November 4, 2022
How will implementing headless e-commerce technology affect your business profits?
Headless architecture is gaining popularity among business owners who rely on forward-thinking solutions. Separating the front-end and back-end layers in the e-commerce industry not only allows you to better customize your store. It also reduces implementation costs and increases efficiency. Learn about the advantages and best tools associated with the headless concept that will provide visible benefits for your business.
What is headless e-commerce?
Headless e-commerce is a technology that breaks with the traditional model of creating online stores. What it means.
The 3 basic elements that make up an online store are:
A database, which contains all the necessary information to successfully run a store (including images, text and prices).
The back-end, or "technology back-end" on the site. This is the layer that processes information from the database. This is also where the CMS, or store management system, is located.
Front-end, or data presentation layer. It is responsible for what the end customer sees on the e-commerce platform.
In the traditional approach, all these elements were connected. With headless, there is a disconnection of the front-end from the back-end and the database, and then a reconnection of this layer with the others through APIs, which are interfaces that allow the functions of several different applications to be fused together.
Advantages of headless in business e-commerce
This approach not only helps improve the shopping experience of users. It also improves responsiveness, performance and site configurability. Learn about the benefits for businesses that the headless approach provides!
Flexibility and easy development
Solutions based on headless architecture are characterized by a high degree of independence and freedom of operation, provided you work with a programmer with the right skills. Headless gives you the possibility to use almost any technology, language or framework. This, in turn, gives virtually unlimited options when creating a store.
Separating the front-end from the back-end also has another advantage - the ability to scale the site at will. If it includes more and more elements and you need to move to a more powerful engine, it can be done without losing the work done on the front-end. All the necessary improvements just need to be done in the back-end layer. For the programmer to do less work, and for your business - lower costs.
Ability to better adapt the store front to different devices
The headless approach allows you to get ahead of the "mobile first" trend, according to which you should create sites for mobile devices first, and then adapt them to computers. With headless, it becomes possible to build separate fronts for each device. This significantly improves the user experience and personalizes the store to the maximum extent.
It also has a direct impact on the profits generated by the site. The more convenient it is to use and the more customized it is, the more effectively it will encourage customers to buy. The idea of headless, therefore, makes it possible to sustainably increase store sales.
Improve overall site performance
An online store created with headless technology can use browser resources to perform some of the calculations. This makes it possible to reduce the number of queries to the database and back-end. This, in turn, improves the speed of the site. In addition, headless CMS allows you to use solutions on the fly to read content on the site.
Why is this important? There have been studies that have confirmed that site speed has a direct impact on sales. That's why headless provides a new solution for generating even more profits for your business.
You already know why headless commerce is called the technology of the future. Learn about the specific systems with which you will be able to maximize the profits of your e-commerce business.
The best platforms and systems for running headless e-commerce
Headless in e-commerce gives you almost complete freedom in the choice of technology. In this section, we will introduce you to the best solutions and their benefits.
Magento 2 - the indispensable open source CMS
Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world. It works under an open license, so you can use it completely free of charge. At the same time, it is extremely developed. It works great for medium and large e-shops, but is also a future-proof solution for smaller companies.
The most important advantages of Magento:
high level of security - constantly increased by regular updates;
architecture supporting headless technology and use of APIs;
large number of integrated functions, including payments, product management, reports, analysis;
basically unlimited possibilities of script expansion;
ability to manage several stores from one common panel;
speed of operation and efficiency even with high traffic - thanks to, among other things, the functionality of the PWA application and the option to adapt to mobile devices.
SaaS software - Shopify
Another noteworthy curiosity is the possibility to set up an online store in a headless concept on cloud-based software (SaaS). For a monthly subscription you get a service in which the provider takes care of managing all hardware, software and security issues.
At Beecommerce, we create front-ends for Shopify mainly using Vue Storefront. API support allows almost unlimited customization of the front-end layer to meet customer expectations.
PIM platforms for e-commerce - Akeneo, PimCore
PIM system is used to manage product information. Under this name is hidden all the data about the product that is crucial for the customer - images, descriptions, prices, categories, tags or technical information. Correct design of product information, among other things, reduces the number of abandoned shopping carts. This is why it is such an important system in e-commerce.
At Beecommerce, we primarily recommend Akeneo and PimCore. Akeneo's PIM makes it easy to manage a large number of products - it collects all information about them in one place. This allows you to make corrections even to all the content in the store with a few clicks. It also speeds up the introduction of new products for sale - with the help of the API it is possible to automate this process. All of this minimizes the time you need to work on your store and allows you to generate more profits through better presentation of your assortment.
PimCore is an open source platform (in both free and paid versions) that offers similar features to Akeneo. It also enables personalization of content based on user behavior. It's a versatile tool that also incorporates solutions offered by a traditional CMS, allowing you to reach your customers more effectively through various channels. The enormity of the possibilities, however, makes it difficult to implement and operate the system.
Akeneo, although its functions are limited to managing product information, is friendlier in this regard.
The cost of an online store with headless technology
The use of headless e-commerce technology in most cases can contribute not only to increasing profits, but also to reducing costs. However, take into account that you will have to pay more for some solutions, which is one of the disadvantages of headless. We take a look at the pricing of a few key services when running an e-commerce business.
Integration costs with key systems
The undoubted advantage of headless e-commerce is the availability of ready-made integrations, including with a powerful CMS or the most popular payment methods for online stores. This will not only save you dozens of hours of programmer's work, but also cheaper to put up a fully functional online store, which will start earning money faster.
The price of personalizing the appearance of the front-end
We know from experience that such a service usually requires more than 200 hours of programmer's work to be done properly. This is due, among other things, to the need to create dedicated front-ends for the most popular devices. However, it is worth noting that Full Stack Developers are not needed for tasks of this type. Specialists in specific technologies (usually Java Script + Vue or React) will do better.
Very good knowledge of the aforementioned tools allows, first of all, to implement key store functions much faster. This, in turn, reduces the costs associated with hiring a specialist and gives you the opportunity to create a faster sales platform. It's also worth remembering that once the front-end is made, it will already serve permanently, regardless of changes to the back-end.
The new Headless approach makes it unnecessary to use native front-ends for Magento 2, Shopify or other CMS systems. While this will further reduce costs, it will never be as effective as personalized solutions.
For example - at Beecommerce, we use modern technologies that allow us to effectively improve the customer experience. We are able to tailor front-ends to the customer's purchase path to increase their willingness to click "buy now." This directly increases sales profits and the growth rate of your business.
Headless e-commerce vs. hosting costs
In this case, a lot depends on the size of the store. However, most often our clients invest in 2-3 server instances for development and 3-4 instances for testing and production environments (Stage + Production). Thus, headless e-commerce generates hosting costs starting from PLN 1500 per month.
Maintenance costs of headless e-commerce
Prices in this case should be lower or comparable to monolithic solutions. This is due to the specialization of the technology (separation of the technology stack in the CMS and the front-end). However, additional costs can be generated by the fact that most plug-ins in CMS, such as Magento 2, do not have an API. This eliminates the possibility of uploading them cheaply.
The only solution in this case is to develop the API and customize the front-end, which raises the price of the venture.
Opt for headless commerce - use the services of Beecommerce
Headless is a new approach in online store development. It provides a range of benefits - from improving performance to reducing costs and increasing profits from the store.
At Beecommerce, we offer dedicated front-end development services that allow you to take full advantage of the headless e-commerce idea. Write to us and see how much your company is able to gain!