Headless Technology and APIs Will Become the B2B Default in 2020

February 19, 2020

Category: Best Practices

After years of being handcuffed to traditional software, B2B businesses are realizing that modern technologies and tools are the keys to digital transformation. The complexities of B2B business operations are no longer an excuse to stick with antiquated systems and lack a modern eCommerce experience for your customers. 

Today, future-looking B2B businesses are taking advantage of headless, API-first technology to propel them along their digital transformation journey. Research firm, Forrester, recently predicted that in 2020 we’ll see headless eCommerce become the new default. But, there are many B2B businesses still struggling to understand and adopt headless, API-first technology.

What is headless eCommerce?

Headless eCommerce platforms are characterized by the absence of the front-end or the “head.” Headless eCommerce platforms decouple the user interface from the back-end, making it possible for you to customize the experience to a whole new degree. They also allow for the creation of custom SaaS applications at a fraction of the time and cost of any previous method.

For B2B businesses exploring headless eCommerce options, here are the top 3 benefits:

  • Headless eCommerce allows for highly customized experiences. The decoupled architecture of headless eCommerce makes it easier and less risky to make updates to the front end user experience as your customers demand it. 
  • Headless eCommerce improves your time to value. With the backend business logic, functionality, and capabilities built-in, when you choose headless eCommerce, you are starting from a point of completion. 
  • Headless eCommerce makes integrations faster. With headless eCommerce, you are free to develop any front-end experience you want to and can call the complex eCommerce functionality from the backend via APIs.

What is an API?

APIs are the common language or communication protocol that allows different applications or software to speak or interact with each other. According to Harvard Business Review, APIs have become so essential to businesses that 85% consider web APIs and API-based integration fundamental to their business strategy and continued success. For B2B businesses, APIs make choosing the best of breed systems that are right for your business much easier. You can choose an API-first CMS, ERP, and eCommerce and integrate the three to create a custom solution.

Combined, headless technology and APIs allow even the most complex B2B business to build an application that is completely custom and solves the exact problems that need to be solved. Integrating a headless, API-first eCommerce platform to other API-first business-critical applications give B2B businesses the ability to move faster, be more agile, and continuously innovate. We’ll see businesses reassess their technology stacks as we enter 2020, with headless eCommerce and APIs becoming front runners.

It’s predictions like these that make Four51 believe that 2020 is going to be a big year for the B2B eCommerce world. You can read more about our 2020 B2B eCommerce predictions in our latest eBook.