Headless eCommerce 02: Pros and Cons?

In the last article, we talked about what is Headless eCommerce in the shortest 5 minutes explanation. In this article, we will discuss what are the pros and cons of this e-commerce solution.

Here are some pros:

1. Need for speed:

When there is a need for new changes in commerce experiences, there is no more waiting around for development work as to make change, either big or small, from implementing a custom checkout flow and adding a new field to the customer account, you only need a front-end developer. In order word, with headless e-commerce, it is easier and faster to update.

2. Effortless integration


It has always been an urging question for marketers and brands, as well as business owners to reach customers everywhere they live (online). Customer online habitat is constantly enlarging. Headless e-commerce allows you to integrate your purchase experience to multiple touchpoints of the future, such as smart speakers, IoT, etc with less time and lower development cost.

3. Cheaper to run at scale.

For bigger E-commerce sites, micro-services such as carts and payment systems can increase the cost dramatically during high-traffic periods. Using headless solution, once you have the system setup, a headless solution can be easily “copy/paste” (not that simple in real life!) across different means, optimized for SEO and connected to the back-end data. Your new channels will be up and ready for running before you know it (comparing to traditional approaches).

4. Freedom:

The front-end is given the ultimate flexibility and freedom for customization. Designers can freely customize without having to care about back-end logic. When working with traditional platforms, there could be conflicting expectations between developer vs designers in terms of usability, responsiveness or aesthetics. There is nothing can be done about it because the traditional platform can be quite rigid. With the headless approach, everyone in-house and out-house (agency team) are happy.

5. Security reason.

Because the back-end is completely independent with the front-end, and only the front-end and database can be publicly accessed, it is, therefore, safer for both business owners and customers.

6. Increase overall brand awareness and engagement.

Headless is a solution to help your e-store be-out-there more and meet your customers wherever they are multiple different touchpoints. It is new, and a certain degree of risks need to be taken. Nothing is guaranteed, we all have to test and try. If you have a growth mindset and genuinely care about speed, flexibility and best of all, e-commerce customer experience, this is the solution for you.

There are some cons, too:

1. Implementation cost:

It is true that it is cheaper overall when launching on scale; however, it also requires an initial set-up cost on the development side. It is more seamless for customer purchase experience, however, the developers would have to strike up their learning curves a bit. There could be a development overhead from the developer side as a headless approach means having two approaches, two databases, and two codebases. However, it is not a rocket-science kind of project like AI or machine learning; hence, both junior or senior developers can adopt the technology at ease. On a note, it is of consideration to implement headless solution if your online business is operating at a small scale and don’t have any plan to expand in the near future.

2. Lack of full platform control.

By de-coupling the front-end and back-end of the development, you would have to compromise some functionalities when working with the separate layer. But then, you can’t get the best of both worlds right? With the proper choice of front-end CMS, you can have more than enough to create a satisfying and kick-ass online purchase experiences.

Verdict:

In conclusion, cost and speed are the unhidden secrets of any business, not just e-commerce. Headless e-commerce can definitely shorten time to market and help you craft the seamless purchase experience. It is up to you to decide if it fits your business or not. If you want to make things better, you’ve got to make things better.

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