Next Level Commerce: Headless 2.0

While Covid has brought the world nearly to a halt, the ecommerce market has been growing faster than ever. With this intense growth came a demand for faster, better, more scalable and reliable technology. Platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, Salesforce and Magento are booming. However, they often cannot meet the demands of these fast growing enterprises who are looking to truly excel in online excellence.

Where before only custom on demand software, that takes months or even years to develop, could meet the business needs, there is a solution that makes every existing solution into a highly customisable and fully flexible platform.

Enterprise Enablement with the ease and speed of SaaS.

The problem

With years of experience in ecommerce of fast growing brands such as Ferrari, HP, Logitech and more, we are able to identify the key factors that are needed to make business successful online, and called it the FIRE Principle:

  • FlexibilityThe business should always be able to build specific what their customers need, without any restriction on either the front-end or the back-end.
  • IntegrabilityThe business should always be able to integrate with any service, payment method or data source that they need. Too many times businesses are restricted by the limitations of their platform: where many many integrations are missing or simply “not possible”. 
  • Reliability – Always being online, being fast and having the possibility to scale without limitations seems a no-brainer, however too many times webshops go down or become very slow due to a high amount of visitors or processes running in the back-end, slowing down their growth. This should never happen. 
  • ExtensibilityThe business should always be able to extend their platform with new services, new features, new innovations, new currencies, new languages and expand to new markets. This should be in the shortest time possible as timing is crucial in this fast changing environment.

If your platform is lacking one or more of these key factors: it is sabotaging your growth. You might have the ambition, the passion, the energy and the momentum to grow your business, however you don’t have the right basis to do so: your platform is your biggest bottleneck.

The limiting factor of your platform is not a matter of features or a bigger server, it has all to do with the architecture of your platform.

Monolithic Architecture

Most traditional ecommerce shops are built in a so-called Monolithic Architecture where everything is tightly coupled: the front-end, the business processes and the data layer. Everything in there, from payments to search, to products and orders is deeply interwoven, heavily depending and even influencing all other processes. 

Although the monolith is relatively simple to develop, it does have a lot of restrictions. Once your ecommerce platform is a monolith, you are fully depending on that system. You lose all flexibility to change, extend or innovate, get into scaling issues very fast and when you really want to grow, you need to do a full replatform. Which will not only cost a lot of time and money, but also brings unnecessary financial and operational risks.

monolithic-architecture

 

Go Headless With A Decoupled Architecture

The biggest buzzword in ecommerce architecture is the so-called Headless Architecture. In this architecture the front-end is decoupled from the back-end, and connects solely via APIs.This means that the front-end is a stand-alone application that can run and be served completely separately from the backend. It has huge benefits to scalability and ease of adopting modern tools and technologies.

A headless website refers to a situation where there is a traditional ‘back-end’ system, which businesses can use to maintain content, products etc via an admin interface. Then this content is generated for the site and is accessible via a web-service API. The Presentation Layer (the front-end), is delivered by a (Javascript) application, rendering the output of this API so it can be viewed in the browser. The front-end itself is no longer dependent on, or heavily interwoven with the back-end, making it a flexible and reliable solution.

Although the Headless architecture is being widely adopted now by big platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify and Magento and it has many advantages compared to the monolith architecture, these advantages still only apply to the front-end. Yes your front-end is more flexible and more reliable, however you still depend on your back-end system which is still struggling with scalability, extensibility and integrability. And your back-end is eventually the heart of your operational business.

headless-architecture

 

Next Level: Headless 2.0 – Service Oriented Architectures

At DEITY we took the next step: if a Headless Architecture makes your front-end more flexible, more scalable and easier to maintain – what if we apply this same principle to back-end systems?

What if we define back-end processes as separate services, for example, order management, stock management, assortment management, logistic services, payment services, and more – and build them all decoupled from each other? In this instance, we are building a Decentralised System… a Service Oriented Architecture, a system we call Headless 2.0. 

