Headless Commerce and the Omnichannel Experience

headless commerce illustration feature

The growth of omnichannel capabilities has given way to shopper journeys beginning and ending across multiple touchpoints.

Throughout the pandemic, Gartner found that the importance of digital acceleration has increased. Its recent survey revealed that 87% of corporate directors deemed technology as having a transformational role in addressing strategic business priorities.

To meet this increased desire for top-notch digital experiences, many retailers are turning to headless commerce. Headless commerce, which is defined as the separation of the front end and back end of an ecommerce application, provides retailers with more control over each and every customer touchpoint. Whether supporting in-store or online experiences, the tool has been instrumental in delivering the digital experiences of the future.

Integrate Seamlessly on a Unified Platform

Ultimately, omnichannel experiences must be powered by a unified platform, which ensures that the shopper experience is the same no matter the channel. Because headless commerce systems are API-driven, they naturally unify multiple platforms and provide the following benefits:

  • Easy integration between multiple platforms, from CRMs to ERPs
  • Simple updates, as each system can be updated independently of the others
  • One source of truth for all digital activities
  • Consolidated back-end that connects multiple technologies from marketing to resource planning
  • Less expensive IT costs
  • Increased agility when it comes to platform updates

Respond Quickly to Consumer Needs

Shopper behavior was changing rapidly before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has increased the rate of change even more dramatically. According to McKinsey & Company, “many of the trends are accelerations of past behaviors.” When it comes to digital adoption, “we have covered a ‘decade in days.”

For example, contactless payment was already a trend, but it has seen even more rapid adoption during the pandemic. Retailers cannot afford to react slowly to shifting behavior, making technology the perfect tool to addressing shifting needs.

Headless commerce can help provide rapid updates and meet consumer needs quickly. Because a headless commerce system’s front end and back end are not tightly integrated, a retailer is able to implement an update to just part of the system and not the entirety of it. This allows development teams to work in tandem while making changes to unique parts of the back end at the same time.

Personalize Consumer Experiences

Retailers can leverage data more readily and with more speed through a decoupled headless commerce platform.

Using headless commerce, a retailer can develop a solution that combines customer insight across channels, from marketing to loyalty to sales. With these insights, it can go beyond typical engagements to develop truly personalized recommendations and communication.

These personalized experiences are not limited to one channel. Once a strategy is crafted, headless commerce can support digital experiences both online and in store, whether using a point-of-sale solution or mobile app.

Headless commerce also combines a variety of technologies to help retailers provide additional functionality to inform customers at every step of the journey. This ranges from QR codes to store finders, or push notification to intelligent shopping lists.

Empower In-Store Processes

Increased speed to innovation has never been more important, and making greater use of innovative and flexible technology can help.

To power a truly personalized, agile and unified customer experience across channels, retailers should leverage headless commerce. It allows them to optimize and maximize customer interactions, ongoing operational costs and technology speed to market. And customers will finally encounter the kinds of personalized digital experiences they desire.

Michael Jaszczyk is CEO, of GK Software