“Headless commerce” has quickly become the buzzword of the eCommerce world, but many are unsure of what a headless commerce experience actually entails. Often times, when organizations set out to develop a headless commerce architecture, they fail to consider how business processes and workflows will grow, change, and improve over time. As a result, many businesses discover that certain commerce functionality is missing from their stack, data is disconnected, and changes to their customer experience is difficult.
This is why Elastic Path set out to revolutionize headless commerce with a system that is flexible, service-based, and most importantly, built to seamlessly grow with your business. So while it’s impossible to predict where your business will be in five, ten, or twenty years, building a headless commerce system that can easily change and evolve with you isn’t.
Headless commerce explained
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At its core, headless commerce is the decoupling between a front-end eCommerce experience and back-end processes and transactions such as order management, shipping, and payment processing. This divide enables the two to operate and evolve independently of each other, and gives businesses the ability to build and deploy new touchpoints and experiences without jeopardizing existing ones.
Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the key to delivering headless commerce functionality. Built to provide a seamless front-end experience, APIs are not a program or even a server, but rather a set of code that governs how various applications interact and communicate. So developers can achieve maximum flexibility in the creation of front-end experiences that utilize APIs as the go-between to retrieve and deliver information, rather than direct interaction between the front and back-end systems.
Embedding commerce everywhere with APIs
APIs give businesses the power to not only improve their microservices and commerce touchpoints, but to expand them as well. Businesses can now place “buy” buttons on social media channels, create commands for purchasing through virtual voice assistants, use chatbots to assist customers throughout the buying journey, and even allow customers to purchase products or experiences through virtual reality simulations. To survive in the world of modern eCommerce, it’s imperative that you explore these avenues as ways to introduce new touchpoints outside the traditional webstore and mobile application.
Connecting the dots with Elastic Path
When moving towards a headless commerce approach, many companies oversimplify the process and think decoupling the front-end UX and the back-end processes is all there is to it. But with the growing trend of integrating external touchpoints and building new commerce experiences, it can become more complicated and quickly become an unmanageable array of touchpoints that need constant updating.
Unlike other digital commerce offerings on the market today, Elastic Path is making headless commerce scalable. Its Cortex API consolidates commerce data and functionality to seamlessly orchestrate customer experiences. It intelligently manages dependencies between services to provide customer experiences in a way that allows user flows to change without constantly updating touchpoints. In addition, Elastic Path Commerce services can be updated and reworked without disrupting the existing experiences or front-end applications. Creating new touchpoints has never been simpler, and developers can easily create new ways to engage and interact with customers outside the traditional channels, without expensive and time-intensive back-end development.