Such architecture will bring flexibility, extensibility, scalability, and reliability to both front-end and back-end processes – the ingredients needed to build a robust, yet lightweight, enterprise system that is ready to accelerate any business.

soa-architecture

So how does that work: with all these systems separate and decentralized, where do we exchange data? And how do we ensure that the data is clean, that no duplicate data exists and the data knows only ‘one source of truth’? 

We developed the Falcon Middleware: a central ‘station’ that is taking care of all data streams between the multiple back-end services, but also to the front-ends. It regulates where the data comes from, where it should go to and where the true source of data is. It can process and push dynamically the data within 300ms between all the back-ends ánd the (multiple) front-ends.

In this way all services connect directly to the Middleware, they don’t connect with each other, giving you the flexibility to use any service that you want and not being bothered if they can work together. For example you can use WordPress for your content management, BigCommerce for your product, a custom solution for your order management and any payment method that you want. Building a true flexible, integratable, reliable and extensible system for now and in the future. 

Building a shop on FIRE.

The Business Advantages of Headless 2.0.

Having an architecture as described does not only give you technical advantages, it gives you many business advantages as well. 

With a Headless 2.0 you can accelerate your ecommerce growth by reducing time to markets drastically, expand quickly and adapt new features faster than ever. Now and in the future. 

Headless 2.0 also makes the impossible possible for you. Integrate any payment method with any ecommerce platform, even if there is no direct integration. Get a multi storefront on a system that normally doesn’t allow it, build the most crazy user experience you could ever dream of, or build your own custom service and integrate it with a content management system. The possibilities are endless, the only limitation is your imagination.

Last but for sure not least, Headless 2.0 allows you to create incredible user experiences. Not only do you have the total freedom to build the best shop ever, but with just 300ms of dynamic data processing to both back-ends ánd front-ends, you can really build the future of shopping: AI recommendations live on your page? Personalised experiences based on machine learning? No problem, Headless 2.0 enables it for you.

The End of Re-Platforming

To help you get ahead of the game, we built the DEITY FALCON platform that consists of a super strong and fast Middleware and a PWA front-end that can connect to any existing business. This way you don’t have to worry about re-platforming and have a super fast time-to-market now and in the future. 

Technically what we do is connect your existing platform and any service or product you want to use to the middleware. From there we bring all the data to the front-end, which is full PWA and fully open source for you so you can build the best experience for your customer. We give you full enterprise level capabilities and freedom, but with the ease and speed of SaaS.

And that is what next level ecommerce should be all about: focus your efforts and energy on what you know best. On delivering the best, most innovative shopping experience to your customers, surprising them time after time by implementing new features quickly while staying leaps ahead of your competition. 

We will take care of the rest.

Bringing secure, flexible and ultra-fast checkout experiences to the web

With pride, we announce our partnership with Mollie Payments. Merchants can now offer safe, but also ultra-fast and fully customized checkouts to their customers, leading to outstanding shopping experiences!

We know that it is of high importance that merchants can provide secure, dedicated payment methods to their customers. Businesses obviously do not want their customers to drop-out at the checkout after an optimal shopping experience. The Mollie for DEITY integration gives merchants the ability to create a seamless mobile-first shopping experience for their customers on any device, boosting conversion and revenue. 

Mollie supports many payment methods, including Credit Card, PayPal, Klarna, iDEAL, SOFORT and many more! Merchants are now able to provide customers with their favorite, well-known payment methods, ensuring safe, easy, and ultra-fast checkouts. Just select the payment methods you would like to use from within the Mollie interface and let Falcon do its magic.

The Mollie x DEITY integration comes without any additional costs as it is included within the Falcon Platform. Migrating to Mollie with Falcon is really easy. By utilizing Falcon’s API Manager, you are able to quickly interchange or add new (payment) services. Merchants can even completely customize their checkout.

