As ecommerce continues to prove itself to be one of the world’s fastest-evolving industries, online retailers are looking to new technological advancements to get an edge against competitors.
Changes in technology can affect every aspect of how a business operates, from the way customers make purchases to how supply chains are managed. With market expectations always on the rise, modern digital companies need to ensure customers are satisfied, and this means meeting their demands, but also reflecting who they are as people.
Many online retailers are adopting a new approach to the architecture underlying their website, exploring what’s known as “headless commerce” so they can offer customers a faster, more streamlined online shopping experience unified across every touchpoint and on all devices.
Headless commerce is more than just one specific personalization tweak; headless commerce restructures the design of the website’s backend to empower creatives and UX designers to update the site without needing technical support.
Keep reading to learn more about how headless commerce can modernize your ecommerce business and see how the sticky.io subscription commerce platform fits hand-in-glove with a headless commerce approach by delivering responsive analytics, billing optimization and powerful and flexible security.
Online retailers need to update content quickly if they want to keep up with the pace of their industry, and having a website with a separate backend and frontend helps them operate more dynamically. The front and backend can still talk to each other, but designers can make changes at one end without having to make a corresponding change to the coding on the other end.
This is what lets businesses operate with agility, and empowers content providers to drive new customer acquisitions. Headless commerce reduces the time it takes for a product to get to market by separating the storefront from the backend, allowing online retailers to make purchases wherever their customers buy.
Headless commerce also makes it easy for online retailers to freshen up their site’s content. Consumers don’t just buy products based on the quality of the item itself: they expect the brand’s content to reflect them, so there’s a link between the ethos or intangible sense of the company brand and what they’re purchasing.
In an industry that relies on being able to pivot on a dime, updating website content needs to be efficient and simple. Headless commerce reduces a company’s reliance on web developers, so vital changes can be made as required, on virtually any platform.
As consumers, especially subscription customers, expect increased personalization and more curated products and content, companies need to speed up their turnaround time. With less standing between the creative team’s imagination and the way the website operates in real-time, online retailers can meet consumer demands effectively and efficiently.
Any screen can become an advertising platform for your brand, while any device can be used as a checkout for your products. Your average order value will go up as customers spend more time on your site, perusing the new content.
Importantly, you won’t need to overhaul your current content management system, so you save time and money while sparing yourself headaches. Headless commerce is a smart way to stay nimble in a fast-moving industry, but it works best when complemented with the full suite of tools for ecommerce analytics, billing optimization, and robust security that enterprise-level ecommerce platforms provide.
Every online retailer needs to closely gauge their marketing efforts. It’s impossible to control your ad spend without knowing which campaigns, marketing channels and product categories are succeeding and which are failing. Headless commerce relies on new waves of content, and it needs to be understood. Just like producing this content quickly is important, companies need to understand its effectiveness at a glance. The reporting and analytics features in the sticky.io platform are designed to put the crucial metrics of every touchpoint at your fingertips immediately.
More than 20 analytics dashboards provide a snapshot of a company’s overall health. It’s extremely easy to dive into each dashboard and pull back for a macro perspective, or zoom in to find a wealth of data at the individual customer level.
These reporting and analytics features help guide the marketing creatives in understanding their demographic, so they can produce relevant content that drives sales. User-experience designers also need this information to create a brand-aligned website that functions smoothly for all users on any device.
The sticky.io platform can help identify who your ecommerce customers are by learning about their shared characteristics, before quickly segmenting them into buckets.
The platform’s sophisticated AI enables online retailers to understand their customers, so products, services and marketing campaigns can be tailored to their wants and needs. The smart tags and predictive analytics features offered by the best ecommerce platforms sort customers into groups according to their lifetime value.
The best online marketers understand that campaigns must target who the customers really are, rather than rely on assumptions. Our platform sorts your customers into groups according to many different criteria:
Such insights lead directly to increased customer conversions, better retention and a reduced churn rate. A company that undertakes a marketing campaign without the aid of an all-in-one ecommerce platform may as well do it blindly.
Headless commerce is all about ensuring that every customer’s digital experience is aligned with who they are and how they like to make purchases. To fully realize the benefits, and to fully embody the principles of headless commerce, it’s important to have the same flexibility at every touchpoint across the platform, and to have it run with maximum smoothness and minimal effort.
Headless commerce works best, and cart abandonment is significantly reduced, when the AI driving aspects of the site are as agile and seamless as the website’s design itself. Just as the website’s fresh content must reflect the customer’s sense of self, the website’s underlying automation must work optimally for each customer too.
