In just a few minutes, our step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to improve your e-commerce website.
Besides, once these insights sink in, your store performance and conversion are sure to improve. You will quickly learn the tools and best practices of the modern-day Magento store that will significantly improve your online store. Or else, if you are having some experience with the Magento store, you are sure to have some insights.
Headless commerce approach
Starting from the differences between the monolith and headless commerce platform we will explain the benefits of headless commerce solutions and point out the cons as well as describe the situations how to gain the edge in the e-commerce industry using headless commerce solutions.
Monolith and Headless eCommerce engine for online stores
Monolithic architecture is designed to tightly couple the front and backend of the platform. In fact, the front end is strongly supported and empowered by the backend of the platform. They are combined to tackle all actions your e-commerce platform needs to function smoothly.
While headless commerce solution is designed to separate the front and backend and make them work independently using API (Application Programming Interface) connections
Monolith and Headless CMS differences
Monolith as a traditional e-commerce engine not only combines front and backend but also enables traditional eCommerce platforms to display the goods on the web-only storefront. CMS (Content Management System) aggregates product information, and your business goal is to share it through multiple platforms.
If you want to deliver your customers the same user experience on mobile devices you need to develop additional applications with a similar user interface like PWA (Progressive Web Apps). They duplicate your basic monolith storefront.
While headless CMS architecture is more tailored for displaying the same content on multiple devices not only web pages, mobile but also smartwatches, and any other device existing now and appearing in the future.
Headless CMS features
Monolith content management system enables you to store product information, manage, edit and publish as the storefront is combined with the web store. All further content publications mean transferring data to separated systems.
Headless CMS transfer the publication process outside the CMS to the displaying platforms dedicated to various devices like mobiles, smartwatches, and other IoT solutions using special applications.
Headless system idea
The key solution is API here – allowing you to connect CMS with various displaying modes making your eCommerce site easy access to multiple channels throughout the entire system.
Headless commerce solution makes the whole system more flexible and agile. The eCommerce business is more and more complex and sophisticated. The environment is enlarged by new devices and solutions. The more your online store is adjusted to the new headless technology the better results you can achieve. The headless approach helps your eCommerce platform follow the market changes and create custom solutions according to your business needs.
Is Magento a headless eCommerce platform?
Magento is an Open Source platform characterised by outstanding flexibility and security which makes it a great starting point for a headless Magento site. If you have a Magento store you may easily treat it as a basic building block for headless architecture.
What is Magento Headless architecture?
Magento was originally created as a monolith and the back end and front end have ties like bricks and cement. The headless architecture uses the Magento backend for CMS (Content Management Systems).
While Magento’s front has been removed the headless front allows greater flexibility without restrictions on specific platforms. How headless Magento stores differ from traditional Magento stores is vital in learning the fundamental differences between headless and monolithic architectures which were described above in the article.
Better personalisation and localisation with Magento headless commerce
Magento’s Content Management System gives store owners the ability to design and operate multiple websites for different customer segments – this is a great starting point for personalized marketing.
Magento itself is a robust and powerful e-commerce tool enabling offer personalisation, high store customisation and proficient data management via various sales channels. It also may be supported by AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) technologies.
Headless makes it easier to spread data between different devices using API connections and designs tailored to the singular devices’ needs.
Better omnichannel experience in headless Magento store
Headless enables you to expand into other channels in a better and more uniform manner. Test your product and market it in other places. The technology has potential in the areas of internet connectivity e.g. mobile apps for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad, IoT devices and other.
It’s best for headless CMSs to be unified. Typically, users use different admin panels for transferring data between browser sites and apps. All displays on a headless approach are linked to Magento CMS. Hence the content is easily viewed on a single device and has one single unified branding message.
Magento headless websites’ greater speed
When a frontend/backend is separated it becomes lighter and therefore tends to load quicker. Also, because customization is flexible, developers can make optimizing site speed easy for Headless Magento websites.
Similarly, headless businesses and Progressive Apps have been associated frequently and are in close partnership. PWA storefronts usually replace their original front and link directly to Magento’s back-end to improve their performance. The PWA Service Worker system provides device caching, enabling sites to be able to load faster up to 400 kb per second.
Flexible customization of the headless Magento website
Magento has a specialized customization system that takes extensive coding effort. Unmindful change may lead to a bug or error. However, once the backend and the frontend are separated, changes are less frequently damaging than in a classic monolith.
