Headless Commerce: The Evolution of Selling Online

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Recently, there has been a rise in internet shopping, resulting in the entry of newer players into the market. Customers have more options to decide from various platforms and devices. E-commerce solution vendors keep inventing new ways to supply every growing customer’s need. 

The main strategy adopted by the current business environment is headless commerce. It is a new trend that many business owners are not yet aware of, yet its benefits are magnificent. This is a great evolution in the e-business world. Let’s look at how it’s proving to be a game-changer.

How Is Headless Commerce Defined?

Headless commerce decouples frontend and backend layer of the system. A headless frontend is separated from its backend to provide better user experience, more agility and speed. It doesn’t mean that the back end can no longer communicate with the front end. It means communication has been improved by introducing an API between the two ends. 

The front end is the UI or user interface. It carries all the components that support the e-marketplace. Because it is separated from the back end, it can be tweaked in any way without affecting the backend. 

To make this happen, business people adopt the use of multiple APIs. They become part of application innovations to help the business remain competitive. Headless commerce provides companies with a more flexible platform that enhances the customer shopping experience. 

Why Is Headless Commerce a Popular Trend in the Business World?

Headless commerce is growing in popularity daily. To help you understand the reasons behind this, it is important to first understand how the technology works. When a new application is developed, it contains two layers. The first layer is, for example, the website or blog display page. It can be the mobile phone display, the catalog, or any other thing that users directly see when they open the application. This layer is called the user interface, head, or front end. 

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All interactions a customer experiences with your business are done on this end. There is another part of the software that users will never see except the IT professionals or programmers. It is the part that does activities like generating reports, bills, analyzing data, fulfilling orders, managing data, etc. It is called the backend and is the side that powers the front side. Whatever activities you see happening on the user interface is because there is another hidden side at work. 

Its focus is primarily on APIs, structure/architecture, databases, scripting, etc. Information is transmitted from and to both ends. With headless commerce, an API can be used to enhance communication with other software without having to send communication with the backend. There can be an API for making purchases, another for payments, and another for showing order status, all working on the same front end. 

For example, a customer might want to get an update on an order they placed. The front end decides which API it will use to call the backend and displays information about the order. All that the front end wants to know is about the order update but not about the other complexities of the backend. 

Surprisingly, since the back end is detached from the front end, developers can change the programming of the entire backend, and it will never affect operations on the front end. The newly programmed backend will provide the front end with the exact information that is required. 

In a nutshell, anytime a user requests the front end, it communicates with the backend through an API. The backend, on the other hand, responds to the front end through the same API/ and this saves time and improves the response speed. 

Knowing about this, how is headless commerce gaining popularity so fast? Initially, the main idea of e-commerce was to provide desktop-friendly data to users. At that time, nearly all online e-commerce originated from desktops. Due to this, developers focused only on the backend to the front end and vice versa transactions. 

Within a few years, technology continued to evolve where smartphones and other handheld internet devices evolved. Due to this, traffic across the e-stores began to become complicated. Lesser traffic came from desktops and more traffic from the newly developed handheld devices. 

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There was a fast-growing need to develop a new system that was more flexible, agile, and scalable. This is how headless commerce was developed. The backend was decoupled from the front end to improve user experience. It became possible to develop both ends independently and deliver a better user experience. 

Today, e-commerce is a new trend in the business world. However, interaction with e-platforms is no longer limited to desktops only. The best solution for users today is headless commerce. This is one of the greatest reasons it has become the trending or most popular technology today. 

Comparing Traditional and Headless Commerce

There are major differences between traditional and headless commerce. In traditional commerce, creating a program or application takes time. Both the backend and front end have to run without conflict. During the application development phase, several things happen.

The developers continually test the application to ensure the codes do not conflict. If they do, it means information from the backend to be interpreted differently in the front end. The testing process is lengthy and tedious. 

Another challenge with traditional commerce is application customization. Users receive a predefined experience. It becomes very difficult to offer personalized features in traditional commerce. The experience leads to many unhappy customers.

With headless commerce, developers create customized front ends without ever interfering with the backend. As long as the modifications align with the business needs, it is easy to tweak the front as they wish. What’s more, they can create personalized applications that enhance user experience. They can change the way the front end looks, change the way it feels, and do many other things. The developer has more authority on what they want to do with the front end compared to traditional commerce. 

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