Benefits of using DEITY Falcon with Mollie

  • Boost conversions by having a ultra-fast PWA website and checkout
  • Easily enter new markets by using the widely available payment options of Mollie
  • Be able to completely customize the look and feel of your checkout
  • Enable payment methods individually and restrict by country
  • Reduce time-to-market through ease of use and headless architecture
  • And many more!

Introducing the launch of the new website of JOSH V

JOSH V wanted to offer their customers a better shopping experience and boost conversion rates by not only providing a complete new headless PWA website based on the DEITY Falcon platform, but also having a seamless checkout experience using Mollie Payments.

Our partner E-Tales has taken care of the implementation, big shoutout to them!

Initially JOSH V was running their store on Magento 1, but with Magento 1 coming to end-of-life, the decision was made to migrate to Magento 2. E-tales has managed to completely migrate the store from M1 to M2, including all history.

The new storefront features a mobile-first design based on Falcon PWA Storefront and uses Falcon UI components which allowed the development team to quickly and easily build the layout from scratch.

In order to serve Dutch customers, Falcon’s headless Mollie Payment integration for Magento has been used to allow customers to use local payment methods to complete their orders.

By using DEITY Falcon Middleware, JOSH V is now able to connect any service their business requires to their store. It allowed them to use the best of both worlds by combining Magento 2 and WordPress and connect them individually to the same storefront.

Take a look at their new website at joshv.com!

The Falcon Platform

With the Falcon Platform, you take back control of your business. Our Middleware gives you the power to integrate with any third-party service. Even if your current platform or storefront does not support the integration, Falcon does. Using Falcon thus enables you to extend your business wherever you need. For DEITY, no challenge is too big.

You have direct access to PWA functionalities and the latest front-end technologies, giving you the freedom to build amazing experiences for your customers. With the rise of mobile shopping, the Falcon Platform allows you to easily take mobile shopping experiences to the next level.

Falcon supports any eCommerce platform, making it truly platform agnostic. Please contact us if you wish to know what we can do for you!

Together, we’ll provide you with the tools to offer the best shopping experience possible for all your customers!

Why CDN is a must in the eCommerce space in 2021

Did you know that with a 1 second delay in page speed on desktop, the conversion rate decreases with 21,8%?

In recent years, there have been a lot of new changes in the eCommerce world and there are many aspects that exert a great influence on your conversion. What should certainly not be missed, mainly in 2021, is the CDN system.

Let’s dive a little more into this topic!

 

What is CDN?

The Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network that consists of servers spread across different data centers in the world. They are designed to host and serve copies of the content of a static (and sometimes dynamic) site. Think of images, CSS, JavaScript and Video streams. A CDN system accelerates the delivery of assets to the visitors, improving their experience.

 

But what is the advantage of a CDN system?

With a CDN system, different routes are taken when visiting a web page to be able to retrieve different data, such as texts, images, scripts, etc. The advantage of this is;

  • That it results in a shorter route and therefore also a shorter loading time. This is the main objective of the CDN. 
  • You do not have to install servers in data centers around the world and you do not have to pay extra for peak capacity.
  • Also an important advantage is that images, stylesheets, documents, and HTML sites can be temporarily saved and they no longer need to be requested by the web server.

 

Does this affect accelerating my ROI?

Yes, for sure! Several studies have shown that with a loading time longer than 3 seconds, 40% of website visitors leave the page immediately. This means that an accelerated server has a positive impact on generating more customers. Ultimately, this results in accelerating your Return On Investment.

 

DEITY and CDN

DEITY also uses a CDN system. This is used for the ‘static’ content of the Falcon Storefront. This includes all content except the products, blogs, and things from third party CMS systems. CDN caches all that content for DEITY from the origin (Google Cloud). This CDN system has ‘Edge’ locations all over the world, so that the end user (consumer) receives the content of the website from the CDN system cache at lightning speed. 

 

Would you like to know how you can improve your webshop even more based on well-known technical developments? On YouTube you will find several videos in which Jamie will talk about FALCON PWA Storefront during conferences and other speeches. Click here to watch the videos.

