Technology

Despite Common Concerns, Headless eCommerce May Be the Easier and More Effective Option

Brian Walsh
May 18th 2022
Headless eCommerce is a rising norm in eCommerce websites and apps, and while some companies have already taken the leap, others still hold reservations about it based on preconceived notions. Well, we at Vincit are here to squash those preconceived notions so that you can compete in the eCommerce market and elevate your company to new heights.
Here are some of the most common concerns we hear when companies are considering the switch to headless eCommerce:
High Investment
At Vincit, we believe you get what you pay for. While cost may be one of the biggest obstacles a company has when they come to us, it’s often the most crucial factor. The stark truth is, headless eCommerce is the future of website development, and many of your competitors are already using it to get ahead in the game. From big companies that use headless eCommerce like Nike and Target to smaller D2C companies that Vincit has implemented headless eCommerce for, like Urban Armor Gear, SKB Cases, and Ofra Cosmetics, if you want to compete at this level, there’s no other option than the best. While some companies may be smaller in size, eCommerce is eCommerce, therefore those big brands are still your competition, so don’t think that headless eCommerce is not attainable for you. While there may be a larger price tag, we know it is absolutely worth every penny. If you want to compete in the eCommerce space, headless solutions are the answer.
Regarding the perception of headless eCommerce as expensive, this can be true, but isn’t always the case. The price can often come out negligible or only a small fraction of what the buyer is wishing to pay in comparing headless to a templated website offering. For example, you could still spend a lot of money on templated and non-headless eCommerce by going in that direction, but the Vincit difference of going with a headless eCommerce solution is what seals the deal. You should be considering, instead of price, the team and company behind the headless eCommerce website development. A quality and experienced team equals quality development and a better customer experience. Focusing on strategy and approach to the technology based on your 6, 12, and 24 month goals instead of price will produce a product truly made for YOU. The headless eCommerce experience is much like the difference in buying a suit off the rack at a department store versus having a suit that is custom measured, cut, and stitched by hand by a fine tailor. The latter is the Vincit way. Even with price as a factor, which would you rather choose?
The Tech Stack Seems Complex and/or Overwhelming
The technology stack is what developers call an architecture, consisting of all the technologies, integrations, 3rd party services, and databases needed to successfully display, manage, and host a website or application. When done correctly, it should be unique to your company’s needs. From the FrontEnd development solution to the selected CMS and hosting services, each service is a key part of the tech stack. And while there are a plethora of individual services for a variety of website needs, we focus on recommending the best for your website and only the services your website will need to achieve your specific business goals. This is a part of what makes a custom solution so great, there’s no excess, it’s only the services you truly need to run your business website at the highest and most efficient level. We understand that it can seem overwhelming, since many individual services go into the tech stack, but in reality, you won’t need to actively manage the services after the initial setup, as they are mostly self-sufficient. What you will need to do is understand how to use those different services to accomplish tasks related to your business, such as using Shopify to update product pricing or using the Contentful CMS to update copy or images on a product page. For this, we develop the tech stack and then train you on how to use the few necessary items later that will be the key to your expansion post launch, if necessary. We do so because at Vincit, we aim to make your experience as seamless as possible, since we understand that technology can be confusing to the non-developer, and we want your site to help your business succeed long after we are gone.
Another reason that the tech stack can sometimes seem complex is because seeing all the components of the tech stack and the word “custom” together can feel overwhelming at first glance. This comes down to understanding of the tech stack’s operation. No matter if you have a monolithic solution like Shopify or a headless eCommerce option, they all have similar options, such as backend databases, integrations, technology frameworks, hosting, and more. The difference between the two is that you don’t have the option of selecting the services that are right for you with the monolithic option. With headless eCommerce, you can choose. To frame it in context of a simpler example, if you are looking to buy a house, you can select a pre-planned new build home that already has chosen flooring materials, appliances, counter tops, and more. If the traditional tech solution was this house and you wanted to choose your own options, the best you could do is paint over the flooring or appliances to change it. You wouldn’t be able to rip them out and replace them with better options to make changes in your own home. With the headless approach, you get to see and approve the blueprints and every appliance or material that will be used before it gets built. If you want to add a second story later on, no problem. If the flooring seems dated and there are newer and better options available, we can replace it with ease. This shows how while headless eCommerce can at first seem overwhelming, it’s actually very similar to other options in foundation, but gives you limitless freedom and possibilities for your website or app.
