Native headless frontend solution by commercetools
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How to launch the frontend of a modern commerce architecture with commercetools

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Manuela Tchoe
January 2023

Creating and adapting customer-facing frontends quickly can be daunting for retailers and brands. How can you balance speed, performance, adaptability and customization options in the age of omnichannel and personalization — and in a headless environment? This is where commercetools Frontend comes in.

Native headless frontend solution by commercetools

Creating a digital storefront may sound easy; after all, there are many tools in the market for brands with template-like storefronts and a commerce engine running in the background. While such an out-of-the-box eCommerce platform may be a great solution to reduce time-to-market when launching new storefronts when they need to be adapted, updated or completely reworked, this “all-in-one” solution falls apart. This is because every time you want to perform any change, however small, you have to update the entire system. Not only is this unfeasible to achieve frequently, but it also increases technical debt and total cost of ownership (TCO).      

Times have changed with headless commerce: By decoupling the frontend from the backend, brands unleashed the flexibility and agility they’ve always dreamed of! Finally, developers could work on commerce components on the backend without a blip to the frontend, and vice versa. Iteration, experimentation and innovation were no longer pain points for tech teams, and time-to-market for new or updated features shortened considerably. And most importantly, brands could create one-of-a-kind customer experiences and differentiate themselves from competitors. 

Usually, brands going through headless transformations start with the commerce engine (the backend), so it may take a while for frontends to catch up to the benefits of this modern technology. So, how can they reflect the changes in a newly headless backend into the customer-facing storefronts? 

Meet commercetools Frontend, the native headless frontend solution to build, customize and adapt storefronts at speed to boost your digital presence, SEO rankings and conversion rates.

Perfect harmony between your commerce backend and frontend

When starting a headless commerce implementation, brands fret that it’ll take too long to see the first benefits in their digital storefronts. An issue could be that, even in headless and API-centric environments, frontends may not “converse” well with the backend. Not every frontend is backend-agnostic; quite a few “headless” frontends operate in walled gardens (or proprietary) ecosystems. 

The first thing to watch out for in a headless implementation is how the frontend and backend communicate with each other; can they exchange information seamlessly? Are the functionalities stored in your backend reflected in the frontend without hassle? And the other way around?

What convinced us at commercetools is the fast time-to-market for new features and products that the platform makes possible, the flexible backend and the scalability. Our developers like to work with it, and its performance and well-developed APIs impress them.
Sven Rosemann

Director Technology, flaconi

With commercetools Composable Commerce and Frontend, you can tap into the most extensive collection of scalable and robust APIs for catalog, price, products, promotions and more, reflected seamlessly on your eCommerce store. Via the Frontend API hub, you can sync and orchestrate the data exchange between multiple frontends and backends without missing a beat.

Boost productivity and innovation for developers

Improving customer engagement and loyalty is possible when brands and retailers are prepared to constantly adapt, customize and innovate at the speed of customers’ ever-evolving needs. With commercetools Frontend, developers work with robust commerce APIs within a headless landscape that enables continuous experimentation and innovation. 

The new base has brought us miles forward in terms of speed and flexibility. [Developers] can now implement things within a very short time that were previously unthinkable.
Daniela Zbick

Head of Digital, Apollo-Optik

With intuitive tools and workflows like CLI, sandboxes and CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery), developers can create, deploy and deliver differentiated storefront experiences.

Let digital teams manage and optimize sites with Frontend Studio

Your brand can ship innovation faster than ever when multifunctional teams work together. In addition to developers, digital teams and marketers can also manage and optimize the storefront experience with the Frontend Studio.

We probably wouldn’t have gone headless if we hadn’t found commercetools Frontend. They’re the solution that makes the headless approach work for our brand managers.
Carina Ton Micheal

Head of Technology, APG & Co.

With a drag-and-drop page builder, a media library, a live preview, page templates and more, your business users can keep storefronts engaging and updated at any time. Also, it’s possible to easily support multi-brand and multi-country rollouts within commercetools Frontend. Your business teams can centrally design and customize such rollouts with centrally managed sites directly on the business tooling.

Deliver fast, reliable and secure shopping experiences

Nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer. Page speed and mobile-first indexing have also been key criteria for search engine optimization (SEO). Brands and retailers need a solution to deliver fast-loading, reliable and secure shopping  — no matter your order volume or traffic spikes.

Hosted on Google Cloud and delivered through Netlify, you can rest assured that your sites are fast and optimized for auto-scaling. Also, commercetools Frontend is served as Progressive Web Apps (PWA) — a hybrid of regular web pages and modern applications for enhanced customer experiences and responsiveness — so your sites gain all the benefits of native apps, ensuring a fast, accessible and high-performance experience on any device.

For instance, with commercetools Frontend, luxury watch retailer CHRONEXT now has a +300% faster website and increased conversion rate by 10%.

We went live on headless just four months after project kick-off. With commercetools Frontend, we're now able to launch new country sites within as little as two weeks.
Emanuel Schleussinger

CTO, CHRONEXT

Future-proof your frontend architecture — and beyond

As a native headless solution, commercetools Frontend enables your teams to perform changes and auto-scale online capacity with ease. With cloud-native architecture powered by Google Cloud, your storefronts can handle online traffic spikes. Supported by best-of-breed and a backend-agnostic model, you can add, update or swap components, and stay ahead of your competition and market changes. 

Are you ready to build amazing commerce sites with a native headless solution? Read An Introduction to Frontend for Headless Technology Guide and learn more on how to get started. 

manuela-tchoe.png
Manuela Tchoe
January 2023

Manuela Marques Tchoe is a Content Writer at commercetools. She was a Content and Product Marketing Director at conversational commerce provider tyntec. She has written content in partnership with Facebook, Rakuten Viber and other social media platforms.

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