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      Commerce Cloud

      Salesforce’s Composable Storefront – Your Key to Building Shopping Experiences

      Jul 01, 2024

      8 minute read

      Table of Content

      There’s been a big shift towards headless commerce, and it’s catching the eye of investors big time.

      Forbes reported that in 2020 and 2021 alone, headless commerce platforms snagged a whopping $1.65 billion in funding. That’s a huge deal![i]

      Furthermore, a Salesforce survey found that a staggering 80% of brands currently without headless commerce are planning to jump on the bandwagon within the next two years.[ii]

      Headless commerce isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a game-changer.

      Businesses leveraging headless commerce can:

      • Reduce their time to market by 50%
      • Boost site performance by 30%
      • Reduce the time spent on necessary upgrades and bug fixes by 34%.

      Not only this, but, 77% of organizations with headless architecture report faster changes to their storefronts. With numbers like these, it’s clear that headless commerce is revolutionizing the way you do e-commerce, offering unparalleled agility and efficiency in meeting customer demands and staying ahead of the curve.[iii]

      While headless commerce is gaining traction, to fully harness it, businesses require a robust platform like Salesforce Commerce Cloud as the backbone of their operations.

      In this blog post, we’ll explore how the Salesforce headless commerce solution – Compostable Storefront empowers your e-commerce strategy to thrive in a decoupled architecture.

      Let’s get started.

      What is Headless Commerce?

      Headless commerce refers to a modern approach to e-commerce architecture where the front-end presentation layer (the “head”) is decoupled or separated from the back-end commerce functionality.

      In traditional e-commerce setups, the front-end and back-end are tightly integrated (APIs serve as the communication channel between the front-end and back-end systems), meaning that any changes to the presentation layer often require corresponding changes to the underlying commerce platform.

      However, with headless commerce, this tight coupling is eliminated, allowing businesses to independently develop and modify the customer-facing experience without impacting the underlying commerce infrastructure.

      In this setup, the back-end commerce functionality, including product management, inventory management, order processing, and payment processing, remains intact but is abstracted away from the front end.

      This separation enables businesses to create highly customized and flexible front-end experiences using the latest technologies and frameworks, such as JavaScript, React, or Angular, without being constrained by the limitations of a monolithic e-commerce platform.

      By decoupling the front end from the back end, headless commerce offers several advantages, including:

      1. Flexibility: Businesses can create unique and tailored user experiences across various channels, including websites, mobile apps, social media platforms, and IoT devices.

      2. Scalability: Headless architecture allows for greater scalability and performance optimization, as businesses can independently scale and optimize the front-end and back-end systems based on their specific needs.

      3. Omnichannel capabilities: Headless commerce enables seamless integration with third-party systems and services, allowing businesses to deliver consistent and personalized experiences across multiple touchpoints.

      4. Faster time-to-market: With the front-end and back-end components developed independently, businesses can iterate and deploy changes to the customer experience more rapidly, leading to faster time-to-market for new features and updates.

      Overall, headless commerce empowers businesses to innovate and adapt more quickly in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, providing the flexibility and agility needed to meet the ever-changing demands of consumers.

      Understanding Salesforce Headless Commerce Solution: Composable Storefront

      Salesforce headless commerce solution – Composable Storefront is your ticket to fast-tracking your journey into the world of headless commerce.

      This robust platform empowers online retailers to embrace headless architecture swiftly, accelerating your time to market and trimming costs along the way. Your digital storefront isn’t just a webpage—it’s the face of your brand, the hub where users engage, browse, and make purchases. Yet, in the rush of development, this crucial aspect often gets sidelined. That’s where decoupling comes in.

      By decoupling the storefront and user experience from the underlying data and business logic, you gain the freedom to craft a unique brand identity and experience.

      Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s Composable Storefront is a customizable, scalable solution tailored to your brand’s needs.

      But why opt for Salesforce headless commerce solution – Composable Storefront?

