Headless’ Commerce: The Next Step For Your Travel Business.

Blog key image Headless Commerce in travel

You may have recently heard the term ‘headless’ used in conversations around the future of travel commerce, but it’s far from just a buzzword. This exciting new evolution allows for limitless amounts of creativity, quicker turnarounds and a more unified vision when building your travel site and ensuring its efficiency.

What exactly does headless commerce mean, though? And how can it help your business? As the travel industry grows more interested in newer techniques to improve customer experiences on their sites, we explore why answering these questions could unlock the full potential of your travel businesses’ ecommerce capabilities.

What is headless commerce?

For a regular CMS (content management system), where the content is stored (the back-end), and where the content is presented (the front-end), are usually coupled, or handled by the one given system. Consider the back-end as if it is the ‘body’ of the site, and the front-end as the ‘head’, or ‘face’.

A ‘headless’ architecture simply means the front-end and back-end of the commerce application are decoupled, or disconnected. Whereas, with a typical CMS, the content stored would be managed entirely by the application, here the UI of a website is offloaded to the front-end framework, and the ‘theme layer’ of the CMS is ignored.

This is achieved through the use of APIs (application programming interface) which connects content to a developer as opposed to directly to the end user. From there, the developer creates a separate application where the content will be used.

Put simply, the front-end is now unrestricted by the back-end, meaning greater imaginative freedom over how the commerce features (front-end) look and are structured, whilst the back-end continues to organise and manage the content.

How can headless commerce benefit my travel business?

    1. Complete customisation

Unrestricted by pre-set templates, the greatest benefit for your business is an opportunity to shape your web page to your exact vision. The ability to innovate whilst smoothing out the customer experience is yours to explore freely, including everything from the use of videos of glamorous travel locations, push notifications of unmissable deals and user engagement sections to encourage a community around your brand. Simultaneously more unified and unique, you’re overseeing a singular shopping experience tailored to whichever traveller you are engaging with, as opposed to maintaining separate touch points.

    2. Embrace omnichannel marketing

The decoupled architecture is especially helpful when considering the range of platforms and devices from which people are viewing their bookings - whether that’s on mobile, laptop, tablet or smart watches, as well as conversational UIs such as Alexa or Siri or virtual reality platforms. With a headless architecture, you can customise the user experience to whatever platform they may be using.

    3.Greater time efficiency

You’ll be saving the time of not only your own team - for instance, developers will be able to deploy user interface changes through APIs faster, or new marketing campaigns can be launched at ease - but your customers also. For many CMS’, the uploading of new content can take time to appear on the front-end, but adopting the headless method means it will appear instantly.

    4.Doesn’t require expertise

By creating an efficient commerce platform, in which the roles of designers and developers need not overlap, there should be a smooth adoption process of the software for your team. Without in-depth knowledge, edits to the front-end can be executed with ease, ensuring creative teams are free to focus on conversions and developers are prioritising coordinated, consistent web experiences.

    5.Consistently upgraded

The API-leading platform will offer constant upgrades to the latest software with coding which is distinct from your own, meaning you won’t have to worry about re-deploying the back-end code each time. This will dramatically reduce risk levels when undergoing any major changes to your site.

How can I get started with headless commerce?

Our partners, Sitecore, have offered headless architecture long before it became the central point of conversation so they are well positioned to take advantage of this movement. Get in touch today to see how we can provide your business with Experiences That Convert.

Robert McGovern 220x298
Robert McGovern
Sitecore Optimisation Consultant

Robert is a digital strategist that lives and breathes Sitecore and was named a 2022 Sitecore Strategy MVP. Originally from Dublin, he recently moved to London after 11 years living in Dubai, UAE. Robert is passionate about technology and marketing, and how they both interconnect in today's digital world to influence business and consumer behaviour.

Outside of work Robert is an avid reader and write about tech and marketing, having featured in publications like WIRED, Campaign, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.


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