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Author: Vinay Sutrave | 11/16/16

Preparing for an era of shoppable everything

Whether it’s mobile payment platforms, Amazon Dash Buttons or beacons, e-commerce is becoming smarter, faster and more sophisticated. Meanwhile, the proliferation of smart devices has made it crucial for marketers to become equally as fast and targeted in their efforts to reach and attract customers.

Those customers, however, have a whole new set of expectations. Convenience, efficiency and savings no longer suffice. They also want entertainment and stimulation—and immediate gratification.

That’s why the so-called headless commerce phenomenon is taking the online retail world by storm. Most customers haven’t heard of headless commerce, and they wouldn’t know what to watch out for even if they had—and that’s the point. Headless commerce is more diffuse than the storefront or website retail experience. Marketers can embed shopping opportunities in a range of digital experiences (images, videos, games), thereby closing the gap between consumer desire and action.

Headless commerce is a sign of the growing sophistication of e-commerce platforms and discerning, digitally savvy customers. Using a beautifully made website can now rival standing in front of the window of a luxury retailer on Fifth Avenue during the holidays—as long as the site is backed by a content management system (CMS) that integrates the experience and content with e-commerce services.

Content is (still) king

But even the most dazzling store window falls short if it fails to lure customers and compel them to shop. Headless commerce streamlines the e-commerce aspect of the omnichannel retail experience because it starts with content that people want. From there, retailers can take care of merchandise, handle orders and secure shipments thanks to a robust “behind-the-screen” CMS. For once, your organization’s marketing and IT departments will be on the same page, and the people who appreciate that synergy the most will be your satisfied customers.

Just as the first APIs broke down silos in traditional enterprises, headless commerce is doing the same with your organization’s consumer-facing operations. The reality is that e-commerce platforms typically haven’t kept pace with the growing needs of an ambitious digital marketing strategy that aims to leverage content across all channels and keep merchandise moving out the door. Against that backdrop, even the best content management systems have traditionally been unable to address the growing needs and complexities of downstream integrations.

Five tips for thriving

The push to content-driven customer experiences that embrace a thoughtful headless commerce platform is one of the best ways to differentiate your business from the competition. What should your organization look for in a headless commerce platform? Consider these five tips:

  • Separate content engineering. With a truly robust platform, a marketing team doesn’t need the constant help of the IT department. They can independently (and on their own schedule) create attractive content for websites, email marketing and cross-channel campaigns. The marketing team can make use of the CMS to create responsive sites, making sure the content fits all screen sizes.
  • Address personalized content delivery. The marketing team can publish personalized content to different customers in any language depending on browsing behavior, orders placed, geography or even weather—all thanks to headless commerce platforms. Instant gratification is a vital component of an ideal customer experience. That’s why more brands are using personalized content to attract new and repeat customers.
  • Focus on omnichannel and multidevice capabilities that deliver personalized content to the right customer with real-time targeting. Go ahead: Create great experiences at every touchpoint, regardless of channel or device.
  • Don’t forget merchandising. Marketers can handle several features such as cross-selling, upselling or even product recommendations through a CMS with headless commerce.
  • Reduce the cost of content ownership. By housing content in a central repository where it can be located and reused easily across multiple channels, you will minimize the costs associated with building a global content delivery system.

Are you ready to begin your transformation? Mindtree offers several best-in-class solutions for combining digital marketing and commerce in a single integrated platform. See why effective API management is crucial to a headless commerce strategy—then let’s start a conversation about what’s possible.


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