The power of PWA combined with Push Notifications

Send Push Notifications straight from your Progressive Web App to the devices of your website visitors (yes, including smartphones, tablets, desktops), and experience the power of direct engagement with your customers.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a web application that uses the latest web capabilities to deliver a native app-like experience to users. It is the technology that brings consistency between web and native apps and replaces both with a single instance.

PWAs come along with many benefits as it combines the best functionalities of both responsive websites and native apps. It works across all devices, is indexable by Google, can be installed on a home screen – without going through the app store – and offers the same experience and look and feel of a native app. A PWA is extremely fast with instant results when clicking through pages, provides a great user experience, top speed, and will boost your SEO results within no time.

Another great opportunity that comes along with PWAs is the power to improve direct customer engagement. Progressive Web Apps have the ability to send Push Notifications straight from the website to the mobile devices of subscribers. This leads to higher customer engagement as well as increases in sales and conversions.

What are Push Notifications?

Push Notifications are short, simplified messages that alert recipients to perform a certain action or deliver a certain value. With web-based Push Notifications, you can reach visitors, who are or have been on your website, directly on their smartphones or other devices (e.g., laptops, tablets). No need for personal information or a native app.

Although they don’t sound very exceptional, Push Notifications can add serious value to your business. On average, more than 20% of your website visitors opts-in for Push Notifications because there is no need to share personal information. Visitors simply click the ‘allow’ button and are immediately added to your subscriber base, ready to be targeted with relevant content.

As we spend a lot of time on our smartphones, it is almost impossible to overlook a Push Notification. Thus, Push Notifications are a creative and innovative way to get your customers’ attention and send them back to your website, leading to increased customer engagement, higher conversion rates, and increases in sales.

Push Notifications for Progressive Web Apps

Push Notifications let your Progressive Web App go far beyond the browser and are an incredibly useful way to (re)engage with your website visitors. Notifications can be used by any business, no matter what industry or what products or services they offer.

They can be used to achieve many and diverse business goals. For example, promote discount offers, announce upcoming events, or notify about new items in stock. Or share a new blog or news article, give away free tips & tricks or eBooks, and so on. The possibilities are endless.

Preview of a Push Notification on a mobile phone.
Send Push Notifications straight from your PWA!

PushPro

Besides DEITY’s Middleware and Falcon PWA Storefront, we provide merchants with the No.1 marketing tool to directly engage with their customers: PushPro. With PushPro, you can send Notifications to segmented audiences with the Audience Segmentation Manager and automate sending Notifications with the Campaign feature. Engaging with your customers has never been easier.

Are you ready to bring your marketing to the next level? Start your 14-day free trial and experience how PushPro can help you with achieving your business goals.

Turn on the FIRE during the festive season

Festive season is around the corner – the time of sales, sales, and more sales! Days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas revolve around offering the best deals to your customers while providing them with the best shopping experience possible.

To ensure top performance during the busiest and most profitable time of the year, it is important that your webshop is on F.I.R.E!

Let’s walk through F.I.R.E.

Flexible – your webshop needs to be flexible to build whatever your business needs. No restrictions, no limitations on either design or functionality.

Integrable – your software needs to be able to integrate with any data source or third-party service. There are so many great services out there, thus no need to develop everything yourself. Integrate fast and intuitive.

Reliable – your webshop should be reliable. With this, we mean it should be able to scale infinitely and withstand any level of traffic without compromising on performance. Especially during the festive season, when the number of website visitors increases by up to 63%, your webshop should be able to withstand traffic peaks. Make sure you are always online.

Extensible – it is crucial to be able to extend and innovate your webshop in a fast and efficient way, with as many customizations as necessary without adding complexity.

These basic principles are needed for online businesses to be successful in the long run, but also allow you to create the best user experience for your customers. Especially during famous sales days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Sinterklaas, Christmas, and Boxing Day.

