(Image credit/Pixabay/skeeze)Adobe Commerce Cloud has announced a new headless commerce infrastructure that streamlines continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes. Adobe says the infrastructure will empower customers to realise quick and agile iterations of their codebase. The company believes merchants of all sizes can deploy new features to production many times a day. This will allow them to react to changing customer needs at speed and scale.

Every API client is different. Having different representations of APIs for different clients improves performance, ease of development, and the stability of integrations. Adobe Commerce Cloud offers two sets of APIs out of the box: REST and GraphQL. Both well-known platform extensibility and “microservice layer” technologies allow merchants to quickly extend and adopt APIs for all the different touchpoints and integration scenarios they may face.

For brands needing to further extend or customise core business processes to support unique business scenarios, Adobe Commerce Cloud builds on the foundation of GraphQL. The platform has a microservices layer to extend commerce processes and support fully custom scenarios. Businesses can facilitate the widest range of omnichannel commerce scenarios to create experiences that drive customer loyalty and increase revenue.

Better mobile experiences

The 2018 holiday season saw 51.4% of visits to websites from smartphones but only 31.0% of revenue from mobile, according to Adobe Analytics. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) represent the next evolution in mobile-driven commerce. PWAs deliver rich native app experiences directly through mobile browsers.

In addition to providing headless APIs to support PWAs, Adobe Commerce Cloud provides PWA Studio for creating and managing rich PWAs as well as a sample PWA store to help you accelerate deployment. This way user experience developers can focus on building best in-class experiences without having to cross-specialize in the back-end processes and applications.

Seamless integrations

Many brands choose headless to integrate commerce with CMS or omnichannel applications, such as Point of Sale (POS). Service oriented approaches supported by microservices make it easier to integrate with systems such as store systems and loyalty programmes.

Adobe Commerce Cloud is pre-integrated with Adobe Experience Manager. The integration was designed to support full experience delivery and hybrid models that split experience delivery between CMS and Commerce, or fully headless scenarios. In addition, companies can leverage headless commerce integrations for POS, digital signage, and social and conversational commerce.

As the system is decomposed, different components can be deployed independently. This makes integrating new technologies easier since adding new components does not influence other components of your system.

Tap deep insights & real-time decisioning

A common challenge with headless deployments is optimising experiences and delivery performance. Adobe Sensei, the company’s AI and machine learning technology is embedded into Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. It supports API-based personalisation while improving page performance and page ranking. By incorporating A/B testing into the development cycle of single page applications, brands can phase in new innovations, This should prevent customer-facing errors in the production environments.

Power of Robust Global Ecosystem

Headless commerce requires design and integration across systems which can be daunting for all but the largest organisations. Ensuring robust developer tools and a partner ecosystem to extend core capabilities is essential to effective deployment and sustained success.

The future of headless commerce

With Adobe Commerce Cloud headless capabilities, businesses have limitless flexibility to deliver seamless omnichannel experiences that support any scenario. From operating in a fully headless mode––using services architecture, a custom front-end, and PWAs––to integrating with customer engagement applications like CMS and beyond. These enhanced abilities put unprecedented control in merchants’ hands to make every experience shoppable and accelerate innovation. Headless commerce supported by Adobe Commerce Cloud provides a distinct competitive advantage to meet customer demands, even as those demands continue to evolve.

(Image credit/LinkedIn/Jason Woosley)
Jason Woosley, VP of Commerce Product at Adobe Cloud Commerce

According to Jason Woosley, VP of Commerce Product & Platform, “Businesses are eager to embrace new commerce channels and technologies. They need to get closer to their customers and grow conversions.”

Woosley suggests businesses must overcome four key challenges:

  1. needing to constantly innovate their digital customer experience at speed and scale
  2. designing coherent experiences across multiple touchpoints and technologies
  3. eliminating data silos to effectively harness data and drive real-time decisioning
  4. integrating new technologies while minimizing disruptions to existing business operations.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business?

Adobe Cloud Commerce’s announcement comes quickly on news from Mobify, Amplience and BigCommerce who made similar headless commerce announcements. Many businesses are attracted to the “headless” architecture concept. The enterprise front-end separates the customer-facing experience from backend systems.

According to the Adobe Cloud Commerce team this unlocks agility, future-proofs customer experience investments, and activates the value of backend systems. Advocates of the headless architecture also argue that it seamlessly integrates with a wide range of omnichannel scenarios. This includes integrating with any content management systems, IoT device, in-store digital touchpoints or any commerce enabled system.

However, what is needed is a case study of an organisation successfully implementing headless commerce. ET looks forward to hearing about a business that successfully accommodated a variety of web, social, mobile channels. All achieved while architecturally separating the channels from the commerce platform using APIs to deliver commerce services. Until then, headless commerce remains great in theory, but still needs to be proven.


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