3 Signs It's Time to Consider a Headless eCommerce Platform



3 Signs It's Time to Consider a Headless eCommerce Platform

Happy young Black man sitting back in his chair looking at his computer
Happy young Black man sitting back in his chair looking at his computer

As an online retailer, your focus should always be on making sure that your website is communicating the right message to the people who visit your site. Have you ever really listened, though, to what your website might be saying to you? 

Your website speaks to you through the data you collect regarding its performance. That data might say that you have an issue with your conversion rate or, perhaps, that visitors are finding the design of your site confusing, resulting in high abandon rates. One of the most important things that your website might be telling you is that it’s time to switch out your current eCommerce platform for a more modern, flexible eCommerce platform headless commerce system. The question is, are you listening?  

Frustrated young woman holding a credit card in one hand while shrugging and looking at her computer

How to Know When It's Time to Go Headless

There are multiple issues that can contribute to the point where you need to think about making the jump to a headless commerce solution. However, in our experience, here are the three most telling signs that it’s time to make the switch:

1. Your Current Technology Isn’t Flexible

If you can say one thing with confidence about technology it’s this: it’s going to change. The very last thing you want is to be locked into a commerce platform that fails to offer you the flexibility that you’re certainly going to need to react and adapt to future change. If you find yourself in this situation, then switching over to a headless system might just be a foregone conclusion. A headless eCommerce system will give you the flexibility and built-in adaptability that future changes are going to demand. Keep this in mind: you want a solution that’s going to make it easy for you to make changes and we assure you, you’re going to need to make changes.

2.  Your Current eCommerce Platform Is Slow, Restrictive, and Outdated

Nothing will sow dissatisfaction with your customers faster than a slow website. They expect a user experience optimized for seamlessness and speed, and if you fail to deliver on that they’ll find another retailer that can. Any friction at any point along the user journey is a point where you could lose revenue. One of the reasons why your site might be so slow is simply because the technology is outdated and, as a result, can’t be updated. If your technology has reached the end of its usefulness it’s going to prevent you from making any kind of optimizations. In other words, a slow website is just the tip of the friction iceberg.

3. Your Homegrown eCommerce Solution Is Becoming Unstable

It’s not uncommon for a company to start with a custom-built platform solution, usually due to the fact that out-of-the-box solutions don’t always fit the company’s specific needs. While this type of solution may work great initially, over time, and as the company grows, its effectiveness starts to deteriorate. What happens then is that you start adding on additional solutions until the entire tech stack is this massive, unwieldy behemoth incapable of providing any further customization or stability. This is why so many companies are opting to separate the backend and front-end: it allows you to start slowly, adding what you can afford now, like a new CMS, for example, and supplementing that as time goes on. So, instead of having to tear down your entire tech stack, you can replace it bit-by-bit, without worrying that the whole stack is going to collapse.

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The Benefits of Headless eCommerce

Headless eCommerce takes the customer-facing experience and separates it from all the back-end business logic so that changes to one part don’t disrupt the other, thereby alleviating the biggest pain point inherent to old eCommerce platforms. It provides you with the freedom to continuously iterate and improve your website. Some other key benefits of this headless approach include:

1. Personalize Your Customer Experience

You can customize your user experience and shape your brand’s identity without being restricted by using predefined templates. Separating the front and backends allows you to quickly focus resources on customer experience without impacting critical business systems (like payment processing).

2. Increased Nimbleness

More and more, the ability of a business to be fast and agile is crucial to stay competitive in an ever-changing world. Headless eCommerce allows you to adapt quickly to changes in the market and implement new UX changes and new functionality without having to change the backend logic.

3. Take an Omnichannel Approach

With headless eCommerce, you can add new touchpoints easily without building a business case for a new backend every time you want to add a new front-end. This opens the door to more integrations, which helps break down silos in consumer-facing operations.

4. Enhanced Scalability

When you separate the presentation layer from the business layer of a website both frontend and backend developer teams can work at the same time. The frontend can be scaled independently so that even if it receives a surge of traffic, it doesn’t impact the backend, and you can push seasonal promotions and real-time marketing quickly and easily.

5. Reduce Guessing by Testing

To be successful in the digital world you need to make decisions based on data. With a traditional commerce architecture, if you want to conduct UX experiments, you are forced to modify both front-end and back-end code simultaneously. In contrast, headless eCommerce allows you to experiment with the user experience without affecting the backend operations. This approach will help you receive feedback, test more efficiently, and optimize your UX to get the best results.

Happy young woman sitting at her computer while smiling at the camera

Listen to Your Website

As much as you want your website to operate at peak efficiency at all times, the hard truth is that it can’t. There will always be some facet of your website that needs to be fixed, optimized, or, in a worst-case scenario, replaced. The good news is that there’s an easy, reliable way to keep constant tabs on your website’s performance: by reviewing the data. 

If you take the time and have the right people in place to analyze and interpret your data, there’s little that your website won’t reveal to you, including if you need to take the big leap to go headless. Your website is constantly speaking to you. Not only should you listen to what it has to say, but be willing to take action based on what you hear.  

Learn more about PeakActivity’s Modernization services by visiting our website.   

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