Coders are free to test and add technologies to the front end without compromising what happens on the backend. In addition, different teams may work on the same part of the Magento website in tandem with no issues.
Headless vs default architecture of eCommerce sites
In traditional methods, everything happens in solid blocks, and a change has a similar effect on another. Usually, frontends respond quickly. There is only one frontend design for each backend as the managing of different fronts connected to the same backend is too complicated and troublemaking.
With the headless approach, several frontends and backends can be easily isolated using an API bridge. It is possible to connect one backend to several frontends and manage the whole system easier.
Create Magento storefronts with freedom
For storefronts, traditional Magento stores use pre-defined themes, whereas headless frontend designs are often created from scratch. A headless website as well as this with Magento front can be built using a page-building application. The retailer can quickly add a button and modify the layout of stores and displays in minutes with minimal code required.
Benefits of headless Magento website
Headless architecture and Magento complement one another, with the same taste of fried fries and ketchup. The open nature of Magento allows headless architecture to reach its full potential, but headless CMSs can compensate for its lengthy development.
The headless store requires more development efforts
The creation of headless Magento sites is more complex than the setup of an actual site. You can customise your project’s theme, API, and custom functionality. Therefore, maintenance for headless Magento stores requires additional resources. It requires a competent Magento agency for maintaining your site running smoothly.
Headless eCommerce is more expensive
More hard work will eventually lead to greater costs. So headless architecture has been widely used amongst enterprise companies in particular. SMBs thinking of moving headless have to consider how to customize their technology to ensure their development doesn’t go out of budget.
Delay in time-to-market with headless solution
A headless eCommerce store allows for making faster changes not affecting the whole system and enables it to act agile and flexible. However, this advantage needs some initial work to bring the expected benefits.
Due to the complexity of custom-made products, it usually takes less time to launch an online shop head-on than headless.
Benefits of headless eCommerce platforms
eCommerce is one of the most popular applications on the web. In fact, eCommerce share or retail sales is expected to reach from 19% in 2019 to 23,6% in 2025 according to the Oberlo Report. Headless commerce technology allows accelerating and gaining market share according to the growing opportunities.
A headless eCommerce platform is a decoupled system that uses APIs to connect the front-end experience with the back-end eCommerce functionality.
This approach gives businesses more flexibility when it comes to design and user experience. In addition, headless eCommerce platforms are often more scalable and easier to maintain than traditional eCommerce solutions. As a result, businesses of all sizes can benefit from using a headless eCommerce platform.
Content sharing approach – headless CMS
In headless commerce, content is treated as a component to be delivered for the various channels and displayed according to the multi-device needs. Not only desktop and mobile but also a growing number of IoT products require content delivery. With Headless content management, you are able to deal with technological changes. Headless CMSs are making it easier for developers to integrate with technologies like virtual reality and apps.
Omnichannel business model
eCommerce businesses are always on the lookout for new sales channels and ways to engage their customers. A headless commerce platform provides them with the perfect solution. By decoupling the frontend from the backend, businesses can easily add new technologies and sales channels without affecting the core functionality of their website by using a single backend.
This flexibility is crucial for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition and keep their customers engaged. In addition, a headless commerce platform makes it easy to personalize the customer experience, as businesses can easily integrate data from multiple sources. As a result, a headless commerce platform is a perfect solution for businesses that want to Omnichannel business model.
User experience in the headless approach
User Experience is critical in eCommerce, especially given the headless nature of many e-commerce platforms. Customers want to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, and they appreciate consistent product information across all channels.
A well-designed user interface will help them to navigate the site and make a purchase smoothly. In addition, a headless eCommerce platform enables personalization and customer segmentation, which can further improve the customer experience.
By offering a superior user experience, eCommerce businesses can increase conversion rates and build loyalty among their customers.
Agile marketing tools in headless commerce platforms
In headless as well as Magento you can now create faster-landing pages and campaigns using page builders, without relying on IT or developers in everyday work.
The headless platform also enables e-commerce teams to iterate and experiment quickly, without having to go through a lengthy development process. And because headless commerce separates content from presentation, it’s also easier to personalize e-commerce experiences at scale.
If you’re looking to create faster, more agile eCommerce experiences, headless commerce is worth considering. By decoupling your e-commerce platform from your frontend experience, you can move much faster – and deliver more personalized and relevant experiences to your customers.
