Headless CMS for Retail businesses - 2x your conversion rate

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    Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.

    While traditional CMS have been the standard solution for organizing your content, we see more and more retail businesses looking for a more flexible and better way to manage content for various digital platforms. Enter Headless CMS here. In this article, we explain the concept of a Headless CMS, what pain point it solves for retailers and how you can start your migration journey.

    What is a headless CMS

    To explain Headless CMS, let’s look at the comparison of a traditional CMS vs a Headless CMS. Traditional CMS comes from a background where all functionality was built into one single system that was usually aimed for publishing content to the web.

    A traditional CMS - like WordPress or Drupal - would give you an admin interface including WYSIWYG-editing options on top of a database. In addition, it would come with the frontend / templating options to style and design your content. All in one place.

    Opposed to that, a Headless CMS is a back-end only CMS that makes your content accessible to the frontend via APIs. This allows you to push content - stored in one place - to any display or device.

    A simplified graphic representation of the differences between traditional and headless CMS.

    Traditional CMS vs Headless CMS

    Do you need a headless CMS for your retail business?

    It really depends. If you’re a small business who primarily sells in-person and you only need a CMS for your simple website, migrating to a Headless CMS might be an overhead in the first place.

    Traditional CMS Headless CMS
    Synonym Monolithic CMS API-first CMS
    Hosting Typically self-hosted Typically SaaS, also self-hosted
    Supporting channels Built for one specific platform/channel Platform/Channel independent
    Focus on Web Omnichannel support
    Content model Content for one purpose Reusable content
    eCommerce integrations Usually all-in-one solution Follows headless commerce/best-of-breed approach

    However, if you have multiple websites, an online shop, a mobile app, or other digital channels where your team regularly creates and manages content, looking into a Headless CMS is a valid approach.

    Running your retail business (including your ecommerce store) on a traditional CMS and setup might even be limiting your online visibility and therefore revenue.

    Why choose a Headless CMS? The benefits for retailers.

    In 2011, 56% of the internet traffic came through mobile devices (source) and a Shopify survey showed that using 3D/AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than for products without 3D/AR.

    Selling online is not going anywhere, and the past year has proven that consumer behavior is shifting at unprecedented pace and digital shopping expectations are rising.

    Chances are that your traditional / monolithic CMS is not the best tool at hand for creating personalized user experience across all your digital channels - including mobile, AR, and eCommerce. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider a headless CMS:

    1. Better storytelling with a Headless CMS: A headless CMS gives your marketers and editors full control over your content and how you tell your story, while still integrating well with your product information. With a headless CMS you can enrich your eCommerce experiences on all channels.

    2. Omnichannel: A headless CMS gives you full flexibility over your frontends. Through APIs, you can push content seamlessly on any channel while storing it in one central place.

    3. Reduce go-to-market: Launching new campaigns and expanding onto new markets works great with a Headless CMS that allows you to manage your content in an agile way.

    4. Greater flexibility: A modern Headless CMS - such as Storyblok - supports all technologies, frontend frameworks and gives you full flexibility on creating great content experiences for your customers.

    What can you build with a Headless CMS?

    The short answer: Anything that’s digital really. Here are a couple of use cases for retail businesses and how they use a Headless CMS:

    • Websites: Yes, you can build great websites with a Headless CMS

    • Online stores: Typically you want to sell online. With a headless CMS you can enrich your eCommerce stack (e.g. with Shopfiy, BigCommerce, commercetools,…) and give your businesses a future-proof technology

    • Mobile Apps: be it iOS or Android apps

    • Voice assistants: build your own Alexa skill and provided structured content for Google Home, Siri and others

    • PoS devices: With a Headless CMS you can create content for your Point-of-Sales interfaces and you can make sure that your latest offerings are in sync

    Retailers that went headless

    Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. (Wikipedia)

    Many retailers make the switch to a headless architecture. Here are a few that made the switch.

    Bols - a Dutch distiller and distributor of alcoholic beverages - recently made the switch to a headless commerce setup - including Shopify Plus (eCommerce platform) and Storyblok (headless CMS).

    For Bols, taking up Storyblok and a Shopify Plus combination not only aided them in powering their eCommerce expansion to the US with the right localization tools but also gave flexibility and management to Bols’ marketing and commerce teams to fully manage and orchestrate their content as they want their story to be told.

    An image showing the new homepage of Bols, after moving to a headless CMS.

    A screenshot of Bols' website from August 2021

    Other online retail businesses that made the switch to a headless CMS include Decathlon, Raleigh, or Greggs.

    Storyblok as the Headless CMS for retail

    Storyblok is a Headless Content Management System (CMS) that enables developers and marketers to deliver powerful content experiences on any digital platform.

    Storyblok works great for retail businesses as it gives you all the tools you need:

    • Easy-to-use Visual Editor for your marketers and editors
    • APIs that focus on performance
    • Nested components without any limits
    • eCommerce plugins for the leading eCommerce platforms
    • Content and Asset CDN
    • Image Service

    Would you like to give Storyblok a try? Sign up for a free account right here or contact our sales team for a personal meeting.