Headless commerce—the term is used everywhere. But what is headless commerce, and why is it important when it comes to your business model?
Headless commerce: how we got here
The ecommerce world ebbs and flows according to consumer behavior. As consumers changed how and where they shop—via mobile devices, social media, kiosks—it became clear that legacy systems could not keep up. Customer demands were ever changing. Traditional systems are rigid and do not offer the flexibility or adaptability that is needed for today’s consumer. Changes take too long, or are too complex. Headless commerce, by comparison, lets you create the user experience your customers desire, without the complexity, cost or constraints of a traditional platform. In simple terms, headless commerce lets you decouple the presentation layer—the environment in which you create customer experiences—from the back end systems. All without compromising the flexibility of the front end.
Bottom line? Customers will continue to expect more from the brands and retailers they shop with. Headless commerce provides you with the ability to give your customer a variety of shopping experiences how they want it and when they want it.
Why is headless commerce important to today’s consumer?
Modern consumers demand seamless shopping experiences, fast and accurate delivery, and easy returns. This means, as an omnichannel merchant, you need to adapt quickly to changes in demand. You also need to offer the personalized experiences and the flexibility that customers expect—fast. In short, you need the freedom to create a best-in-class customer experience for all of your buyer personas. But traditional systems do not allow for agility or deep personalization. The result? A competitive disadvantage. This is where headless commerce comes into play.
Benefits of headless commerce
What are the benefits? Two words: Digital Agility. You need the ability to both guide and influence your customers no matter where they shop—this is where an API-first approach comes in. Today, a single, headless commerce platform can serve up a shopping experience in any user interface. This includes web, mobile, kiosk, third party marketplaces, or social sites. Let’s explore some benefits.
Internal adoption & speedy rollouts
A best-in-class user experience starts with your internal teams. Their support is essential. Which means you need systems that are easy to adopt. They must be fast to deploy, and to learn. When you can build unique experiences and get them out to customers quickly, you can keep up with consumer expectations. What’s more, you’ll avoid causing disorder to the teams that handle everything behind the scenes.
Your systems need to be flexible at every step of the way. Where are you selling? In which regions? On which platforms or channels? Do your customers in one region expect a different product or user experience than another? Fear not. Headless commerce gives you the control to make changes, and do so at an accelerated pace.
Personalize Customer Experiences
We know that more personalized the experience, the more likely the customer is to shop with you and, hopefully, make a purchase. With a headless commerce approach, you can leverage your customer data to craft experiences that speak to your buyers. What can you do? Create special offers, unique promotions, optimize product recommendations, offer loyalty perks—the list goes on.
What is the role of an Order Management System?
Your Order Management System (OMS) sits at the heart of your commerce operations. It connects systems, syncs inventory, and serves as your availability master. It tracks the stock you have Available to Promise (ATP) in every market, channel, and region in near real-time. In short, when it comes to headless commerce, your OMS serves several critical purposes:
- Provides you with real-time inventory visibility across all your locations and systems
- Lets you to control what you sell in each channel, marketplace or region so you can tailor customer experience and stock for each
- Shares inventory and order data with other systems, such as your ERP, POS, Drop Ship Vendors (DSVs) and Marketplaces
- Improves product availability and stock accuracy so you can reduce overselling and underselling
- Let’s you accept backorders and preorders
- Supports phased rollouts to reduce change management and business risk
Are you ready to go headless?
Both businesses and consumers seek flexibility in today’s shopping environment. But rigid, monolithic systems are expensive to maintain and can no longer keep up with today’s shopper. Change happens fast, and you need to be ready to adapt. How quickly can you add new channels or device specific shopping experiences? Does your commerce platform support headless? Can you create disposable shopping experiences in your Content Management System? Do you have the product and inventory data you need to craft those experiences?
Fluent Order Management is designed to be fluid, and adapt to both business and consumer demands. It provides the flexibility you need to satisfy the modern consumer. This means offering fast, convenient fulfillment options, and making sure customers get their orders on time. There’s no room for disappointment. With Fluent Order Management you can get control over your stock availability and fulfillment operations… quickly. And best of all, create great customer experiences. No promises broken.
Ready to learn more about why a flexible Order Management System is essential for headless commerce? Request a demo today. Or, listen in as Fluent’s VP Solution Engineering and SVP Channel and Alliances take a deeper dive and share critical insights about headless commerce…