Business Blog Headless Commerce: Defining the “H” in commercetools MACH Architecture for enterprise commerce

commercetools author image Stephanie Wittmann
Stephanie Wittmann
July 2019

MACH 1 – the “Big Four” of the commercetools commerce platform architecture – Microservices, API, Cloud, Headless – can propel you full-speed into the future of digital commerce.

Headless commerce in commercetools MACH Architecture

Headless provides unlimited opportunities for innovation

When you think of the term “headless” you might think about something that’s unpredictable or unreliable – like the metaphorical chicken that has lost its head. However, when it comes to eCommerce platforms, a headless approach is not only the way to faster, more flexible, and cost-effective commerce, but it also opens up a world of possibilities to create unique, engaging customer experiences on the frontend.

With traditional commerce platforms such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud or Magento, the frontend and backend are conjoined, so it is nearly impossible to make changes without slowing down the entire system. But with commercetools, your frontend and backend are decoupled, meaning brands and retailers have the flexibility to interchange commerce microservices on the backend independently from creating engaging customer experiences on the frontend – ones that can connect to any device or touchpoint including social media, Apps, chatbots, etc. Figuratively speaking, the commercetools headless platform is like a travel adapter that works globally with any outlet in any country. 

React quickly to market changes

Another advantage of a headless commerce platform is that it gives brands and retailers the ability to respond to new changes in the market at lightning speed. For example, new innovations like voice commerce can easily and quickly be integrated directly into your commerce platform. Or let’s say an application is outdated – the new version can be updated in the background and then seamlessly implemented without any downtime. Even new offers and products can easily be made available online in a short amount of time. Finally, using a headless commerce approach, the customer experience can easily be tailored to the end device or channel. 

Absolutely agile with microservices

In order to fully take advantage of a headless commerce platform, use of microservices is ideal. These small, stand-alone applications – comparable to Lego components – are individually designed and can be combined to create the exact shopping experience you want: from shopping cart, to payment systems, to advanced search functions. Microservices in a headless commerce platform can also be updated independently – a clear technological advantage as platform components often develop at different paces.

In short, a headless commerce platform is the perfect solution for organizations who want to react quickly to market changes, implement new and innovative technology without slowing down your entire system, and who want to empower your marketing teams to create unique and engaging customer experiences that keep you competitive in today’s fast-paced digital commerce environment. To discover why your eCommerce should have a headless architecture, read our blog Five Business Benefits of Headless Commerce

This is the fourth and final installment in our MACH blog series, where we’ve taken a deep dive into the four pillars that make commercetools unmistakably flexible and undeniably agile. Using the commercetools MACH architecture – Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless – enterprise organizations can move at lightning-fast speed.

If you want to take a closer look at the interaction of the four MACH components, check out these links: Introduction to MACH and MACH Architecture.

For even more insights into Headless Commerce check out the Webinar: Is your commerce platform truly modern or ‘Fake New’? with commercetools Chief Product Officer Kelly Goetsch and Jerry Hill, Chief Product Officer of our partner authentic, as well as our white paper on the Benefits of Headless Commerce.

Also, if you’re attending the upcoming Online Retailer Conference, July 24-25 in Sydney, AUS, be sure to stop by The Featured Stage, July 24 at 1:40pm to hear commercetools CSO Udo Rauch introduce our headless commerce architecture and how it plays a role in the future of retail. We look forward to meeting you there!

commercetools author image Stephanie Wittmann
Stephanie Wittmann
July 2019

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