One of the most fundamental things you can do as a business to put customers at the heart of your online experiences is the adoption of headless technology. In its most simplistic form, this is where the frontend and backend systems are decoupled and APIs are used to connect everything instead.
An enabler for digital transformation, headless architecture affords you a more scalable and more flexible approach to commerce and content. Given it utilises APIs, headless architecture means you can deploy best-of-breed applications and tooling that suit your exact business needs, giving you more control over all your channels and overall customer experience. This decoupled approach also means your speed to market is quicker, letting businesses take an iterative approach to making change – particularly relevant during the pandemic, where change has been the only constant. It also means businesses can do all of this for a reasonable cost and manage any subsequent risk easier along the way. No longer do businesses have to be confined to a rigid legacy solution that is out-of-the-box and not suited to their specific needs in this digital-first, customer-led world. “What we’ve seen is massive frustration with our customers’ ability to deliver change quickly and do that digital transformation in a reasonable time and cost. That’s what is driving a move to a completely new ecommerce infrastructure,” says James Brooke, Founder and CEO of Amplience.
In-store, shoppers physically navigate to find the product they want with visual cues from the store layout or they ask a shop assistant. Online, consumers depend on breaking down their search by typing in the right keywords or by navigating with filters. And when they don’t receive the right or relevant results, it only takes a second for a frustrated shopper to move on to the next site. Today’s consumers are used to precise ‘Google-like’ quality results, even if they make abstract or complex search queries online, but are let down by search experiences on ecommerce sites. Traditional ecommerce search engines often depend on the shopper using exact search terms to receive the right results. Many more are also incapable of matching consumer context and intent to the right product information, recommendations or content experiences.
“If you’re not returning relevant results on that first search term or worse ‘no results’, that’s often the end of the shopper journey. If you increase the number of products someone clicks on by even a small amount, you’re going to have more customers checking out,” says Mark Adams, chief executive of Attraqt.
Consumer expectations are now at an all-time high. Retailers must focus on integrating modern solutions that offer a richer individualised experience through understanding customer behaviour and search intent. By embedding this into shopper journeys, retailers can make customer-centric recommendations when it comes to merchandising and content experiences. Ultimately, the game-changer allowing all of this to happen is artificial intelligence and machine learning. When aligned with a team’s merchandising and commercial strategies it has proven to deliver higher conversion rates, some retailers experiencing an increase of up to 60%, ultimately impacting revenue growth and loyalty.
Through headless technology and modern integrations like AI-powered search, retailers have the opportunity right now to turn to the next generation of ecommerce technology that will power their customer experiences into the future. It’s the flexibility every business has wanted.
To learn more about the impact headless technology and AI-powered search can have on your business a good place to start is The Times “The Future of Retail 2020” report. It also takes a broader look at how retail is expected to continue post-Coronavirus, social commerce and more. Alternatively, you can get in touch with either Amplience or Attraqt to discuss everything further.