7 Big Brands That Used Headless eCommerce and Saw Results
For years, e-commerce websites have been built on industry-standard platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify. While these systems are still employed by many shops today, a new type of digital storefront solution known as headless e-commerce has emerged in the last few years.
The concept of a "headless" e-commerce site goes well beyond a standard online shop. It combines the best features of an e-commerce platform with innovative integrations to offer a better digital shopping experience for your consumers. Headless e-commerce eliminates issues like poor site performance, complex checkout procedures, and obsolete designs.
Maybe you’re thinking about shifting to a headless solution or aren’t quite sure yet. We’re here to help. Here are seven examples of companies killing it by making use of headless e-commerce.
Why should you go headless?
Headless e-commerce is a new type of digital storefront solution that enables companies to adapt their websites to the ever-changing needs of customers. Headless e-commerce allows brands to add new integrations and create a consumer experience that is superior to their rivals who are still using conventional websites.
If you check out today’s consumer behavior, you will find that customers are now accessing and consuming information across various touchpoints. They are abandoning conventional online platforms in favor of mobile, IoT, and progressive web applications (PWAs).
Take Amazon as an example. It’s now got features like Amazon Dash and in-store interfaces, which include smart voice assistants as compared to old eCommerce storefronts that are still delivering content through the old way. As more customers experience these modern technologies, they start expecting more and reject the traditional method.
What does this mean for you? If you are a business or a company that is still using a traditional eCommerce platform, you might be falling short when it comes to offering content on these platforms and meeting the consumer's evolving expectations.
In order to remain competitive in today's market, eCommerce companies must embrace these new technologies.
World-renowned retailer, Nike, is one of the biggest brands to go headless. Nike opted to integrate its brick-and-mortar shops with internet platforms to enhance sales (mobile apps, website). Because mobile phones are often in customers' pockets or bags while shopping, the brand realized that storefronts and mobile applications may be the most lucrative consumer touchpoint.
They adopted a Node.js BFF (Backend for frontend) architecture paired with React SPA for a more robust mobile shopping experience.
After years of planning, Nike has begun to reap the benefits of cross-channel marketing by reporting that mobile traffic to its eCommerce website has surpassed desktop traffic for the first time.
Nike eventually gained market share from Adidas, making the Headless campaign a larger success than it had been anticipated.
The award-winning clean beauty brand, ILIA Beauty has grown rapidly in the last several years. Their 3-5 year strategy included headless commerce, however, because of their rapid expansion, they chose to push the project forward. ILIA wanted an e-commerce solution that displayed high-quality photographs without slowing down the site. A headless solution offered this and enabled unique customization options.
They already had a performant shop on Shopify Plus, but they recognized that investing in a headless architecture and the modularized, modern tech stack it comes with was a need to enhance consumer experience and developer productivity.
ILIA has observed a 48% and 46% drop in page load time on mobile and desktop, respectively, after launching their new headless website, as well as a 20% increase in developer deployments. Instead of struggling with their tech stack, their engineers can now concentrate on solving complicated challenges and developing new ways to engage with consumers.
Rebecca Minkoff is a well-known high-fashion label that has always embraced innovation. So it's no surprise that they turned to a headless approach to address a challenge that many online clothes sellers have. Customers are less likely to purchase a product if they can't touch it because they can't get a good sense of its quality and feel.
With a headless approach, the company was able to integrate augmented reality and three-dimensional modeling into their product websites to give customers that in-store approach. Headless solutions also guarantee this sophisticated functionality works well on PC and mobile.
Now their customers can get a better idea of the product's quality, size, texture, and other important features before purchasing.
The decision to go headless to enhance the user experience was well worth it. Customers that use the 3-D function are 27% more likely to buy, and 65% more likely to buy after engaging with the product via augmented reality.
Even with all of their success, Amazon and Walmart continue to present a formidable threat to Target's market share since their consumers are just as willing to swap allegiances when it comes to the brands they buy.
After doing research and analysis, the company concluded that 80% of their customers begin the process of purchasing something on one device but are likely to complete it on another.
Upon realizing that the disparity between devices presents an opportunity for expansion, the company began searching for answers that would be most effective in addressing the problem. Naturally, a Headless Commerce strategy that unified the customer experience across a range of devices proved to be the solution.
As a result of using headless, Target saw an improvement in the conversion rate of their website. It was because customers were able to make purchases more quickly and easily.
Under Armour was one of the pioneering companies in the industry to launch a progressive web app powered by Mobify.
Because the Headless approach, and more especially the Progressive Web App approach to Headless Commerce, was still new at the time, Under Armour had a vague concept of what they wanted to accomplish, but they didn't have much information to work with.
Despite this, with hard work and a forward-thinking mindset, they eventually transformed their website into a functional, lucrative, and outstanding example.
They were able to construct the customer journey map more quickly and without any interruptions by using the headless technique. It led to a gain in revenue that was in the double digits, a return rate that was three times higher, and a pre-bounce that was reduced by 65%.
One of the most valuable brands in the world, the French luxury perfume and cosmetics firm Lancôme was one of the first to see the possibilities of headless commerce.
In 2016, Lancôme observed a shift in its website visitors. They discovered that mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic for the very first time. They found the company needed to revamp its website to accommodate the evolving buying behaviors of its customers. Although Lancôme gave some thought to developing a native app, the company ultimately decided that doing so would only be beneficial to customers who made regular purchases. Instead, they wanted to create a snappy, compelling native-app-like experience. The company decided to go forward with the transition to Progressive Web Applications.
After implementing the headless strategy, Lancôme observed a 17% boost in the rate at which they were able to convert customers. It made it much easier for their target demographic to buy even while they were on the go.
West Elm opted to enhance their online experience in response to changing customer purchasing behaviors, ensuring a seamless buying process across all digital touchpoints. They noticed that customers would visit the site for ideas and inspiration and then visit a physical store to inspect the merchandise before purchasing their phones.
West Elm uses Shogun to support its contemporary furniture and home décor merchandising, allowing them to provide tailored consumer experiences. West Elm used Shogun to create a progressive web app to suit consumers' changing demands.
The results were positive, with a 15% increase in average time spent on the site and a 9% increase in revenue due to the faster and more intuitive navigation.
Is Headless Commerce Right for You?
There's no denying that headless commerce gives you more options when it comes to managing your digital shop and providing a better experience for your visitors. However, it also necessitates a deep understanding of the site architecture and how each module interacts with one another.
Moving to headless commerce is not a requirement so before you make the switch, make sure to evaluate the experience you want to provide and your own marketing and business goals.
Choosing to switch to headless eCommerce is a big decision as you will essentially be building your website back from scratch. However, there are benefits to it, especially if your business is steady and making big profits.
If you choose to go for a headless Shopify store, choosing a team to work with can help ease the time and cost spent because you’ll be working with experts.
Who is Webinopoly and what can we do for you?
Webinopoly is an Award-Winning Digital Agency and are experts in Design, Setup, Development, and Marketing. At Webinopoly, we strive to create solutions that help your business grow and give you more out of Shopify.