“Custom” Sounds Expensive or Intimidating
While custom may sound expensive or like it will take a long time and be a lot of work to manage post launch, the truth is that custom solutions can make your eCommerce operations much more efficient in the long run. Since we’ve already addressed the high cost of headless eCommerce, which is indeed custom, let’s talk about why custom solutions come with the preconceived notion of being a lot of work for you, as a business owner, to manage. Custom solutions can be intricate based on the tech stack and needs of the client, but that complexity is designed for ease of use. For example, which would you rather have? A truly custom solution that fits your business needs and operations or an out-of-the-box solution that you have to adjust your business to? Let’s frame it this way: do you want to fit a square peg (your business) into a round hole (the tech solution) or do you want to cut a square hole (tech solution) exactly for your square peg (your business)? When it comes to customization being expensive and sounding like more work than necessary, to that we say, you’re paying for convenience and ease of mind. That’s what truly custom solutions ultimately get you. With Vincit’s headless eCommerce solutions, your site will be seamless to navigate, without any unnecessary features that bog down your ability to make changes, if needed.
Another aspect of the custom solution being expensive or intimidating is that many business owners struggle with how to manage their site around rapid business growth. For example, if a customer purchases a templated eCommerce site in 2022 and their company experiences rapid growth, they may have to have another software company redevelop their eCommerce website a mere 2 years later to accommodate that expansion, which can create a costlier bottom line in the long run. This is not abnormal, as many companies experience rapid growth, which is why they have to accommodate new technology quickly, often by expanding the use of their website platform beyond its capabilities. This is done through patchwork methods, such as adding more plugins to solve their problems and make the site more efficient, but this can have a reverse effect. Because the site is bogged down with plugins and features, site performance and speed decline, which leads to lower conversion rates, adding on more plugins to patch problems, and more. With headless eCommerce, Vincit can add more high quality integrations and substitutions to plugins and functionality markers through APIs without affecting performance.
Worried About Reliance on Development Team for Changes, Even Minor Ones
In initial discussions with prospective clients, we may find that they have worries about having to rely on the development team for changes to their site, even minor ones. Fortunately for our clients, minor changes, such as new pages and content pieces, can be done easily without a developer and only require client training. Headless eCommerce actually makes these minor changes easier to perform through flexible options based on needs, which is a benefit to choosing it for your website. For example, if your team employs a technically experienced individual, ​​we can create the CMS with styled components that they can edit if specific pages need to be adapted in the future. If there is not a technically experienced person on your team, we can create the CMS with stylized ‘blocks of content’ that can be rearranged or reordered based on content needs. We can also restrict the ability to change things and give a client a designated number of template pages to work with if that’s preferred. If there are larger changes the client wishes to make post launch, such as with core functionality updates or integrating new services via API, this is when our development team would recommend stepping back in to help out. At Vincit, our goal is to have no bugs or fixes needed, or kept at a minimum, but we understand they do happen and seeing live traffic on a new platform always leads to new insights. For this, we discuss with our clients post launch support or on-going support and maintenance options as a retainer for continual improvements.
Regarding how often partners will be collaborating with us, at Vincit, collaboration with the team starts right away. During the strategy phase, we aim to ensure both sides are on the same page, and during the UX/UI design phase, review happens weekly at a minimum. During the development phase, changes can be made, but they can potentially impact the budget and timeline. Our teams typically consist of an account manager, a designer, and a few developers, so clients are never reliant on just the development team for changes. The account manager serves as the main point of contact, but communication and collaboration across the team are key to ensuring a successful project. In order to support our clients through the entire process, we ensure that they have the resources and team available to meet their needs.
Now that we’ve quelled some of your concerns regarding taking the plunge on a headless eCommerce website, if you’re ready to get started, contact us today. If you’re still not convinced, let us see what we can do to help you decide further.

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