Visualisation of the FIRE principles to create good shopping experiences for customers
FIRE principles

Boost shopping experience during the festive season

During the festive season, people are always in a hurry to score the best deals. Therefore, it is highly important that your webshop is fast, clear to understand, and easy-to-use because otherwise, customers will leave your website without purchasing… To prevent abandonment, we have developed the perfect solution: Falcon PWA Storefront.

Falcon PWA Storefront is designed for fast-growing companies who need the best tools to excel and keep ahead of the competition. This high-performing Front-End platform is based on the F.I.R.E. principles and gives you the power to create the best Progressive Web App experience for your webshop.

Including out of the box functionalities, such as mobile-first experience, offline mode, add to home screen, full-screen experience, and the ability to send push notifications, it enables you to offer the best shopping experience possible to your customers. This in turn leads to higher engagement, improved satisfaction, and increases in revenue.

Let’s get started now

Ensure top performance, unlimited flexibility, great user experience, and more while gaining up to 20% more revenue. Learn more about Falcon, view the live demo here, and start building your own headless PWA Storefront now.

Turn on the F.I.R.E. and increase customer experience and sales during the festivities! 🔥

Winners of the BC Best User Experience Award 2020

With honor, we can share that we have won the Tech Partner Award for Best User Experience!

October 22, BigCommerce announced the winners of the BigCommerce Tech Partner Awards. Their awards program recognizes top-performing agencies and technology partners for their extraordinary and innovative work for BigCommerce merchants. It further recognizes the best apps and solutions for driving merchant growth.

This year’s award for Best User Experience was given to us!

“DEITY Falcon Front-End Platform for BigCommerce is a fully packed hosted platform, giving you the power to create the best Front-End experience for any BigCommerce shop. This app offers a quick and easy download, so you can get started designing the online store of your dreams.”

We are very proud to win this award. Since October 2019, we have been working closely with BigCommerce to bring full Progressive Web App technology to all their merchants, and we did it! We provide merchants with numerous benefits to keep ahead of the competition and to run and grow their business. Benefits include extremely fast loading times, higher customer engagement, fully platform-agnostic, and increased conversions.

Since July 2020, Falcon PWA Storefront has been live in the BC Marketplace and is available for all BigCommerce merchants. Since October 2020, our headless storefront has also been available in BigCommerce’s newest feature: the Channel Manager.

Visit the BigCommerce marketplace or log in to your dashboard and go to Channel Manager. Falcon PWA can be installed with just a few simple clicks!

Falcon PWA Storefront is not only available for BigCommerce merchants. Also, WordPress, Magento2, or any other merchant can benefit from this great Progressive Web App technology. Thus, Falcon is platform agnostic and can be integrated with any of your favorite content management systems. Check out our live demo or visit our website for more information.

Visual of the Best User Experience BigCommerce Partner Award

Visual Theme Editing with Falcon PWA

The design of your website or webshop is very important because customers form an opinion based on what they see, how they perceive your brand. This, in turn, influences the customer experience. Attractive designs could even lead to an increase in customer retention. Luckily, the Falcon Platform ships with powerful visual theming tools, making it easy for you to theme your store!

One of the things that make the Falcon Platform unique is its theming capabilities and (visual) theme editor. Falcon knows basically two ways for theming: on a code level and in a visual non-code way.

Code-level theming

Within the Falcon Front-End Client, you’ll find two theming packages: the Falcon Front Kit and the Falcon UI Kit.

In the Falcon Front Kit, which is made with ReactJS, you will find all functional components which gather, pass, query, and mutate data from the back-end to the front-end. The purpose of this package is to provide functional components that work tightly with the Shop Extension types to ensure the correct data flow.

The Falcon UI Kit has the actual smart UI components, which allow for customization of the User Interface (UI) and represent shop elements. Every component has a default theme built-in, providing a consistent and pleasing, out of the box look while allowing the possibility to customize it in every detail.

For more information on theming on a code level, please visit our documentation page.

Visual theme editor

As not all of us have experience with coding, we have made it even easier for you to theme your store with the Falcon Visual Theme Editor. With this theme editor, you can easily try out and play with your theme, without needing the help of a developer.

