Use Headless Commerce to Multiply Conversions. Metrics, KPIs, and More

Aniket Ashtikar

Blog / Use Headless Commerce to Multiply Conversions. Met

Headless commerce is an innovative ecommerce architecture that decouples the frontend storefront from the backend infrastructure. 

Unlike traditional monolithic commerce platforms, headless architecture separates the presentation layer from the backend content management system (CMS) and ecommerce functionality. 

This enables businesses to deliver omnichannel experiences across devices and touchpoints. 

The frontend can be completely customized using modern web development frameworks like ReactJS and VueJS while the backend focuses solely on API-based integration. 

The flexibility of headless commerce future-proofs businesses to keep up with rapid digital trends.

Benefits of Headless eCommerce

Headless commerce architecture provides significant advantages over traditional monolithic ecommerce platforms. 

Benefits of Headless Commerce.png

Businesses can optimize content delivery for each platform and device by decoupling the frontend storefront, ensuring a smooth user experience. 

Headless commerce enables easier integration with emerging technologies like AI and blockchain to create engaging customer experiences.

Other key benefits include increased business agility due to faster time to market, greater innovation capabilities, and improved cost efficiency. The API-based integrations simplify adding new features or touchpoints. 

Headless commerce is also highly scalable, seamlessly handling seasonal peak traffic without affecting performance. 

The separation of the presentation layer and backend improves security as well.

Key Performance Indicators to Track

Quantifying the impact of headless commerce requires tracking beyond typical ecommerce metrics. 

While conversion rate and average order value provide useful insights, revenue per user (RPU) better accounts for repeat customers in headless commerce. 

Site speed metrics like page load time and time-to-interactive indicate performance gains. A/B testing headless storefronts against previous websites gives comparative conversion data.

Key performance indicators include business agility tracking time-to-market, developer productivity metrics, and cost efficiency savings. 

Customer experience metrics around personalization, experimentation, and user satisfaction also quantify headless commerce ROI. 

Tracking these KPIs provides a 360-degree view of quantifiable headless commerce impact.

Optimizing Site Performance

Importance of Site Speed

Site speed is critical for quantifying headless commerce impact. Faster sites directly correlate to higher conversion rates and revenue. 

As page load time improves by 1 second, conversions can increase by as much as 20%. Optimizing speed demonstrates site performance lifts from headless architecture.

Page Load Times Impact on Conversions

  • 26% of shoppers will abandon a site after 3 seconds of delay
  • A 1-second delay reduces conversion rates by 7%
  • Improving page load time by 0.1 sec can increase conversion rates by 7%

Site speed KPIs like page load time and Time-to-Interactive (TTI) indicate performance improvements after migrating to Headless. Tracking metrics before and after quantifies gains.

Tools To Measure Performance

Google Lighthouse is an essential tool for tracking site performance gains from headless commerce.

Google Lighthouse

Google Lighthouse generates performance scores and metrics on:

  • Page load time
  • TTI
  • First Contentful Paint
  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • Total Blocking Time
  • Cumulative Layout Shift

Metrics To Track

Tracking these metrics provides quantified data on site speed lifts with headless commerce. Page load time reductions directly impact conversion rate per the above data.

Improving Site Architecture

Architectural optimizations improve site speed and ability to handle peak loads.

Scaling Capacity

Headless commerce allows effortlessly scaling up infrastructure to manage higher traffic. Adding servers takes minutes without affecting site performance. 

Quantifying capacity upgrades demonstrates the scalability benefit.

Peak Traffic Handling

Headless sites built using JAMstack principles leverage CDNs to handle spike traffic. Compare traffic volumes served before and after migrating to Headless to quantify. Plot seasonal peaks to validate capacity gains.

Setting Up Analytics Tracking

Web Analytics Fundamentals

Robust analytics tracking is vital for quantifying the impact of headless commerce. 

Key aspects include setting up events, parameters, and custom dimensions within Google Analytics. Funnel tracking visualizes shopper journeys. 

Integrating Google Tag Manager enables easier analytics implementation. A data layer captures site actions for analysis. Choosing the optimal headless CMS completes the foundation.

Key Events to Track

Attribution Tracking

Attribution models visually map customer journeys across devices and channels. 

Quantifying the conversion contributions of various touchpoints highlights the effectiveness of headless commerce personalization.

Shopping Cart Abandonment

A study conducted in 2023 found up to ~70% of users abandon carts with item count(s) and 50% abandonment directly correlated.

Tracking cart abandonment events by traffic source, device type, and other attributes quantifies headless commerce impact through faster loading times and optimized journeys.

Configuring the Data Layer

Session Data

The data layer captures session data including page views, events, ItemId, and SKUs to enable detailed analysis. 

Headless commerce allows manually firing page view events to maintain accurate session and funnel data due to single-page architecture.

