eCommerce platform technology has come a long way over the last 30 years, but of late, an interesting development has caught everyone’s attention.
An explosion of channels—from mobile and social to the rise of omnichannel—has created technology demands that traditional platforms struggle to support. Tight integration between the storefront and the back-end systems does not offer the agility and flexibility necessary to innovate at pace in optimising experiences that satisfy diverse and ever-changing customer needs.
In fact, as customers have come to expect and demand ever more from eCommerce experiences—a trend accelerated by COVID-19, retailers are increasingly adopting ‘customer-first’ approaches to experience design and optimisation.
Broadly speaking, retailers now accept that commercial success is now contingent on delivering relevant and consistent customer experiences, no matter how consumers choose to engage with their brands.
Crucially, a new kind of eCommerce platform has emerged over recent years, which gives retailers an almost endless ability to adapt and optimise every aspect of the end-to-end customer journey to meet customer needs in more satisfying ways.
Enter Headless Commerce
Headless platforms—like the Remarkable Commerce Platform—are transforming retailers’ ability to innovate at pace in delivering and optimising outstanding customer experiences.
That is because the storefront and back-end systems are no longer ‘hard wired’—instead, they are connected via an API layer. This separation in turn gives far more flexibility to adapt and enhance the storefront, without affecting back-end systems and data connections.
By removing complex storefront integrations in this way, headless platforms lower the cost of rapid customer experience innovation, and therefore promote growth. In fact, retailers migrating to the Remarkable Commerce Platform typically see online turnover triple in the first 2 years.
So, what are the key growth drivers that headless platforms can unlock? Here are our top 5:
1. Customer experience—customisation and personalisation
Unlike legacy platforms, headless does not restrict retailers to templated and theme-based storefronts. On the contrary, they enable endless customisation and personalisation to develop and launch custom experiences tailored to customer needs.
For instance, at a time when customer experience is vital to retail sales growth, Yours Clothing are blazing a customer experience trail that has established them as the world’s fastest-growing plus-size retailer.
They are launching innovative experiences, from endless aisle to ship from store, which is delivering consistent year-on-year sales growth.
2. Seamless mobile experiences
In a world where mobile is now the dominant device for online shopping, accounting for total revenues topping £60bn—more than half of all digital commerce revenue—it has never been more important to deliver a relevant and engaging mobile shopping experience.
The good news is that headless platforms make delivering seamless mobile commerce experience easy, because API-based connectivity with back-end systems means that commerce experiences can be deployed to any storefront, including mobile.
For instance, apparel brand Roman Originals are delighting customers with an outstanding mobile shopping experience, after a migration to the Remarkable Commerce Platform enabled them to innovate and launch new services at pace.
The results speak for themselves—engaged users view an average of 5.54 pages per session, well above the global average of 2.2 pages, while mobile conversion rates have risen by 81%.
3. True omnichannel capabilities
By many estimates, COVID-19 accelerated retail digital transformation by 10 years, with omnichannel innovations designed to connect in-store and digital experiences.
Pure omnichannel services, buy online pick-up in-store, ship from store, experiences designed to humanise the online journey—these are among the clear signs that consumers now value these innovations and actively seek them out.
Again, headless platforms offer a shortcut to innovation here, bringing all the insight, flexibility and agility retailers need to facilitate connected journeys for customers.
At the height of COVID-19, for example, we worked closely with Moss Bros to develop and launch, in a matter of weeks, their ‘Tailor Me’ 3D suit customiser. It brings the firm’s trademark in-store tailoring experience to online shoppers while connecting digital and in-store journeys.
In the first quarter following the launch, digital shoppers created 18,000 custom suit designs, and the average order value increased by £150.
4. Easy integration of best of breed services and tools
Headless platforms’ API-based connectivity also gives retailers a far greater choice when it comes to integrating new tools and services within the eCommerce environment.
They are no longer tied to limited, platform-specific options, and can instead choose the best-of-breed solutions in every area. These can be easily integrated without having to adapt the entire eCommerce stack to fit.
Retailers using the Remarkable Commerce Platform can choose from 250+ pre-built integrations ranging from payment gateways, reviews and marketplaces, to omnichannel, reporting and analytics, and delivery partners.
5. Technology consolidation and cost savings
One of the primary operating costs associated with traditional, monolithic platforms stems from technology upgrades, which are often essential to acquiring new functionality, maintaining compliance, or enhancing security. Over a period of years, this can add up to a significant cost base.
Headless platforms on the other hand are essentially ‘version-less’, allowing for zero-disruption updates instead of expensive upgrades. Over time, this can deliver big reductions in the total cost of ownership.
Meanwhile, quickly adapting to emerging trends and changing customer needs also eliminates a significant opportunity cost associated with older systems whose inflexibility ultimately means a longer time-to-market for crucial innovations.
The Bottom Line
All this and more explain why headless platforms are among the fastest-growing eCommerce technologies today. The benefits and the natural fit with a customer-first retail world are simply too significant to ignore.
At Remarkable Commerce, we are determined to give more retailers access to the benefits of headless, API-driven commerce by removing skills, technology, and cost barriers to adoption. Unlike other headless platform providers, we combine our platform with:
- A pre-integrated, endlessly customisable frontend accelerator
- An intuitive, drag-and-drop CMS with 30+ pre-build components
- A wealth of in-house technical, developer, engineering, UX, and SEO skills to support a managed migration and ongoing innovation.
As a result, we deliver re-platforming projects within three months, and our retailers realise rapid ROI, typically seeing online turnover triple within two years.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of headless commerce, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 222 9845.