10 Pointers to Put Headless Commerce in Perspective by Dietmar Rietsch
In a spirited roundtable conversation organized by Pimvendors.com, which is an independent selection consultant for PIM solutions, Pimcore’s CEO Dietmar Rietsch expounded over the topic of PIM and Headless Commerce and how Headless Commerce is soon turning into the de facto choice of enterprises looking to reduce complexities.
Glynn Davis of Retailinsider.com moderated the conversation. The discussion also saw the participation of executives from Bluestone PIM and Dynamicweb.
Topic: PIM & Headless Commerce
Swift digitalization in recent years has turned the spotlight on ‘Headless commerce,’ as commerce has transcended from stand-alone eCommerce webshops to multiple digital fronts. Channels ranging from social media apps to IoT applications, smart products, and AI-powered conversational commerce have got customers engaging with brands on numerous touchpoints.
And headless commerce gives businesses the freedom to decouple or detach the front-end layer from the commerce platform while keeping the connection intact with backend systems with the help of APIs.
The discussion happened around three primary areas. Firstly, a brief overview of the headless market was talked about. Secondly, a short discourse occurred around how headless works in practice. Lastly, the focus turned to future developments in the field of headless commerce.
10 Points by Pimcore’s CEO—Dietmar Rietsch
1) Overview: Headless is all about decoupling commerce or separating the components of the backend and front-end components to give commerce businesses more flexibility at the customer-facing side. This way, different systems talk to each other via APIs. As a result, the interfaces collaborate and exchange information seamlessly, while the presentation layer stays flexible and talks to the right components at the backend.
2) As Per the Logic: The second important aspect that Dietmar touched upon was that due to the emergence of cloud and microservices, all the backend systems, such as PIM, CMS, ERP, etc., must bring the information to the presentation layer. And therefore, due to a sound logic in place, the flexibility is immense.
3) Updates: In a tightly coupled architecture updating all the components simultaneously is not an option, whereas, in a decoupled environment, due to the architecture and the logic, it is much easier and feasible to update all the microservices.
4) Composable commerce: Composable commerce—or the approach of choosing best-of-breed components of commerce and composing them into a customized app to meet specific business needs—is here to stay. For instance, eCommerce frameworks work against monolithic eCommerce solutions like Magento. Similarly, component-based PIM solutions are again monolithic, for example, Informatica, IBM.
5) The Paradigm Shift: There is a fundamental change happening, and it is permeating further across the organization, touching departments like IT. The C-suite is also paying close attention too, as headless is becoming a crucial factor for creating eCommerce experiences. That is why every major eCommerce player today is drifting towards a decoupled system.
6) Separation of Data: The true essence of Headless is that it not only separates the back end from the front-end, but it is the separation of the data from the processes. So, it bridges the information through machine communication, i.e., through APIs. So, it is about machines talking to each other and transferring data among each other.
7) The Middleware: Systems like PIM, DAM, or Multichannel publishing are the middleware, falling somewhere between the ERP and the front end. They are to be tightly connected through different workflows and different applications; therefore, an application is needed that can help them connect programmatic interfaces to provide product data to 3rd party channels.
8) The Adaptability: Considering that we’re operating in an omnichannel environment, headless becomes a critical application, as the right information needs to be delivered in the right context to the right channel and audience at the right time. Hence, the middle layer needs to adapt to its environment that comprises not only the front end but also BIs and analytics, which support marketing and sales.
9) Cloud-First Leads to Headless: The default result will be headless in a cloud-first environment, as data needs to be arranged and worked upon. However, since PIM is also increasingly seen as a cloud-based offering, it would inevitably veer towards the direction of headless.
10) Headless Happens Now: The speed at which headless is penetrating the commerce and the PIM industry is lightning fast. In just the last three years, the demand for headless has gone up massively. It is happening now. Headless is fast turning into a staple requirement by businesses.
Conclusion—Headless the Only Choice!
In conclusion, as the communication or the talking among systems happens between the layers in headless, the complexities stay hidden from the front end. Add to the fact that it is decoupled; it makes perfect sense for businesses looking to future proof themselves.
Dietmar concluded his talk by saying that as marketing and sales become more and more sophisticated, and the complexity rises, headless turns into more than a technology—it becomes another way of doing things. And soon will not remain an option for enterprises.
Headless is changing things for the better—Dietmar signs off!