services on their smartphones. The problem is that the front-end has to fetch an HTML document generated at the back-end every time a user goes from page to page. It is the usual working principle of all the monolithic sites, which is pretty slow, specifically on modern smartphones. It leads users to leave the website and move to the fast and highly responsive ones.
Customer experience falls short when the customers shop via mobile devices.
Most businesses do not offer separate front-end interfaces for specific devices. Even when different mobile phones are from the same brand, these eCommerce stores will deliver the same front-ends. It might create a lot of issues for the users experiencing your web interface, such as:
The header might cover too much area on the homepage and product pages. To understand this, open your mobile phone and check out Zara’s website on it.
The main area on a product page shows less information about the user’s item. Generally, only a photo is visible (and that not even completely), without any name, price, ratings, or “Add to cart button.” Therefore, the users have to scroll down the page to look for the information. For example, take a look at Ikea’s website from your mobile device.
Customization, maintenance, and scaling becomes hard to conquer
A website and its web pages need to be updated periodically to add more new features to the UI. For this, you will need to edit the code at the back-end to make any interface-related changes. However, it will require more code bloating, and thus, the customization and scaling become challenging.
In addition to this, when you create new front-ends for mobile phones and other contemporary mediums, you need to add them into the back-end codebase. This process will make the website complex. Moreover, when you make changes to one part of the single codebase, it will also affect the other parts of the store.
And That’s Why Headless Commerce Came into Existence
As already mentioned, headless commerce deals with removing predefined front-ends, enabling developers to create a UX from scratch fulfilling the needs of the business. You can fix one or more heads (front-end layer) to the body (back-end layer) or modify them anytime to develop a system as per your needs. It’s similar to the fact how many of us desire a face like a Hollywood superstar and physique like a muscular wrestler!
The fundamental differences between the monolithic architecture and headless Magento are the loopholes of the former fixed in the latter. Here are a few benefits of headless Magento for eCommerce platforms that you might not get using the traditional approach:
Speed enhancement of the online stores
Since you separate the front-end and back-end of a system, the roles and responsibilities of the latter get limited to providing specific data through the API requests.
- Firstly, you no longer need to wait for the back-end to fetch the HTML and share it. Now, this process occurs on the front end.
- Secondly, you can request and have only the dynamic data. All the other elements of a webpage, such as a header, footer, files, etc. that remain untouched are not rendered every time.
Customized UI/UX as per customer needs
Headless commerce is all about producing individual interfaces for specific devices. An online store can build or rebuild a mobile or desktop front-end as per the needs. It helps in improving the UI/UX and eventually enhances the conversion rate.
For instance, you can have the following UI/UX improvements for smartphone interfaces:
- The minimalistic design and proper usage of screen space
- Buttons located at a convenient distance to be operated by a single hand
- The right size of buttons, fonts, and other elements
Significant increase in the development process
It might sound repetitive, but the whole point of headless commerce is based on the fact that the front-end and back-end of an online system are decoupled. It means when you have a headless Magento, your front-end interface no longer needs to be dependent on the back-end. Consequently, the development process will increase as:
- Fewer coding and development steps will be required as the front-end no longer depends on the back-end.
- The development team can work separately on both ends, even simultaneously.
- You get unmatched freedom to perform interface-related experiments on the front-end layer.
Omnichannel is no longer a dream.
The primary objective of headless Magento is to prepare online sellers for the future when people have an option to shop through multiple channels. In that situation, it becomes crucial to follow the omnichannel approach and have different “heads” compatible with different connected devices and mediums.
Why Should You Choose Headless Magento for Your eCommerce Business in 2022?
Enough talking, now let’s discuss the central part for which you are here – Why go headless? Well, let’s understand this part through a critical number game. According to a survey done by WP Engine in 2021, almost 92% of the respondents rely on the fact that the headless approach has significantly enhanced the customer experience. Moreover, another report says that the global subscription of eCommerce can expect a revenue of around 478.2 billion USD by 2025. Now, these figures are probably well enough for you to understand how much the headless commerce industry has grown over the past few years. So, when a significant portion of the market is going for a headless approach, don’t you think you should grab this opportunity too?
Here are some of the key reasons why you should opt for headless Magento for your eCommerce business in 2022:
When you run a business, you don’t earn what you want to do, but when you do what your audience wants from you. Headless Magento offers you an independent customer-facing layer (the front-end) with which you can focus on the things that concern your customers. It will increase the efficiency of your business and help you manage the store with much more ease.
One thing that is much of an issue in the monolithic architecture of eCommerce is that the front-end was entirely dependent on the back-end of the system. Due to this, there was no technical independence, and errors in the back-end would also reflect in the front-end.
However, it’s not an issue when using headless Magento as your online store technical manager. The two layers are separate and independent of each other; therefore, the problem in one does not affect the other. Due to this, you get an enhanced speed, navigation, and browser for your Magento store.
Fast and Easy Updates
One of the best things about using headless Magento is that you can easily update your Magento store as per the latest trends or changing customer needs while handling the reliability and security of the back-end layer. With this, the management of the store becomes pretty easy and flexible.
Customers like the products and services with which they can easily interact. For this, every store owner needs to offer more innovative and personalized services.
Headless commerce offers you an option to perform experiments without fear based on what your audience wants from you. And the best thing, it will not affect your back-end, nor will you need it for any customizations.
SEO Effectiveness and Higher Conversions
Well, this is simply understandable. When you have a website that loads faster, has fewer or no technical glitches, and follows all the necessary SEO directives, Google (or other browsers) will promote it. Headless Magento owners should not worry about this part if their development team is proficient enough to manage the front-end and back-end of the system. It helps you get you on top when your target audience searches for the products and services delivered by you.
The Future’s Headless!
Headless Commerce is not a different stream or business. It is a unique way to do the same eCommerce business but slightly different from the existing approach. As quoted by the Big Company, “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.” Similarly, you don’t need to shift from your business goals. All you need is a different plan, and headless Magento is one such method.
So, if you are all set to take one step further and transform your eCommerce platform to the next level, consult our team of experts at Saffron Tech and get everything your business needs. Get ready, it’s time to go headless!