Empowering commerce that matters, everywhere.

‬‬‬‬‬How Headless RaaS Makes Technology a Competitive Strategy for Retailers‬‬‬‬‬

Posted by Lexy Johnson on 12/06/2019
Lexy Johnson

Are you tired of being constrained by inflexible legacy systems?  Is your team ready to be in control of your experiences and destiny?  Breaking on the scene to enable all commerce engagement, a headless Retail-as-a-Service platform is the first offering with the ability to handle complex store operations and high-volume transaction processing.  These capabilities make it the platform of choice for retail leaders who want to be in control to build compelling and relevant experiences — fast.

As retailers continue their struggle to reshape their business models with innovative technology and well-thought-out experiences, headless retail as a service (RaaS) is the lifeline they need for agility, innovation, and speed-to-market to save them from becoming obsolete as well as competitive roadkill. Though initially focused only in the ecommerce sphere, a headless RaaS platform includes complex store processing and its ability to handle high-volume transaction processing makes it the platform of choice for Tier 1 retailers who recognize the impact of disruption and want to control building fast engagement that matters — everywhere.

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Here are five ways headless RaaS unlocks efficient innovation and competitive success for retailers without ripping out and replacing legacy systems: 

1. Win independence from software vendors while transitioning off of a legacy system.

You can gain control over developing new services without abandoning your existing POS system. Why is that important? You have to be able to introduce new commerce experiences as fast as customers can imagine new ways of interacting with your brand. And if you don’t have direct control over development efforts, you simply can’t drive the bus.

With a headless RaaS technology that runs in the cloud, your team can develop and implement point-of-service and engagement use cases iteratively alongside your existing POS system. Why is that important? It means you can be moving your organization toward the platform of the future in measured steps as each innovative use case delivers ROI without disrupting your current business.. 

For instance, Kroger is building off of the OneView headless RaaS architecture starting with buy online/pickup at a partner location (Walgreens). Similarly, Australia Post introduced mobile linebusting for faster checkout and more engagement with customers by “coming out from around the counter.” This covered almost 90% of their in-store use cases and saves just 10% of the complicated transactions for the traditional lanes. In both of these cases, owning the customer experience through a headless architecture that is independent of the backend (legacy) system allows retailers to quickly develop use cases where they matter—at any customer service touchpoint.

2. Eliminate duplicate development efforts and reduce complexity to deliver new, highly scalable omnichannel experiences the fastest way possible. 

A decoupled, headless architecture eliminates dependencies between the user interface and back-end transaction processing. The resulting access to a robust transaction engine with a vast array of feature-as-a-service functions allows you to build a new customer experience only once no matter where you want to deploy it—mobile, digital, in-store—for total alignment across all touchpoints without time-consuming, duplicate development efforts. Your digital teams are able to focus development on differentiation and leverage the headless engine for pre-built commerce firepower. This reduces development complexity and increases speed to innovation.     

3. Own the user interface to make technology a core competency to keep up with retail juggernauts.

Speed and agility characterize how leaders like Amazon, Alibaba, and JD.com innovate, powered by a sustainable, cloud-native enterprise architecture in which commoditized store and omnichannel commerce functions are readily available as micro-services. They innovate on the fly, and when you own a user interface, you can go head to head with these giants. As you interact with and learn from customers, you will have the control and power to iterate and expand engagement as it suits your business. 

4. Avoid regret spend and generate financial commitment for your digital strategy with iterative, proof-of-concept development of high-value, innovative experiences. 

Headless RaaS allows the retailer’s development team to use the latest front-end tools to focus only on new elements of the customer journey that support competitive differentiation and strategic objectives. As the results of new applications/services are assessed, elements can be tweaked or extended quickly without having to redevelop new experiences.       

This agile infrastructure, continuous iteration, and broad deployment support a test-and-learn development environment under the retail team’s control. What’s more, proof-of-concept and accompanying ROI validate a customer/digital engagement strategy and drive longer-term financial commitment from governing boards.

5. Personalize the customer journey with control over the core technology infrastructure.

Bringing headless RaaS to the store expedites and scales personalization with the ability to introduce new options that appeal to a variety of needs related to the customer journey. You define, build, and own experiences that provide business value by strengthening customer engagement at any point anywhere—browsing, purchase, fulfillment, return. Plus, you have the headless transaction engine that has been purpose-built to enable all commerce, including the complex store operations that are critical to one-to-one engagement that happens only in a store.

 

Interested in learning more to see if headless RaaS is right for you?  Click the link to schedule time to review the features and benefits of being in control to develop experiences fast.

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