Integration Complexity

As headless sites integrate multiple services via APIs, validating data structure complexity is vital before analyses. 

Consulting analytics specialists reduce discrepancies by confirming intact data collection across services.

Choosing The Right CMS

Selecting the optimal headless CMS is pivotal for analytics success. 

Platforms like Shogun Frontend readily integrate best-of-breed tools like RHUX Analytics allowing brands to focus on deriving quantified headless commerce impact through accurate tracking.

Evaluating Results and ROI

Conversion Rate vs Revenue Per User

While conversion rate is a standard metric, revenue per user (RPU) better evaluates headless commerce ROI. The conversion rate can seem lower due to headless tracking nuances but RPU demonstrates customer value.

Calculate RPU with this formula:

Total Revenue / Number of Users = RPU

Compare pre and post-headless RPU to quantify revenue growth impact per customer.

Average Order Value Trends

Analyze average order value (AOV) trends over recent periods to quantify changes tied to headless commerce lift. 

Plotting monthly post-headless AOVs visualizes short and long-term revenue impact. Factor key events like new product launches or promotions to isolate headless commerce influence.

Conducting A/B Tests

Test Duration

Run A/B tests for at least two full business cycles spanning high and low traffic periods. This provides statistically significant data and accounts for seasonal variations.

Reaching Statistical Significance

Leverage online calculators to determine the duration required. Factors include current traffic volumes, monetization metrics, and variability period-over-period. 

Sufficient sample sizes ensure statistical significance.

Comparative Analysis Pre and Post-launch

Compare revenue, traffic, and KPI trends for pre and post-headless periods. 

Analyze bi-weekly or monthly for short-term impact and quarterly for long-term gains. Indexing the post-launch period to the pre-launch baseline quantifies overall lift.

Quantifying Developer Productivity

Compare developer velocity metrics like lead time, cycle time, and deployment frequency before and after adopting headless commerce

Reduced involvement in storefront development improves application development throughput.

Assessing Business Agility

Time to Market Effects

Measure reductions in time for storefront updates and new capability deployment. Shorter time-to-market for promotional campaigns especially during peak seasons captures incremental revenue from agility.

Optimizing The Customer Experience

Personalization and Customization

Headless commerce enables deeper personalization and customization through integrated customer data and modular components. 

Track user engagement for personalized segments compared to control groups to quantify lift. Impact analysis validates the ROI of experience optimization efforts.

Experimentation capabilities

The flexibility of headless commerce facilitates continuous experimenting and optimizing experiences. Companies can deliver ongoing improvements measured through uplift analysis rather than lengthy rebuilds.

  • Multivariate testing key flows
  • Modifying personalized interfaces
  • Optimizing promotions based on trends

Compare conversion lift between base and variant funnels to quantify gains.

Improving User and Customer Experience

Feedback analysis identifies key user pain points to solve by experience enhancements. Prioritize opportunities by conversion volume metrics associated with drop-offs.

Surveys, session recordings, and support interactions build out quantitative understanding. 17% of customers cite bad experiences as a reason for churn .

Forecasting models and trends

Leverage data layer details to build precise forecasts tying experience enhancements to revenue and satisfaction projections. 

Models account for changes in conversion rates, order values, and retention based on experience initiatives. Analyze against actuals to refine predictions.

Key Takeaways

Quantifying the impact of headless commerce requires a metrics-driven approach across key performance indicators. 

While conversion rate and AOV provide a base understanding, alternative metrics like revenue per user and time-to-market gains better showcase benefits. 

Optimizing site speed and architecture demonstrates measurable lifts in site performance. Configuring analytics tracking and data integrity checks enable accurate analysis. 

Comparative assessments of pre and post-periods validate improvements over time. Optimizing customer experiences via personalization and experimentation delivers quantifiable revenue gains.

Importance of Metrics-driven Approach

The flexibility of headless commerce generates immense opportunities for innovation. However, it is vital to quantify the business impact through a metrics-driven approach. 

Establish processes to track KPIs across marketing, technology, product, and finance. Measure velocity and productivity in addition to revenue metrics. 

Analyze changes over 2-3 business cycles for reliable insights. A data-backed methodology keeps enhancement initiatives tied to commercial outcomes versus subjective perceptions alone.

Future-proofing With Headless Commerce

The pace of digital change continues accelerating across channels, innovations, and customer expectations. 

Headless commerce, with its API-based modular architecture, future-proofs brands to readily adopt new technologies. 

Staying competitively relevant hinges on rapid experiments. The quantified metrics approach connects innovation efficacy to revenue impact analysis. Tracking productivity gains supplements financial returns for a complete picture. 

Choose metrics aligned with a long-term strategy. By continually optimizing experiences and tech integration, headless commerce powers data-driven digital resilience.

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