Headless e-commerce allows for the decoupling of the frontend and backend of storefronts. This allows end-users to experience immersive online shopping experiences and complete transactions, whether they’re on a computer, a smartphone, or other mobile devices.
APIs are utilized to facilitate the need for software on both ends of the system to send and receive data, offering the customer a rich presentation layer. In this post, we will explore how to create a strategy for successful headless e-commerce implementation using Salesforce e-commerce solutions.
A Forbes report found that online shoppers want a low friction experience where they can look for, and buy products, quickly. A headless e-commerce approach facilitates fast product searches and payments.
Starting off with a structured team
With headless commerce, building the structure for your team is key. Larger companies will have more individuals on board who are equipped with the skills needed to deploy the architecture for headless e-commerce. On the other hand, smaller organizations invariably come with smaller teams, which creates the need for individuals to have expertise in more than one area.
The team required includes, but is not limited to, a solutions architect, a developer, a Quality Assurance engineer, a security engineer, a site reliability engineer, and an operations engineer. Architecture that is based on interconnected microservices has its benefits for merchants, states a Forrester research paper. Your company can create rich customer experiences for the frontend with Salesforce commerce cloud implementation, while Salesforce does the intensive work of interacting with digital e-commerce software on the backend.
Tools that facilitate headless commerce
The Salesforce commerce cloud is primarily used to store catalogs and content, both related to the catalog as well as static content. External catalogs and content can also be imported to SFCC.
Catalogs are stored in Product Information Management (PIM) software, employed by e-commerce companies for storing and managing product descriptions, creating catalogs, and retrieving the above in a centralized location.
With a content management system (CMS), companies can manage all their content on a single database. This is especially helpful when developing websites for storefronts. Salesforce commerce cloud development services gives your e-commerce platforms the edge it needs with powerful solutions to handle data.
A content delivery network (CDN) caches and stores static content, so that the user can enjoy an online storefront that loads quickly. The need for caching data is vital to ensuring a seamless experience for the end-user. Without data caching, applications can take longer to load every time the customer opens the storefront.
APIs are the binding element in headless commerce approaches. In e-commerce, the CDN system gives end users the content and data they need to browse and make transactions. In an optimal flow, the customer opens their browser or application, which launches the storefront for them. Essentially, the browser information is served via the CDN, offering faster download times and for storing partial information through caching.
Evaluating Storefront for performance
Once a storefront has been set up using a headless approach, it is imperative that it is monitored and tested for quality and security. Load-testing needs to be done to test the viability of the application or website when there is a surge in usage such as on holidays. Large spikes in download and upload data surges are simulated and testing is executed to monitor and assess the functionality of the storefront for optimal performance.
As online shopping grows by leaps and bounds, it is vital to ensure end-users enjoy storefronts that are optimized to run at peak performance.
Securing the storefront
As opposed to an HTTP, an HTTPS is an indication of high levels of security. The integrity of the CDN has to be maintained at all times, as they are prone to malicious attacks by malware, or even hacking attempts.
To this end, multiple security layers are implemented for a safe experience and to protect the website. For the customer, additional levels of security come in the form of authorization, in addition to authentication. With authentication, the customer needs to key in their user ID and password. Upon successful authentication, the authorization level is initiated, where the user gets an approval request. This authorization may come through a code sent to their email or mobile device.
A headless approach to e-commerce allows even smaller companies the chance to enjoy the capabilities of powerful technology employed in-house by enterprises. This allows companies to offer their customers a rich shopping experience, thus boosting revenue and engaging customers.
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