Headless Commerce: Getting Your Software Stack for the ‘Head’ and Skills Alignment Right

A headless commerce architecture provides expansive options to fine-tune your customer experience. But flexibility has a cost: It takes a lot of time and effort to select a software stack that aligns with your technical skills, customer expectations and business objectives.

The right headless software stack can give you nimble, powerful tools to adapt to an ever-changing commercial landscape. Let’s break this challenge down into two parts — selecting a software stack and making sure you have people with the right skills to implement and manage it:

Finding the Optimum Software Stack for the ‘Head’ in Headless Commerce

Headless commerce decouples the frontend of your e-commerce system from the backend, where most of the business logic resides. Going headless also means choosing a frontend software stack to build out a new presentation tier.

Making the right choice starts out with clearly defining your requirements and evaluation criteria for the presentation tier — focusing on customer experience (functional and non-functional), business objectives and business user empowerment. Enabling business users is key to keeping long-term operational costs low and ensuring high business value.

When shortlisting the software stacks, it is advisable to consider the experience and skills of your IT team. However, the final decision typically comes down to finding balance between the needs of the business and the software stack that satisfies the most requirements within the context of the size, scope and skills of your whole team.

Ensuring Skills Alignment for a Headless Transition

If you have a small IT operation, you might work with an integration partner who will supply the technical skills required for headless commerce. A midsize IT operation might merge its in-house skills with those of a technology partner. A large enterprise, by contrast, might have all the requisite skills in-house.

Conventional monolithic commerce systems required an abundance of backend talent — people who created all the customizations on the computing end to suit a host of business needs. In the headless world, most of the differentiating customizations happen in the frontend, so your skill requirements generally shift from back to front. To make that transition, you may have to retrain your people, hire new staff or work with an outsourcer.

And don’t forget that most modern frontend software stacks require a wealth of experience with cloud technologies and networking protocols. Each cloud provider has specific methodologies that require training and a track record.

A Skilled Partner for Choosing Your Software Stack

Headless commerce requires a software stack that meshes with your technical acumen and business objectives. It’s a tall order for any company.

At DMI, we have people with decades of experience in both online retail and advanced IT system design to augment and contribute to your decision-making process. We’ve helped companies of all sizes across multiple market verticals. That means we know how to anticipate the inevitable challenges that bedevil any large-scale technology project. In addition, we are very comfortable with Agile and DevOps methodologies to assist you through the transition process.

This experience gives us the tools to streamline your journey to headless commerce.

-Atul Bhammar, senior vice president, solutions architect, digital commerce

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