3 Headless Commerce Myths Busted: What Retailers Shouldn’t Believe
Headless commerce is a relatively new concept in the e-commerce industry, and as with any complex new topic, it’s common to see confusion or misinformation around it.
Even the definition of “headless commerce” has made way for misconceptions. The strict definition is the decoupling of a website’s frontend (what customers interact with) and the backend (where the work behind shipping, fulfillment and analytics occurs). However, headless doesn’t just mean this separation; it also encapsulates the possibilities once this separation takes place, and the exciting options available to take online retailers’ stores to the next level.
Myth No. 1: Implementing a Headless Commerce Structure is Risky
As with any new technology, there are concerns around headless commerce’s potential for risky, lengthy data migrations or significant overhauls. The truth is, there's no requirement for data or technology migrations in order to adopt a headless architecture. In fact, the right headless commerce solution for your business should be safe to implement, and even safer and more secure once it’s up and running.
It’s common to worry about data loss, improper transfers, or other errors, but the right headless platform solves for these concerns by working with systems you already have in place, ingesting data, rearranging it into a universal schema, and delivering the data through APIs to the user interface on the frontend.
Delivering this data efficiently leads to faster site speed, better performance, and increased site security by eliminating a traditional origin services architecture in favor of a microservices architecture.
Myth No. 2: All 'Headless Commerce' Implementations Are Universal
Company size, the skillset of your in-house development team, and many other factors determine the different requirements for a headless commerce transition. Retailers must recognize that not all headless commerce builds are created equal, and choosing the wrong solution could create more problems than it solves.
To avoid this, ensure you’re assessing the experience of the teams you’re trusting to implement a headless commerce architecture, especially your development team’s coding and engineering best practices. The success of a headless e-commerce architecture, whether you choose to build it in-house or buy a solution, is dependent on the expertise of your engineering talent. Not doing so will result in lost profits due to broken components that don’t roll out on time or don’t function properly.
Myth No. 3: A Headless Commerce Solution Can’t Scale With Your Growth
The right headless commerce solution for an online retailer will be flexible, fluid and support changing needs with a microservices strategy. If a retailer is relying on a monolithic system, and it’s starting to restrict the brand through slow site speeds, incorrect stocking data or abandoned carts, headless commerce can help. At Nacelle, for example, retailers can keep their existing e-commerce platform, such as Shopify Plus, while incorporating some of the best-in-class solutions for other areas of the site, including a headless content management system (CMS) or a product information management (PIM) solution.
Headless commerce stands to redefine what we know about e-commerce, and that’s not just because it drastically increases load speeds, which often lead to boosted key performance indicators, like conversion rates. Headless empowers retailers to go mobile-first, creating a native app-like experience on a mobile browser, solving countless CX pain points. Headless can support webstores, especially in high-traffic moments, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Headless solutions can also solve for eventual consistency issues in which backend information lags, ensuring customers are seeing the most up-to-date content on the frontend within seconds or minutes of any backend changes, instead of hours or days. And the list goes on. Headless is the future of e-commerce, and to properly implement it and reap its benefits, we first need to firmly dispel any myths or misconceptions about what it can and cannot do.
Brian Anderson is the CEO, founder and product architect of Nacelle, a headless commerce platform that works with online retailers to implement innovative solutions to successfully scale and grow.
Related story: Why E-Commerce is Going ‘Headless’
Brian Anderson is the CEO, founder and product architect of Nacelle, a headless commerce platform that works with online retailers to implement innovative solutions to successfully scale and grow. Nacelle has helped brands like Something Navy and Barefoot Dreams manage high traffic volumes, significantly increase conversion rates and improve product discoverability.