You might think startups always have a leg up on enterprises when it comes to innovating quickly and adapting to shifting market conditions. After all, they don’t have fixed overhead and legacy, code-based programs. But I’ll let you in on a secret: An enterprise can be as nimble as a startup (cue audible gasp).

But how can enterprises make this happen, especially one with legacy systems and silos? By using a platform that supports high volumes, holiday traffic, and the agility to take a headless commerce approach. Let’s dig into the headless commerce piece more.

 

How does headless commerce work for enterprises?

Startups are born to reach shoppers anywhere — they can build premium commerce experiences with drag-and-drop tools and the latest tech in retail without being bogged down with antiquated architecture. For enterprises, it’s not always so easy. Every touchpoint is tied to legacy code and multiple back-end systems.

Headless commerce eliminates the need to replatform. All the technology is already in-house, and APIs navigate touchpoints and unify the journey. The customer experience is never disrupted, even when you’re making updates on the back end. In short, enterprises keep what they have and make the customer experience better. Win-win.

 

With headless commerce, can I collect and measure my data?

It’s one thing to build a premium experience at every shopper touchpoint, but another to measure the impact. Global enterprises have traditionally had to rely on whatever data they could collect – even if it is inaccurate or not specific enough to make an impact. For example, they may take historical data on the U.S. market based on overall growth – without an accurate read on the specific social media channel that drove that growth.

Headless commerce pulls in data from existing systems to break down the customer journey into granular steps. Enterprises capture data for every API – so instead of an aggregate global social media conversion metric, enterprises can see specific metrics by social channel, from the U.S. to China to any other region. Think of it as one KPI per API – enterprises can slice and dice this data to determine efficacy both internally in terms of productivity and externally in reach, conversion, growth, and revenue.

 

How can headless commerce personalize my customer experience globally?

Headless commerce allows enterprises to capture data and unify the entire customer journey. Even when a customer appears on a different channel, they will be recognized as the same individual. With a complete view of this data, brands can personalize the experience at scale with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, from the storefront to third-party channels and applications. Without headless commerce, a brand will have to find other ways to understand the data from myriad touchpoints, and that experience is often fragmented for the customer.

 

Will headless commerce increase customer lifetime value?

A headless commerce approach will increase customer lifetime value (CLV) because it enables brands to meet customers across owned and third-party platforms. We call this “shopping at the edge,” where brands push experiences outside of digital and physical four walls to the platforms where customers spend their time.

A prime example of this is Instagram Shopping. Brands create an organic, frictionless experience by reaching customers at the point of inspiration and connecting them directly to commerce on-platform. From Instagram, customers seamlessly move to the commerce site to make a purchase without deliberately moving from one platform to another. Without headless commerce, you force the customer to leave a platform to go to a different one.

In short, enterprises don’t have to sacrifice agility as they scale — both in their business and within their organization. It’s important to take a platform approach to achieve your goals so you can be as flexible, agile, and versatile as a startup.

To get started, see how other enterprises have already leveraged the power of Salesforce for Commerce to design the best B2B and B2C customer journeys.