It’s hard to be precise given the nature of online sales, but it’s estimated that $4.6 billion is lost to cart abandonment around the world every year. There are several key features in the sticky.io platform that help companies keep this money from slipping through the cracks by reducing cart abandonment by as much as 60%.
Sophisticated cross-selling and upselling technology drives sales in a crucial way, as powerful artificial intelligence effectively performs the function of a sales technician by using their knowledge of the customer to show them personalized recommendations for products they are genuinely interested in buying.
The reporting and analytics features determine who each customer is by processing reams of information, whereas the website’s AI has absorbed this information and makes use of it by projecting it back out to the customer.
The sticky.io platform can differentiate between a loyal repeat customer and someone who frequently abandons carts. Every customer, cart size and total cart value product and type gets special consideration and optimal strategy.
Once the website has marketing and AI that accurately reflects your customers, online businesses need to be able to receive payments in whatever way customers want to pay them. People’s finances are personal and sensitive, so customers will appreciate payment processing that is flexible, quick and comfortable.
The best ecommerce platforms have advanced rebilling features that proactively solve problems for online businesses before they occur. For example, online subscription businesses love the Advanced Billing feature, which makes sure that credit card information is accurate before every rebill cycle.
This way, online retailers never charge the wrong credit card number. This helps companies in several ways, from reducing hard declines to improving customer relationships. The object is to keep the long-term sale running as smoothly as possible.
Rather than become aggravated by having to manually re-enter credit card info — or, worse, deciding to abandon the sale altogether — customers can continue to receive their subscriptions without interruption, without even being alerted to any bump in the road.
Even if the customer doesn’t abandon the sale, this irritation could reduce brand loyalty. Our platform manages to update 4% of all credit cards on file, and we successfully rebill 80% of these cards. This automated efficiency is something customers will genuinely appreciate, while it also leads directly to increased sales.
Our Address Confirmation feature prevents delivery mishaps from occurring before they do. This is increasingly important as consumers are more likely than ever to expect same-day or two-day shipping.
This feature also saves businesses from having to pay extra fees related to delivery mishaps. Enterprise-level ecommerce platforms keep customers happy and business costs down.
Headless commerce allows people to buy wherever they are, on any screen — customers need the ability to pay how they’d like to. Companies opting for a headless commerce model are wise to use an ecommerce platform that is designed to facilitate every type of payment method and model.
That means online retailers need to be able to accept every type of payment, as well as be able to easily configure one-time payments, subscriptions, discounts or any other incentives that could attract new sales.
Headless commerce is innately agile. For maximum effect, similar flexibility and responsiveness is needed throughout the rest of the platform. Online retailers appeal to people on the screen they use most, so shopping feels natural and comfortable; making payment processing easy and painless will help close sales.
Finally, any improvements made to the structural design of the website’s architecture can’t come at the expense of security. The sticky.io platform offers PCI DSS Level 1 security, the highest standard that businesses can offer to the major credit card companies. Enterprise-level ecommerce platforms offer world-class fraud security for the transactions themselves, and protects the sensitive information about your personnel, your customers and proprietary information.
Furthering operational agility, our platform’s security is flexible because the parameters can be adjusted manually. Online companies won’t have security that is too rigid, which can accidentally reject genuine customers out of an overzealous effort to clamp down on fraud.
Similarly, the actions taken to ensure full security are never cumbersome or time-consuming from the customer’s perspective. Verification takes milliseconds, so they won’t notice the process.
Make sure that you prevent a breach before there is any risk of one occurring: undoing the damages to a company’s finances and reputation afterwards can be extremely hard, or even impossible.
Cybercrime is unfortunately an inevitable part of doing business online — it’s a question of when it will strike, not if. Investing in security that has the strength to stop cybercriminals and the flexibility to permit all real customers is a requirement for any online retailer.
We live in an incredible age of technological advancement, and the ever-evolving world of ecommerce is on the frontlines of this change. As the technology develops, consumer behavior changes with it, so it’s important to understand and cater to these changing needs as they arise.
Headless commerce ensures that online retailers can have fresh content that reflects their users without having to waste time or lean on technical support. When the company’s creative and brand specialists can quickly update the website on any device, it’s much easier to satisfy the growing expectations of modern online consumers.
Shoppers today expect to be wowed because they are surrounded by miraculous technology in their everyday lives. The customized and personalized approach that meets customer expectations one week may not seem so impressive for very long if it doesn’t get updated.
When the headless commerce approach is supported seamlessly by a platform which also produces enterprise-level marketing reports, security and billing optimization, a modern online retailer has everything they need to launch a competitive business and keep customers coming back.