      Well, for starters, it’s modular. Each component stands alone, ready for independent deployment. Built on open-source standards, these components are ripe for customization using open integration patterns and extensibility models.

      And that’s not all—the composable storefront harnesses the power of modern technologies like microservices, APIs, and cloud infrastructure, alongside headless and Jamstack architectures.

      This approach ensures agility and adaptability in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

      The real clincher is the suite of pre-packaged tools and integrations that come with the Salesforce headless commerce solution – Composable Storefront.

      Now, let’s dive into the tools.

      Composable Storefront – Salesforce headless commerce solution – comes with two main elements: the PWA Toolkit and Managed Runtime.

      #1: PWA Toolkit

      Designed to address the developmental and commercial needs of eCommerce ventures, the Progressive Web Apps (PWA) toolkit equips online merchants to provide seamless, native app-like experiences across all devices, minimizing any potential obstacles. Loaded with pre-built packages and ready-made components, the PWA Toolkit ensures a seamless transition to headless architecture, promising native app-like experiences across devices. Developers have the flexibility to rearrange components and incorporate desired packages or components into their online stores, enabling them to construct a customized architecture effortlessly. This renders the Salesforce PWA toolkit an adaptable solution for organizations seeking to embrace composable and headless eCommerce architectures at their own pace while remaining relevant, scalable, and agile.

      #2: Managed Runtime

      Managed Runtime serves as the hosting environment for your headless digital storefront. Although a complimentary feature with Headless Salesforce Composable Storefront, Managed Runtime furnishes the infrastructure/environment necessary for deploying, hosting, and managing your PWA Toolkit front-end. Notably, Managed Runtime exclusively supports apps created via the Salesforce PWA toolkit. Essential aspects of Managed Runtime include:

      Environment: All cloud infrastructure and configuration attributes for the front-end of your store, hosted by Managed Runtime, are categorized under environments. You can establish different environments for production, deployment, and testing, a practice commonly adopted by developers to segregate various stages of development. These environments can be easily deleted when not required, without incurring additional costs.

      Bundles: The immutable code framework running within a Managed Runtime environment is referred to as a bundle. Developers are equipped with tools in the PWA toolkit to generate a bundle and deploy it to Managed Runtime. Once deployed, bundles can be marked the same via Runtime Admin or Managed Runtime API.

      User & Roles: Managed Runtime users possess capabilities such as browsing, managing redirects, deployment, team management, and accessing logs. Each user is assigned to a project within the organization, determining their respective abilities.

      App Server: The amalgamation of React, Node, and Express for rendering and routing requests constitutes the App Server.

      Edge Services: App servers benefit from fortified support by edge services such as application firewalls (WAFs), content delivery networks (CDNs), and edge functions.

      Admin Tools: These include Managed Runtime Admin, which handles code deployment, and Managed Runtime API, which offers program-specific controls. These features streamline the management of project settings, environments, bundles, and organization.

      Why Composite Storefront is the Future of Headless Commerce Solution?

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      Here’s why Salesforce’s Composable Storefront is considered the future of headless commerce solutions:

      Efficient Headless Implementation:

          • Traditional headless commerce requires building everything from scratch, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
          • Composable Storefront provides pre-built, reusable components and templates. This drag-and-drop approach significantly reduces the development time and resources needed to launch a custom storefront.

      Lower Costs:

          • Businesses save money by leveraging pre-built components instead of custom development.
          • Faster implementation translates to lower overall project costs.

      Increase in Agility and Scalability:

          • Composable Storefront adheres to the core principles of headless commerce, enabling independent development for the front-end and back-end.
          • Businesses can easily update and modify the storefront experience without impacting core functionalities in the backend, and vice versa. This fosters a more agile development process.

      Seamless Integration with Salesforce Commerce Cloud:

          • Composable Storefront is built specifically for the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform.
          • This ensures a smooth integration with existing systems for managing products, orders, customer data, and other functionalities.

