Retailers and brands have so many ways to sell online these days, and that means managing not just websites but also sales on marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and social networks. The technology approach called “headless commerce” makes all this more manageable.

Ralph Tkatchuk, founder and operator, TK DataSec Consultancy

Ralph Tkatchuk, founder and operator, TK DataSec Consultancy

In today’s retail economy, you have no shortage of options when it comes to sales channels for your products. It’s not even just a matter of in-store vs. online.

Brick-and-mortar stores now often include multiple retail partnerships. Digital commerce options have advanced to the point where you can easily have your own ecommerce website, an integrated blog, retail partners with their own sites, and have all this supplemented further by marketplace presences like Amazon and eBay, comparison engines like Google Shopping and social commerce channels like Instagram.

For a thriving brand to take advantage of all these options and the opportunities they afford, sellers need to carefully manage these complementary relationships and profiles so that they, their partners, and their customers all get what they need from each channel. But it’s a lot to juggle, and if a ball drops, sales are lost and partnerships are damaged.

Headless commerce allows you to use the same back-end management platform to reach all of your customer-facing points of sale.

How can a company take advantage of all the sales channels available, without competing with their own products, getting dragged down by redundant updates or inconveniencing customers?


Indeed, today’s omnichannel retail landscape is rife with new types of “channel conflict” pitfalls. It’s no longer enough to make sure that resellers aren’t undercutting your own ability to offer competitive prices. Now you need to make sure you can efficiently manage potentially dozens of disparate storefronts and offer a synced, error-free, customer experience throughout.

The benefits of headless commerce

Headless commerce, whereby front-end and back-end ecommerce systems are separated, takes care of this type of channel conflict for you. With one back-end system capable of managing multiple front-end sales channels, it’s immeasurably easier to diversify your sales strategy and product revenue without sacrificing your quality of service.

In fact, it’s the optimal solution for all parties involved: your company, partners, and customers.

Consistency comes easy

While plenty of retailers and direct-to-consumer brands find success employing different pricing strategies on different channels, this approach can also be problematic. One of the biggest sources of conflict when managing multiple sales channels is the lack of consistency in important product information, such as pricing and promotion.


What happens when customers notice that your Wayfair presence consistently has a better product selection, at lower prices, than your Amazon storefront? Customers will learn to pay more attention to certain sales channels than others, defeating the purpose of your multichannel commerce strategy, and counteracting all the work that went into it.

But headless commerce allows you to use the same back-end management platform to reach all of your customer-facing points of sale. It also lets you use technology to streamline communication with retail partners by leveraging APIs to send data back and forth. BigCommerce’s headless capabilities, for example, span a series of APIs and native integrations with media solutions like WordPress, Adobe Experience Manager, Drupal, and Acquia.

This leads to consistency across all of your sales channels and as an extension of that, to your customer experience. Your customers can rely on accurate and fair positioning of your products regardless of where they choose to shop. And you and your retail partners can provide this seamlessly through syncing pricing and other inventory info, without extra work once your system is built out.


Streamlining communication with partners

In addition to consistency in storefronts and customer experience, headless commerce’s reliance on integrations and APIs can be used for more than managing inventory in multiple places. With the right resources, an API-driven business allows you to build anything you or your partners might need.

With headless commerce, it’s possible to build totally customized solutions or plug your data into any number of existing solutions that connect to your API. Given the importance of managing partner relationships and making it easy for them to sell your products, finding or building the right solution for your business is worth the investment.

As you grow, this makes partnerships increasingly scalable. The easier it is to add and maintain a new sales channel, the more of them you can explore without as much continued work and management.

Not only can you manage the inventory and product information in one place, you can also leverage integrated data pushes to communicate with your partners.


Prioritizing customer convenience

Finally, all of the ease and convenience for you and your retail partners ultimately ends up creating a better customer experience, which pays off in numerous ways. When your products are more readily available, they’re more accessible to all of your customers, regardless of where or how they prefer to shop.

They can also trust that the product or price they’re viewing on one sales channel is the same as everywhere else it’s available. They don’t need to worry about comparison shopping or discount hunting and they have the assurance that quality will be good and their experience will be positive every time they shop by you.

While this may not be of immediate benefit to your bottom line, this increased convenience and trust can lead to loyal customers and more sales in the long term.

Going headless for your customers

 At every stage of the headless commerce process, this solution creates improvements that make your customers want to buy more from you. The transition is worth it, especially for future-thinking companies ready to invest in their own scaling.


TK DataSec Consultancy provides advice on e-commerce security.