Headless architecture is the decoupling of a website’s frontend presentation layer which includes items such as text colors and styles, images, graphs and tables, buttons, etc. from the backend functionality pricing, infrastructure, security, checkout, etc.
Developers can utilize their frontend technology of choice to deliver high-quality content experiences and plug in an business solution on the backend that manages all commerce functionality.
Simply put, headless e-commerce platforms have decoupled, or separated, the frontend user experience from the back-end business logic. This allows developers to use the e-commerce platform’s API to deliver the platform’s business logic (features, functionality, etc.) to whatever user experience they’d like.
According to Forbes, over $1.65 billion in funding was raised for headless technologies in 2020–2021 alone and as more ecommerce businesses race to keep up with current trends, this number is bound to grow.
You can think of the head in terms of any kind of user interface or experience. A vending machine can be a head. A desktop browser experience can be a head. A smartwatch can be a head. With headless commerce, you can update or change the head(s) without disrupting the backend
A quick refresher on software architecture: If you think about software as a “stack” of components, the top of the stack would be the user interface, or the part that the user interacts with (sometimes this is called the “front-end”). The rest of the stack is where the software derives all of its functionality, like the business logic and the data model (sometimes this is called the “back-end’). So the “head” in “headless” is the user experience. You’re accessing that back-end functionality via API, and building any sort of “head”, or user interface, for both the buyer and the admin interface on top.
Benefits of Headless Forwarding
- Minimize the total cost of ownership: Typically on-premise solutions are sold in the form of core-based licenses. This cost model often becomes a problem for scale. As you grow and more hardware is needed to handle that growth, you need to buy more licenses. Additionally, monolithic software vendors typically release new versions a few times a year, and typically these changes are fundamental to the core. So businesses need to constantly review and rewrite parts of their custom code to make sure it works with the new version.
- Gain agility and speed: Because the frontend is completely separated from the backend on a headless forwarding platform, changes to the frontend user experience can happen a lot more quickly and with a lot less risk to the backend code.
- Integrate efficiently and effectively: Platforms harness the power and agility of APIs to allow you to create a tech stack unique to your business. Headless, API-first platforms enable what’s called a “best-of-breed” technology strategy. Through integration, you’re able to create your own “virtual suite” of best-in-class software. The beauty of a best-of-breed approach is that you’re not relying on the capabilities of an all-in-one suite option. You can choose the best-of-the-best capabilities across the board so that your software does what you need it to do for your business.
- Easily extend ordering to new channels, devices, customers, and more: With headless e-commerce, multiple frontends can be connected to the same backend. You can run and manage multiple user experiences across multiple devices without managing a mess of different systems – think wearable devices, IoT, vending machines, and more.
- Improve time-to-value: No matter the e-commerce platform, the back-end business logic, functionality, and capabilities comprise up to 85% of a software development process. With headless, you are starting from the point of completion which is allowing you to focus on the user experience and deliver a final solution for far less cost, time, and effort.
You can write to us to discuss how you can implement this concept in improving your forwarding workflow.