In the current generation of ecommerce and CMS systems there is an obvious trend towards so called headless solutions. We have prepared a concise summary of what this term stands for, of the added value that this innovation provides online shop operators, and of the ways in which Shopware 6 is ready for headless ecommerce.
Backend and frontend: an outdated symbiosis?
Traditional ecommerce and CMS systems have been designed for traditional desktop applications. Display options for mobile devices were added later on. These systems feature a dual approach, combining a back and frontend, and it isusually necessary to incorporate further third party systems.
In this alliance, the backend represents the command centre of the shop and is equipped with the necessary technical infrastructure (data bases, servers, ordering data, etc.). It is where business processes are handled and processed for the shop operator.
The frontend, meanwhile, represents the face of any online shop. It is the visible part of an ecommerce project and the area where visitors are able to interact with the shop.
Greater flexibility thanks to a separation of the backend and frontend
The frontend and backend of a “headless” project are separated. The frontend is only connected to the respective system via an interface (API), from where it retrieves the required functionality.
The business processes that are pooled in the backend - and that can be highly complex - are therefore usually not affected by changes to the frontend. Technical innovations and test projects can be implemented more quickly and flexibly as a result.
In addition to this, shop operators are not limited to a particular frontend system. This means that a headless architecture allows for links to various different frontends and sales channels. Examples of this are traditional online shops, Instagram shopping, or PWAs. These options have an impact on the marketing opportunities available for online shops: New sales channels and technologies can be introduced and tested flexibly and easily at an early stage alongside the existing and established channels.
Digression about PWAs:
Fast, offline ready, and up and coming: Progressive web apps have become an integral component of ecommerce. They behave like apps but have a more dynamic feel for users, resembling a traditional website. Local storage allows for content and images to be stored on the device. Content can therefore be shown, even when no Wi-Fi or internet access is available. Accessible via URL, positionable as an icon on the screen, usable offline: PWAs are the apps of the future.
With just a single administrative basis, the merchant can realise various business models simultaneously. Content or products are no longer displayed on only one surface, but can be shown on mobile devices, via social media, or other channels, depending on the respective target group. This flexible approach forms an ideal basis for future-oriented, multi-channel solutions. Third party systems can be quickly integrated quickly.
Modern customer journeys are based on headless ecommerce
At the end of the day, all frontends serve the same purpose: to bind customers to the shop and the product, and to encourage them to make a purchase. Whether it be a website, a blog with a lot of traffic, a traditional online shop, or any other sales channel: Content must be sophisticated, tailored towards the customer, and displayed smoothly.
Uniform shopping experiences across all touchpoints are the basis of a successful customer journey. What does this mean in a headless environment? The backend projects advertise on the respective sales channels and therefore provide an optimised purchasing process for potential buyers.
Shopware 6: the perfect basis for headless ecommerce
ecommerce at any time and any place, and using any device imaginable: Shopware 6 was exactly designed to meet these needs and requirements. The new ecommerce solution is close to the market and close to people, adapting to the respective user to ensure a perfect customer experience.
The new technology basis of Shopware 6 with its flexible core is all about the idea of interconnectedness and geared towards API first.
The technology smoothly adapts to flexible business processes, allows completely new touchpoints, and finds its way into customers’ everyday lives. In addition to the option of headless operation, Shopware 6 still features its own integrated frontend, enabling all retailers to get into ecommerce easily.
Smaller retailers in particular can rely on the provided frontend to make their shop available online with very little effort.
Headless operation at a glance:
- Perfect basis for omni-channel solutions and customer centricity
- High level of competitiveness
- New technology and touchpoints can be incorporated easily
- Marketing boost thanks to various customisation options