Increased competition, rising customer acquisition costs, and a global pandemic have driven massive shifts to the go-to-market paradigm. Virtual and eCommerce selling is becoming more critical than ever. Headless commerce sounds scary, but it could be your key to gaining market share in turbulent times.

With eCommerce increasing more in the last 90 days than during the previous 10 years combined, digital transformation is no longer a buzz phrase. Your company’s ability to interact and transact virtually with your customers and prospects will ultimately determine your future success. An agile eCommerce strategy, driven by headless commerce and content, puts you on the path to outpacing the market and competition.

 

Headless commerce? Sounds scary. This is a topic that has yet to become pervasive for CEOs and something that sounds like it belongs in the basement of the business. However, the reality of headless commerce is it is not that scary and should be a top priority for business leaders.

 

The COVID-19 outbreak has had significant impacts on businesses across the world. During this time, commercial leaders are learning how to continue to maximize revenue during the crisis with tools such as SBI’s Revenue Growth Approach Tool. A vital component of this approach is shifting resources from the field to a more digital approach and utilizing technology to manage the Buyer’s Journey and ideally transact with the client online.

 

Download SBI's Revenue Growth Approach Tool Here

 

Headless Commerce Explained

 

So what is “headless commerce” and “headless content”? And how does a headless architecture align with the accelerated trend of moving customers and prospects to online purchasing?

 

In its simplest form, headless commerce is a separation of the front end and back end of an eCommerce application. This architecture allows each to operate independently so that changes on one end do not require reciprocal changes on the other. The two applications communicate with one another through the use of APIs, experience managers, and integration tools. The most important thing to know is that headless can lessen the IT dependency (in other words, the back end) for user experience and user interface projects (the front end). That way, user-centric changes, which only impact the front-end, can happen faster because they don’t require changes to the back end.

 

Benefits to the business for employing a headless architecture include:

 

  1. Simplifying the process of building an impactful and unified customer digital experience
  2. Providing a more personalized client experience
  3. Accelerating omnichannel initiatives
  4. Improving customer conversion rates
  5. Reducing customer acquisition costs (CAC)

     

With customer preference for digital now ~2x more than traditional sales interactions, there is a heightened focus on eCommerce. A headless commerce architecture separates the business team from IT. By doing so, the business can focus on managing an intimate and impactful Buyer Journey. IT can then focus on managing transactional and inventory systems. The two become decoupled, facilitating greater agility and improving conversion rates. The customer experience ultimately can become more real-time and more personalized—keys to winning in today’s world.

 

Rises in Rises in CAC Are Driving Changes to the Go-To-Market Paradigm

 

A rise in customer acquisition costs drive the need for a more efficient eCommerce go-to-market model:

 

 

The above graph represents a survey of business leaders, and their response to customer acquisition costs over the past 12 months.  Because of the shift in the market due to COVID-19 over the past 4 months, as well as general commoditization and margin erosion from transacting on Amazon, more than half of the responses reported over a 20% increase in CAC. It is time to make a frictionless digital customer journey a top priority.

 

Building a headless eCommerce architecture is not that scary, but is it right for your business? This blog does an excellent job of highlighting some of the criteria in making that decision. To summarize some considerations:

 

  1. There is constant change in the customer content being delivered.
  2. Updates in seconds as opposed to minutes/hours matter.
  3. Personalized customer journeys are essential to your customer’s purchasing process.
  4. A consistent customer experience is critical across all communication channels.
  5. A differentiated customer experience is crucial for winning against your competition.

     

A headless architecture is more agile than traditional eCommerce models. Having a dislocation between Marketing and IT teams allows the process to speed up. The supply chain for changes gets shortened, thus enabling you to react faster to customer requirements and stay ahead of the market and the competition.

 

Much has changed in the last 4 months. What is guaranteed is that the foreseeable road ahead will have additional significant changes and will require companies to be in a position to react quickly to shifts in customer demands. To help align your business to shifting economic conditions, leverage SBI’s Revenue Growth Approach and enable a headless commerce architecture to create further alignment with the market. Providing that seamless customer digital journey will be the difference between leading the market and being left behind. Contact SBI for help on the next steps.

 

Download SBI's Revenue Growth Approach Tool Here

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marc Odenweller

Winning by staying ahead in an ever-changing customer and competitive landscape

Marc brings 25+ years of hands-on experience in building and leading high-growth, venture-backed and large, publicly traded companies. His background in running sales and multi-national channel organizations provides a unique perspective for companies looking to leverage alternative global routes to market. Marc has worked at the initial stages of start-up companies, helping to build a scalable infrastructure for growth, as well as managing large company business units where companies were constantly optimizing growth models.

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