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Headless refers to the decoupling of the front end user GUI experience with the backend data and functionality. In 2019, headless content management became popular. Headless e-commerce solutions are expected to proliferate in 2020.
Headless pulls together a collection of technologies that intercommunicate via APIs to push and pull information that is ultimately displayed on the front-end GUI. The architectural design allows the combination of best-of-breed components when building the solution.
Kelly Goetsch, Chief Product Officer at commercetools, said that “as retailers shift away from monolithic, legacy platforms they are also moving towards microservices – small, self-contained applications that can be developed and deployed individually. API-driven microservices allow developers to easily and quickly update specific parts of the front-end, resulting in shorter release cycles and faster time-to-market.”
But Forrester cautions that headless deployments require extensive development, something outside the competency of many small and mid-sized companies. In those cases, SaaS options may be a better route. “Certain approaches like headless tools require a steep learning curve, but if your competency is branding instead of [technology] development, then the right choice for you is a SaaS platform with practitioner-friendly tooling you can use without writing code.”