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Foundations: Headless as the baseline for any CX

Felipe SilbersteinJuly 04, 2022

Headless brings flexibility, innovation, and scalability to your development. It is an evolutionary strategy that prepares brands for a more prosperous digital experience across all channels.

Hence, Composable Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) became one of the 2022 trends and are expected to be widely adopted in the coming years, mainly by large companies that want consolidation in digital marketplaces. In the near future, e-Commerce will be modular.

Foundations: Headless as the baseline for any CX
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The e-Commerce future is modular, and customer experience is the central focus

Customer experience, also known as CX, is a must in modern platforms, and this has become a distinctive brand element and a determining factor in purchasing decisions.

In fact, 61% of consumers believe that online brand experiences are more important than the in-person experience, according to a study conducted by the consulting firm Appnovation.

We must remember that customer experience is not the same as customer satisfaction. CX entails all the person's interactions with the brand throughout the purchase journey, as well as the emotions and perceptions derived from that relationship. E-commerce must work on this issue to compete in the digital marketplace, and the starting point is Headless.

Over the last few years, e-Commerce has grown significantly. We Are Social, and Hootsuite's Digital 2022 report shows that by February 2022, there were already 12.05 million active buyers in the e-Commerce market in Chile. Some buyer dynamics have changed: users now access websites from multiple devices and increasingly demand more features to improve their experience.

If we don’t want to be left behind in the run for a leading digital market position, we need to implement stores with high levels of flexibility and capacity to support new business models, in which modular platforms with headless CMS architecture are an excellent solution.

Why Headless for large brands?

Because this approach separates the user experience from the technical aspects of the backend, this means that functionality and data operate independently from the interface with which people interact. Functionalities and microservices are integrated and interact through so-called APIs: product catalogs, reviews, shopping cart, chat, payment gateway, etc.

In other words, we don’t have to look for a system that “does everything” since we “compose” our platform from a versatile ecosystem of services and modular integrations, which provide the dynamics to the digital experience we want to offer at every touchpoint.

For example, we manage our store content using Contentful, and we add different features, such as the global payment gateway offered by Commerce Layer. Cybersecurity is left in the hands of experts such as Reblaze, which monitors the platform’s traffic, detecting hostile connections and blocking them before affecting the services.

Foundations: Headless as the baseline for any CX_2

Creating customer experience with a Headless Commerce

It is essential to know the audience thoroughly to design and implement this user experience. It allows us to precisely define the components we will deploy, and prioritize the order and timing to do it.

Key factors such as brand sentiment, purchase behavior, the buyer's journey, digital touchpoints, and how the audience interacts with the brand help you build the experience and convey your story.

But to achieve that, you need a high degree of customization, and not all systems are designed for that. Here is where the headless approach comes in by letting you build digital architecture modularly, making it possible to have the best capabilities for specific operations.

Different ways to work with modularity

There are several ways to build headless platforms. As you may already know, headless is more an approach than a specific manual of practices, allowing this the surge of modular work trends.

There is also more than one methodology to develop a headless approach, ones more focused on the development experience and others on the purchase experience. Still, without a doubt, both seek deep customization:

JAMstack

JAMStack is a web development methodology that integrates pre-built site practices with serverless functions and the use of APIs. Basically, it operates under three principles:

  • Prerendering: generates and delivers static pages and frontend resources to display them in milliseconds through a content distribution network.
  • Decoupling: the site is developed using a Headless methodology, integrating client-side services through APIs from specialized vendors.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN): it doesn’t rely on a single server but on multiple interconnected nodes that keep working with each other even if one or more of them go down. The content is stored in the cache of these nodes, ensuring fast loading when requested.
    • This web development approach maximizes the modern dynamic sites and static pages’ full potential while lowering costs, increasing security, and optimizing the scalability of each page and service.

      MACH architecture

      When defining MACH Alliance, we must read the Word as an acronym:

      • Microservices
      • API
      • Cloud-based
      • Headless CMS
        • Overall, we propose an architecture of microservices connected through API calls, adept at interacting with the cloud-based servers of each vendor. Clearly, by managing the entire platform with a headless approach that eliminates traditional backend restrictions, such as the need to change the code or suspend the site’s operation when adding a service in the frontend.

          MACH is an alliance of companies dedicated to developing digital solutions for large brands. It is not a compilation of specific software but an ecosystem of alternatives from which to select the functions and integrations that best fit each brand's needs and the digital experience they wish to create.

          At Reign, we excel in this field, and we have several years of working with the top leaders of Headless architecture and API services, such as Elastic Path, Contentful, and Commerce Layer. If your site handles large volumes of work per day and CX is a strategic priority in your company, then, we encourage you to migrate your e-Commerce to a modular platform based on the headless methodology.

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