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.
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:
- Flexibility – The business should always be able to build specific what their customers need, without any restriction on either the front-end or the back-end.
- Integrability – The 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.
- Extensibility – The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.