Codal’s Keval Baxi and Ryan Bloms discuss headless commerce on BigCommerce’s ‘Make it Big’ podcast
Codal’s CEO, Keval Baxi, and Director of Partnerships, Ryan Bloms, were recently invited to share their insights and experience with headless commerce on Make it Big—a new podcast by BigCommerce that explores all things eCommerce.
In addition to being experts in the trends and technologies surrounding headless, Keval and Ryan have worked closely with BigCommerce over the years, leveraging its platform to build cutting-edge eCommerce experiences for all kinds of organizations, from healthcare practices, to food joints, to clothing retailers. In 2021, Codal won BigCommerce Agency Partner of the year, as well as the Best UX Design award for a headless DTC site that our team built for Garrett Popcorn.
In Make it Big’s 21st episode, What Headless Commerce Really Means for Your Business, Keval explains what headless commerce is and why so many businesses are currently embracing it. In short, going headless means separating an eCommerce site’s front-end customer experience from its back-end functionality, resulting in greater control and flexibility for design and development teams.
“What your customers see on the front end is the look and feel, the search, the filters, the product pages, etc.” says Keval. “What we do with headless commerce is decouple that, so we can integrate those at various API layers—that might be from systems that you have, from your eCommerce providers, all the way to your ERPs.”
With a decoupled front-end, developers can make UX and UI changes to the customer experience, without disrupting back-end functionality like payment processing and inventory management. In comparison to traditional eCommerce, headless offers greater operational efficiency, faster time-to-market for new site features, and the ability to deploy more complex, personalized customer experiences.
As Keval puts it, “Merchants really want to control the experience on the front end. Traditional eCommerce sites are monolithic. They’re a full package and you don’t have as much granular control as you may want.”
Headless architecture also makes it easier for businesses seeking to migrate to a more advanced eCommerce platform, like BigCommerce.
“Let’s say your marketing team is already familiar with a CMS that they really love. Headless allows you to continue to use that. You don’t need to make huge transformations in your business just to use a certain eCommerce provider,” explains Keval.
When asked about Codal’s experience building headless systems, Ryan discusses several examples—including the work we did for Garrett Popcorn, a storied popcorn retailer based in Chicago, and GOREWEAR, an outdoor gear company that owns and operates multiple retail brands.
To maximize internal efficiencies and exceed customer expectations, both of these brands required a complex UX design that simply wouldn’t have worked with a themed approach. With Garrett Popcorn, for instance, we needed to build an innovative shopping experience that would allow customers to customize their own tin of popcorn, include gift messaging and wrapping, and send multiple items to multiple addresses under a single order.
For GOREWEAR, we needed to establish a centralized system for managing multiple international sites, each with their own language, currency, prices, and content. Before going headless, each of GOREWEAR’s sites were managed by separate marketing teams, and were hosted using different platforms. Now, the GOREWEAR team can manage each customer experience from a single dashboard, and easily replicate one design across multiple brand sites.
In addition to traditional D2C eCommerce stores, Codal has also set up headless architectures for online B2B sales portals and healthcare services. In fact, “We are one of the only BigCommerce partners that can build a healthcare subscription platform that is completely HIPAA compliant,” says Ryan. For these sites, “BigCommerce is leveraged to execute each transaction and facilitate the ongoing subscription, but all of the patient’s information is stored offline in a HIPAA controlled environment.”
Headless commerce is the ideal approach for eCommerce businesses that need full control over multiple brands, complex customer experiences, innovative purchasing processes, and so on. With the help of BigCommerce, Codal is building headless systems that transform the way brands manage online storefronts and connect with their customers—helping usher in a new era for eCommerce.
“BigCommerce has a significant head start on the architecture and the infrastructure of headless. Codal’s been right there with that growth, and we’ve built a lot of different experiences through that.”
We’re incredibly proud of the game-changing headless solutions we’ve launched for our clients in collaboration with BigCommerce, and are excited to share more awesome work soon.