B2B eCommerce: Headless Content Meets Headless Commerce – Frequently Asked Questions

Today and beyond, the freedom and ease in which headless commerce and headless content (CMS) propels business growth is becoming more mission critical for the B2B model

For B2C and D2C, investing in a top-end content management system (CMS) or digital experience platform (DXP) has long been a priority to deliver competition-crushing customer experiences, winning loyalty and recurring revenue while also fulfilling the expectations that come with end-to-end commerce. Now, B2B organizations are following suit by taking a greater interest and placing a stronger emphasis on the customer experience for their online customers. 

As a result, B2B is going “all in” on investing in headless content and headless commerce platforms for their online storefronts. But what do these phrases mean? In this article, we will tackle some of the most common questions from B2B around headless. No question is too basic or answer too trivial:  

Q: What is headless commerce? 

A: Removing the front end aka ‘the head’ or the customer-facing layer of your eCommerce from the back end. This allows both to function independently, providing greater freedom for organizations to use what they need and when they need it without extensive code rewrites or other custom configuration. 

Q: What are headless content management systems or headless CMS?  

A: A purely customizable application for your organization’s content that offers the flexibility to add or subtract different solutions over time as your business needs change. No more rigidity or imprisonment from your eCommerce solution’s out-of-the-box CMS.  

Q: Why is the headless content + headless commerce solution so popular these days?  

A: Content-driven commerce requires you to go beyond just decoupling the front-end from the commerce platform. Commerce is more than just buying on the web – apps, multisite, etc. All of which should connect to a single platform. 

In a vacuum, headless deployment creates the potential to make your developers (ease of deployment and management), marketing teams (freedom to innovate) and customers (the user experience) all happy, without sacrificing any one’s happiness at the expense of growing your business. 

Q: Why would I, Joe Blow from Mulberry Street, want headless CMS + headless commerce for my company?  

A: Several reasons: 

  • A unified web presence – no more subsites or unconnected sales channels, your eCommerce and content are decoupled yet integrated to reduce maintenance costs and less than ideal customer experiences 
  • Delivers on the exemplary user experiences that leading B2C/D2C organizations enjoy to grow their digital commerce business while best showcasing their brand 
  • Empowers business users to quickly make updates without extensive code rewrites or advanced technical knowledge 
  • … while simultaneously empowering your developer team to make updates without worry it may negatively impact the front-end 

 Q: What’s the difference between decoupled and headless CMS?  

A: A single content management system pushing content into multiple channels, each with their own design, layout or device type. Allow for personalized experiences to be served from the same source, delivered to multiple channels and devices and customized for context.  

 Q: OK, so give me the high-level, from 30,000 feet view of why headless commerce + headless content 

 A: Sure: 

  • Get experimental without a ton of work – agility allows for your marketing team to launch new, innovative projects, create experiments and do it all faster with more creative control. 
  • Personalization and exemplary CX across all channels – omnichannel excellence for your customers via web, mobile, tablet, phone/CSRs, etc. 
  • Prepare for the future – add or subtract API-driven solutions as your business needs grow and change, allowing your organization to stay agile and nimble on their feet as industry trends dictate. 

 Q: How do I know if headless commerce + headless content isn’t right for my organization? 

A: You may want to consider the problem set that you’re looking to solve with a new eCommerce and CMS platform technology before reviewing the types of services available. 

Multi-site architecture storefronts in demand

Depending on the scope of your storefront, number of sites, customer experience requirements – there may not be a need for an integrated headless content and commerce solution and as a result, a simple CMS or built-in option may work as an option. However, it is also crucial to consider the future path and roadmap as well – will there be a need for a more flexible headless solution in the future? 

One of the benefits of the “pick-your-tools” approach to headless platforms is that development teams can choose to employ the languages and frameworks that they’re already familiar with in order to build out storefronts and applications.  

“We’re seeing increased interest from businesses that are looking to create multi-site architecture and multi-language storefronts but are struggling with how to do so. The opportunity that headless commerce platforms, like Ultra Commerce, provide to enable those types of storefronts with a complete commerce solution makes it a perfect fit. Businesses can stop taking shortcuts, running multiple platforms or sacrificing insane amounts of development hours traditionally thought necessary to make those implementations possible.”

– Caleb Bradley (CEO/Founder Bighorn Web Solutions)

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