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4 Situations Where You Might Consider Headless eCommerce for Your Shopify Store

Headless commerce systems have been a hot topic recently. But is it right for you? Would it make a difference to your company? Some companies can definitely benefit from a headless architecture, some might not be ready for it.

While it may be easier to go headless now, thanks to front-end service providers and more developers who specialize in it, brands must first be in the appropriate position to make the transition.

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not you should remove the ‘head’ from your current platform in order to gain more flexibility.

So if you aren’t too sure just yet, maybe you’ll be able to evaluate your readiness for headless eCommerce by seeing these real-life situations. These examples should show you when and how a headless approach is appropriate and helpful.

  1. “My customers are experiencing slow load times and it’s affecting my sales.”

One of the primary reasons that your company should consider a headless solution is if your eCommerce store's pages are taking too long to load on some or all of its pages.

Currently, the average website load time is 8.66 seconds across all industries and countries. However, we recommend that your website load at least three seconds faster than the average. This is due to the fact that a fast-loading website is critical to the overall user experience. It's a well-known fact that if your page takes a long time to load, your bounce rate and average time on your site will increase. All of this has a detrimental impact on your conversion rate.

Before going headless, several companies had less-than-optimal load times. Do you think you'd stick around on a website that takes longer than 5 seconds to load? The majority of people will not.  To avoid losing potential customers in 2022, you should aim for no less than two seconds on your Shopify store's homepage.

  1. “I want to update my store’s design and functionalities but my platform is limiting me.”

While Shopify Plus may have been a wonderful starting point for convenience purposes, it is not the best platform for long-term growth in commerce.

When it comes to design and personalization, traditional platforms don't provide a lot of freedom. This makes it difficult to keep up with new developments in tech and marketing. In addition, it will need the use of specialized front-end or templating languages in order to be built.

In addition to having a mobile-friendly website, a headless eCommerce platform allows you to manage your entire catalog in one location and serve it to each storefront. In other words, your teams will be in control of storefront management and control.

While Shopify Plus is still a viable e-commerce platform, the world is shifting away from its one-size-fits-all software to more customizable options. As a result of becoming headless, your organization gains creative and marketing control that extends beyond the initial design and development phase. This means you'll have complete control over how the website functions for you, your team, and your customers.

You may want to consider a headless approach if your existing frontend is limiting your store's design options. As a business grows, it's possible that you've outgrown your current ecommerce platform's templated themes and out-of-the-box design features.

  1. “My marketing team wants to run time-sensitive promotions but they have to wait for my developers to do the backend work.”

Because of situations like this, marketing and development teams frequently find themselves at odds with one another. Having to wait days or even weeks to deploy time-sensitive campaigns and upgrades frustrates marketers who are customer-facing and are pressured with sales and growing customer relationships. As you know, in the world of business, the right timing may be the difference between success and failure. Brands that don't lead the pack often go by the wayside since they aren't pioneers.

In this situation, brands' marketing departments are reliant on the timeframes of developers to make any frontend adjustments. By not being able to run time-sensitive initiatives, you will miss out on opportunities, that will eventually leave you incapable of having an impact on income.

You could also have an excessive number of click-to-install integrations or plugins that keep your eCommerce platform from running properly. This might be a hint that you need to detach your front-end technology from the apps you're currently using and use a different tech stack instead.

  1. "I need need to migrate the entire company to a commerce platform, but I can't do it all at once."

If you’re in this situation, then maybe this headless boom has come at exactly the right time. The flexibility and service strategy of today's headless commerce solutions make it possible to upgrade digital commerce features over time without having to rebuild them all at once.

In many circumstances, businesses with multiple storefronts can run their websites simultaneously for a certain time. 

So if you were running a business with two different storefronts that are both running on the same eCommerce platform, you could migrate just one store first and the other later into the same headless eCommerce platform.

This experience will also lead your team to learn the ins and outs of migration to headless commerce firsthand. In turn, their learnings from this initial headless commerce service/build process will speed up the second migration, which will take place after some initial setup and configuration.

Additionally, because the content management system remains unchanged, there are often fewer items to migrate. Even if you're operating two separate CMS systems (one for each store), the new platform will just extract data from the old one.

So how can you implement a headless solution?

Through eCommerce platforms

An eCommerce platform with a headless approach could be an option. Consider these two companies that provide APIs that facilitate a headless or decoupled approach to eCommerce:

Shopify Plus

Go for Shopify Plus if you can't afford to sacrifice Shopify's extensive eCommerce functionality (payments processing, inventory, PCI compliance, etc.) but want to increase your site's speed or build a genuinely unique site experience.

Converting an existing Shopify site to support headless commerce is a cinch. Third-party platforms that use Shopify Plus can get product data from Shopify Plus members via APIs. However, a CMS will be necessary to manage additional content.

BigCommerce

It's possible to construct headless storefronts using BigCommerce's REST and GraphQL APIs, thanks to extensive documentation and API endpoints.

BigCommerce's control panel allows developers and business users to work together to make operating headless storefronts as simple as possible. Their API-driven infrastructure offers a 99.99 percent uptime guarantee and is capable of syncing massive amounts of data quickly.

Partnering with a developer team

Integrating a headless commerce platform is a major effort. Before it's easy, it'll need time, resources, and effort. When considering a project like this, you may want to make sure that you have the right people.

By working with Webinopoly, a leading provider of Headless Commerce and frontend-as-a-service solutions, you can avoid the stress, uncertainty, and guesswork of revamping your eCommerce infrastructure.

WebInopoly is a dynamic eCommerce team that knows Shopify and BigCommerce inside and out. Because of our extensive experience working with marketing and development accounts, we can devise strategies and implement solutions that are specific to your company's needs.

If you’re ready to get started with shifting to a headless approach, contact your eCommerce experts at Webinopoly here or view our recent work here.

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