a Van Gogh self portrait with the head cropped off
PHOTO: Alina Grubnyak

From web browsers to Facebook, from Instagram to branded apps, shoppers' retail access points seem to grow every day. And as buyers consume content from an overwhelming number of applications, online sellers find it more difficult to keep their content up-to-date and personalized across multiple devices.

But a current, consistent customer experience across online platforms couldn’t be more important. Consider the following:

No online retailer can afford to ignore these staggering figures — or miss out on their own piece of the web economy by alienating shoppers who are frustrated over an inconsistent online experience. To gain greater control over their web experiences and become vastly more dynamic in reacting to shifting trends, retailers should look to the advantages afforded by a headless content structure.

Headless superpowers a traditional content approach by giving users the ultimate control over creating, updating and deleting content, independent of platform. Headless is ideal for ecommerce platforms looking to quickly update website content across various web-enabled devices to create a rich, personalized customer experience. It also enables user experience teams to work in parallel to the content itself.

So how can ecommerce brands make a case internally for switching to headless ecommerce solutions? Here are some benefits to highlight.

Headless Allows for More Control and Flexibility

In a traditional approach, content updates are sluggish — designers, writers, search teams and other departments must take turns inputting information. Headless platforms cut out this problem; decoupling the front end allows for parallel updates by various team members without touching the presentation layer.

Related Article: 9 Challenges of Scaling a Headless CMS

Headless Enables Brands to Explore New Ideas

From Pizza Hut’s singing pizza campaign in Malaysia to Domino's reindeer delivery service campaign in Japan, quick-service pizza brands go to great, and sometimes kooky, lengths in the battle to win the market. No idea is off the table.

That includes ordering via digital screens in a vehicle’s dashboard. While this idea may not resonate with many ecommerce brands, it’s a potentially lucrative new horizon for restaurants, whose customers desire any time, anywhere touchpoints. And headless enables the content and experience to make this platform a reality, mapping to how consumers actually use the channel rather than an out-of-the-box experience. Don’t be surprised if, in a few years, consumers are using their cars to order up a pepperoni pie.

Related Article: With Content Delivery, What Goes Around Comes Around

Headless Promotes Truly Personalized Content

Data-driven, personalized content is transitioning from expectation to norm, but retailers are far from perfecting the process or the experience. CRM data is often incomplete, siloed and inconsistently implemented. Meanwhile, too much shopper segmentation can lead to pigeonholing. While a customer’s search and purchase habits may indicate they like sports, gluten-free food and have a family, they’re not serving each of these interests at all times.

Yes, personalization needs to be reflective of a consumer’s interests, but ideally it should also adjust to their in-the-moment needs. Brands that realize this and react by providing changing experiences via headless will capture a reactive audience in the moment. For example, if a sports team has a big win, fans will come flooding to merchandise websites looking for the latest gear. Vendors that update their inventory on the fly will be the ones that see major dividends.

By helping leaders and stakeholders understand headless beyond the buzzword, ecommerce companies will see immediate benefits in attracting customers who desire a robust, personalized shopping experience.