Flexibility and customisation
eCommerce businesses reach a certain stage where customization is inevitable. When your eCommerce store becomes a leader, it also requires special technology to achieve more sophisticated business goals.
Decoupling the frontend from the backend allows fully customizing the storefront for many various purposes like product configurators, calculators, etc. This provides eCommerce businesses with the ability to meet the specific needs of their customers. Monolith platform allows similar actions but headless makes them a lot easier.
Easier new features development
Detached backend and frontend allow for easier testing of new features while you can separate them from the rest of the system and improve independently. It prevents working problems of the whole platform when implementing new technologies which might be harmful to traditional monoliths.
Headless eCommerce systems provide more flexibility when it comes to integrating with other applications and services. This is because the front-end and back-end of the system are decoupled, making it easier to integrate with other systems.
Easier Maintenance and security
eCommerce headless systems are easier to maintain and update than traditional eCommerce systems. This is because each part of the system can be updated and tested separately, without affecting the rest of the system.
Second, headless eCommerce systems are potentially more secure than traditional eCommerce monoliths. This is because a single change to one part of the system should not affect the entire system with bugs and outages.
Unique design thanks to headless commerce platforms
Headless eCommerce is growing in popularity as businesses look for more flexibility and control over their online presence. A headless eCommerce platform offers a powerful backend engine to manage products, inventory, orders, and customers especially when supported with external systems.
But the front end of the website can be completely customised, giving businesses the ability to create a totally unique eCommerce design. This allows businesses to stand out from the competition and create a truly unique online shopping experience for their customers.
If you’re looking for total control over your eCommerce website, headless e-commerce is the way to go.
Better performance with faster loading
Users are always seeking eCommerce platforms that load quickly since it would result in a better shopping experience and increase e-commerce profits. With headless commerce, the frontend can be decoupled from the backend, resulting in a faster loading eCommerce store.
There are also some other methods of e-commerce performance improvement like Hyvä Themes, a game changer for Magento frontend and soon also checkout process.
This is because there is no need to make requests to the backend for each page load, as all of the data can be stored on the frontend itself. And the site requests concern only new data, with no need to upload the previous ones.
The headless eCommerce backend can be connected to any number of frontends, such as a website, a mobile app, or even a voice-activated assistant. This offers a number of benefits for businesses looking to scale their eCommerce operations.
First, it allows businesses to develop new sales channels quickly and easily. Second, it makes it possible to tailor the e-commerce experience to each individual customer. And finally, it enables businesses to scale their eCommerce operations quickly and efficiently, without needing to make significant investments in new infrastructure.
As a result, headless commerce is an ideal solution for businesses looking to maximize their e-commerce scalability.
Challanges of headless commerce solution
Headless e-commerce has unlimited possibilities but it is also advanced technology for rather large e-commerces with customisation needs and budgets enough to afford a development team composed of experts in various technologies.
Headless architecture costs
The separation of front and backend allows for different teams to work on different parts of the eCommerce platform which can further speed up development times but the more complex platform is the more costly it becomes.
The e-commerce architecture complexity must be justified by business goals and perspectives. The development and maintenance expenses must be balanced with growing sales and incomes.
Building headless commerce from the beginning is time-consuming. Usually, it’s based on the monolith backend and becomes a natural stage in e-commerce business development. Building a headless commerce platform from the very beginning means building totally custom solution involving extra costs and time necessary to accomplish the project.
The e-commerce environment is becoming more and more complex and technologically sophisticated. The headless approach is at the high level of this process. The system complexity is certainly a challenge for the organisation.
Various technologies require different specialists organised in development teams. It may be a solution when there is a shortage of developers from one technology to replace or balance them with another technology stack, but it is a demanding situation.
Why start building a headless commerce platform?
Developing a headless e-commerce platform may be a proper move when you plan to make your business mobile-first or need to display it in IoT devices. It is helpful when making experiments and tests which are easier in a split system divided into smaller parts.
Headless commerce may be appropriate when your store expands to new countries then it’s easier to switch to different markets or languages. The sale results are also important in this matter.
We hope this article helped to understand headless commerce and distinguish it from the monoliths. From our experience, it’s always a matter of the individual situation and business goals of your e-commerce. It is a great chance but also a challenge you need a proficient accompany by a reliable development team.
Panda Group is certainly the one if only you are at this stage in your business plans. Let’s talk!