Headless Commerce has been a massive trend since the inception of the 3rd decade of the 21st century. In the headless commerce architecture, the frontend is decoupled from its backend. This decoupling of these two different layers allows the developer to make changes in the frontend freely without hampering any functionality in the backend. That way, the ecommerce store owners can deliver a great user experience which results in high conversions.

Since the frontend is now independent of the backend of the site, the frontend developers can make instant optimizations to the online storefront without requiring any backend developer’s help.

Components Of A Headless Commerce Architecture

Headless Commerce Architecture

The backend consists of several databases and ecommerce features like Product Catalogues, Inventory, Shopping Cart, Discount Logic, Checkout, Payment, Customer Information, etc. The front consists of digital touchpoints like Desktop, Mobile, Social, Voice, Connected Devices, Messages, Kiosks, etc. The frontend and backend are connected through an API layer in a headless architecture.

Although headless commerce makes running your online store highly efficient, agile, and customizable there are certain pitfalls that you have to make clear to make sure you are doing it right. Else, you could end up doing more harm than good.

This article will know the common mistakes that ecommerce retailers should never make in headless architecture.

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12 Headless Commerce Mistakes That You Should Never Make

1. Not Offloading The Complexity

Since headless commerce allows you to make customization of the smallest of things, many businesses tend to overdo it. This results in over-complicated user journeys for the buyers to navigate. If the user experience is complicated when the buyers navigate through product pages, pop-ups, and adding products into the cart, it results in an overall poor user experience.

That’s why after turning to headless commerce, you must try to simplify the customer journey and don’t make them complex. Then you would be able to achieve the desired results of KPIs and other metrics.

2. Not Taking Responsibility And Not Utilizing The Resources Properly

The online store in headless commerce adds several layers and nuances, which require consistent maintenance. However, when businesses don’t plan things properly and suddenly shift to this ecommerce architecture, they often foresee vital roles, responsibilities, and resources needed for a successful transition.

For instance, in headless commerce architecture, you must have a team of experienced web developers, web designers, and UI & UX specialists. These specialists should work together to constantly monitor and analyze the store and improve the overall working of the store.

Lastly, you must check whether you require any additional resources before you start proceeding to turn your traditional ecommerce store into headless commerce.

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3. Using Improper CMS And Wrong Integrations

While moving to headless commerce, you must not forget to remove the JavaScript integrations. The JS integrations are not optimized for headless commerce sites, and if used, they will slow down the site and deteriorate its performance. Thus, make sure to use API integrations and not use JavaScript integrations for your headless commerce store.

A CMS is another important consideration while choosing headless, and it is used to manage and publish the content on your site without requiring any developer’s help. However, unlike traditional CMS, there aren’t many readily available headless CMS that need any developer.

Thus, you must choose a CMS that doesn’t make you dependent on a developer for even making a simple change.

4. Prototypes May Haven’t Been Nailed Down

Headless commerce sounds like a cakewalk, but it can be challenging to crack. It is easy to jump on this bandwagon, but getting the basics right is often overlooked.

Many online retailers ignore creating prototypes for different website sections with detailed customizations and move directly to the execution phase. This ultimately leads to more confusion, illogical customizations, and directionless efforts.

In short, you have to ensure that you work on the prototypes that explain the user journeys and the results you are planning to achieve before jumping right into it.

5. You Aren’t Asking The Right Questions

Headless commerce is not every ecommerce retailer out there. Therefore, before going to get started with it, you must go through the questions such as “Does my store need to go headless?”, “Is it necessary for my store?”, “How much will headless commerce maintenance cost me?” “How much customizations I would be allowed to make through headless commerce?”, “What are the possible results that only headless commerce can bring out?” etc.

Only once all the stakeholders are clear with the above questions is it recommended to opt for the transition, so you are sure that you are going headless with the right reasons.

6. You Haven’t Properly Visualized The Bigger Picture

Headless commerce costs relatively more than the straightforward monolithic architecture for your online store. Now, if the headless cannot meet your desired business goal, what are you even in it for?

Don’t go headless just because your competitors are going for it but go when you believe them; it can help you grow your business and increase sales and conversions.

7. No Regular Audit Of Your Website

Customizations give you features but also increase the complexity of the website. If you allow these complexities to simply up, you will have a lower conversion rate than before the headless.

After switching to headless commerce, you must regularly audit your online store and check whether the customizations are helping in meeting the desirable KPIs and increasing the conversion rate, both standalone and together with other customizations.

Consistent monitoring of your site with regard to UI & UX will also make sure that your customizations are 

working as you want and leading to the desirable results.

8. You Are Not In It For The Proper Reasons

The most obvious reasons for switching to headless commerce include making instant changes and optimizations to the frontend of your online store without impacting the backend, quickly adding or modifying features for better & faster scaling, delivering improved buying experiences, and easy experimenting with your online stores with more agility.

Going through depth about each of these reasons and the other capabilities of headless commerce is essential before making the final decision. Else, you wouldn’t be able to make the most out of it, and only the costs will increase.

E.g., suppose you already have your store placed on a robust experimentation platform on which you can conduct quick tests and make instant optimizations. In that case, you don’t necessarily need to go headless as your existing platform is already good.

9. You Are Lacking The Required Experience

In terms of developing a robust online store, headless commerce gives a lot of flexibility to online businesses. However, more often than not, the decision-makers get caught up in the capabilities and features they are receiving and forget the core and fundamental value they need from this architecture – better customer experience and engagement.

They use all available customizations and features to tailor a nuanced but frustrating UX that doesn’t solve customer pain points.

10. You Don’t Have A Strong Foundation

Before switching to headless commerce, you have to make sure that your tech stack and resource team can do this job. The required tools, plugins, and team of developers & designers you hire is nothing but creating a solid foundation for your online store.

The fundamental building blocks of your store should be such that they can handle various layers of optimizations and complexities.

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11. You Are Doing Too Much

It is highly exciting to switch to headless commerce. But sometimes, in a rush to achieve it, the development ends up doing too much, too quickly. It means you should leverage all customization offered by headless commerce for your store to the fullest without considering the repercussions.

If you do it all at once, it will take a lot of time to go live which will also hurt the business goals. A better approach would be to phase out the optimizations. Take them slowly and tackle them in phases so you can iteratively build solid headless commerce architecture for your online store.

12. You Haven’t Correctly Estimated The Time And Effort Needed

Headless commerce gives you a high level of flexibility in your business. But the ecommerce store owners take the wrong estimates of time, effort, and cost involvement in the process.

More time for development, bigger teams, and a high degree of maintenance are just a few considerations that you must consider while creating a roadmap for switching to headless commerce. It isn’t like whether any of it is worth it; the point is that you must account for the additional requirements and detail them in your development roadmap.

Wrapping Up

Headless Commerce is a great way to improve your store quickly and without impacting the backend. It brings the storefront UI to the next level making it more attractive and intuitive. But switching to headless commerce blind-eye can lead to a setback. You must know the challenges associated with it and its requirements. In this article, we have written all the important considerations that you must consider. Hire The best ecommerce development company that has expertise in developing ecommerce stores with headless architecture. who can build headless commerce stores from scratch and turn your existing store into headless?

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.