For marketing teams and designers, this is the ideal way to try out new things. When satisfied with the design, they can easily download or copy the code and send it to the developer to implement.

Would you like to see how this works? Check out this video in which Jamie tells you all about Visual Theming with Falcon PWA Storefront.

Not using Falcon PWA Storefront yet? Check out our live demo and fall in love with all functionalities and benefits of Falcon.

PS: Falcon PWA Storefront is available for all kinds of websites, making it platform agnostic. So, whether you have a BigCommerce, WordPress, Magento, Shopify, or another website, Falcon PWA is the one for you.

DEITY comes with software to change eCommerce

When we started a few years ago, we were set out to be naïve dreamers. What were we thinking? Webshops were attached to the ‘all-in-one’ software packages of the big players in the field. Thus, it was not expected that they would be willing to work with other developers. But we, DEITY, proved everyone wrong and are working hard to set a new standard for eCommerce software.

Software for eCommerce businesses

Our goal is to change the world of eCommerce by bringing unlimited scalability, flexibility, and extensibility to any online business. Without any risk or disinvestment. To do so, we provide a much-needed solution that solves crucial platform issues faced by fast-growing merchants.

With our Middleware and Falcon PWA Storefront, merchants are now able to extend their current eCommerce platform or CMS only where needed. We give them the confidence to scale and build whatever they need. Without limitations, no risk, and no disinvestment.

“We differentiate ourselves from the competition by enabling merchants to divide eCommerce software into different modules. This way, they can easily replace or add new features/functionalities, providing them with the power to accelerate growth.”

BOM Brabant Ventures

BOM Brabant Ventures, which invested 2.5 million euros in DEITY, interviewed us and wrote an article about it. In this article, you can read about the origins of DEITY. It also includes a podcast in which founders Jamie Maria Schouren and Roland Bastiaansen are looking back on how DEITY developed over the years. Check it out here. Be aware, the article and podcast are in Dutch.

For more information about our products, visit our website or watch these videos about Falcon PWA Storefront. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to help you out!

DEITY launches Falcon PWA Storefront for BigCommerce

Visualisation of Falcon PWA Storefront for BigCommerce

Falcon for BigCommerce

Empowering eCommerce Excellence – Firebear Studio Review

The global eCommerce market evolves steadily. It introduces new features and trends, expanding the existing borders more and more. The latest software solutions help with accelerating growth. Hereby, improving the lives of customers, merchants, marketers, and developers. As a result, today’s eCommerce systems offer a broad diversity of features, opportunities, and experiences.

Falcon PWA Storefront

Falcon PWA Storefront is one of these new software solutions developed to accelerate business growth. It helps merchants to create the best shopping experience for their customers. This fully packed hosted Front-End platform gives you out of the box top performance such as fast loading times and an engaging user experience. Falcon further includes functionalities like offline mode, add to home screen, full-screen experience, push notifications, and more. Gain up to 20% more revenue by turning your shop into a Progressive Web App.

Aside from merchants, Falcon’s first true user is the developer. Therefore, Falcon comes with ‘batteries included’, a great set of tools for a great experience. We aim to provide developers with the ease, comfort, and speed needed to get their work done effectively.

Firebear Studio

Firebear Studio is a Magento 2 development agency and provides blogs about the latest trends and solutions in eCommerce. They help and teach people to import and export data and review the extensions developed by the Magento community.

Firebear Studio describes the key characteristics of our own Falcon PWA Storefront for Magento 2. Furthermore, they briefly explain what Progressive Web Apps are, who DEITY is, and what other software solutions we offer. The review ends with an explanation on how to migrate your Magento 2 website to a Progressive Web App with Falcon PWA Storefront. Check out their review.

For more information about Falcon PWA Storefront, watch our videos or check out our live demo. If you have any questions left, contact our support team. We are here to help! Let’s Empower eCommerce Excellence together.