      Adapt With Evolving Commerce Landscape:

          • As new technologies and touchpoints emerge (like AR/VR shopping), businesses can easily integrate them with the existing commerce engine using composable components. This ensures a future-proof commerce solution.

      In essence, Salesforce’s headless commerce solution – Composable Storefront removes the complexity often associated with headless commerce implementations. It empowers businesses to leverage the benefits of headless commerce (flexibility, omnichannel reach, agility) with a faster, more cost-effective approach that integrates seamlessly with the Salesforce Commerce Cloud ecosystem.

      How to Prepare for Headless Transformation With Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

      Assessment and Strategy Development: Conducting a comprehensive assessment and developing a well-defined strategy is critical for understanding current strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. This step sets the foundation for a successful transformation by aligning business goals with technical capabilities and market trends. Consulting with a Salesforce professional service provider is crucial here because they bring deep expertise in Salesforce technologies and can provide valuable insights into industry best practices and emerging trends. Their experience enables them to assess your current setup accurately and formulate a tailored strategy that maximizes the benefits of headless transformation while mitigating risks.

      Architecture Design and Planning: Designing the architecture for a headless setup requires careful planning to ensure seamless integration and optimal performance. It involves determining the right balance between front-end flexibility and back-end functionality while considering scalability and future growth. A Salesforce professional service provider plays a vital role in this phase by leveraging their expertise in Salesforce Commerce Cloud and headless architectures. They can help design a solution that meets your specific business needs, leveraging the capabilities of Salesforce Commerce Cloud effectively. Their guidance ensures that the architecture is scalable, resilient, and future-proof.

      Implementation Support: Implementing a headless architecture involves configuring and customizing Salesforce Commerce Cloud, integrating with other systems, and possibly adopting new technologies. This process can be complex and challenging without the right expertise. Consulting with a Salesforce professional service provider is essential at this stage because they can provide hands-on support and guidance throughout the implementation process. Their experience with similar projects allows them to navigate complexities efficiently, minimizing risks and ensuring a smooth transition to a headless setup.

      Training and Support: Transitioning to a headless architecture often requires upskilling your team to effectively manage and maintain the new setup. A Salesforce professional service provider can offer training programs tailored to your team’s needs, covering topics such as platform administration, development best practices, and troubleshooting techniques. Additionally, they provide ongoing support to address any issues or challenges that arise post-implementation, ensuring that your team has the necessary resources to succeed in the new environment.

      Optimization and Continuous Improvement: Headless transformation is not a one-time event but an ongoing journey. It’s essential to continuously optimize and improve your headless architecture to keep pace with evolving business needs and technological advancements. Consulting with a Salesforce professional service provider on an ongoing basis enables you to leverage their expertise in optimizing Salesforce Commerce Cloud and headless architectures. They can conduct regular assessments, identify areas for improvement, and implement enhancements to ensure that your headless setup remains efficient, resilient, and aligned with your business objectives.

      The Bottom Line

      Salesforce headless commerce solution – Composable Storefront- represents a strategic move for businesses seeking to revolutionize their e-commerce endeavors.

      Undoubtedly, this approach brings a plethora of benefits to the table, from enhanced flexibility to seamless customer experiences.

      Nevertheless, let’s not overlook the realities of implementation and utilization. Integrating disparate systems and ensuring smooth data flow and communication among various components is no walk in the park. It demands not only expertise but also substantial time and resources, as it is similar to a terrain fraught with complexities and challenges.

      This is where the expertise of Salesforce professional service providers truly shines.

      Partnering with seasoned professionals offers businesses guidance and insights that can be invaluable, steering companies away from pitfalls and toward smoother implementation and optimization.

      Ready to Empower Your eCommerce Journey? Talk to Us!

      Whether you are just getting started with Salesforce Commerce Cloud or planning to customize or optimize it to make your online store shine, write to us at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.

      Statistical References

      [i] Forbes
      [ii] Salesforce
      [iii] Crystallize

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