Today, many businesses realize that digital adoption isn’t enough if they want to stay relevant. They’re excited about emerging technologies, the ability to consolidate and capitalize on big data, and reduce technology debt, but their company infrastructure and talent pool is stuck in the last century. 

This is leading many businesses to rethink their approach to e-commerce, to upgrade their infrastructures, and adopt a future-proof e-commerce strategy. By future-proofing their strategies and systems, companies can get ahead of the competition and realize lasting success.

What does “future-proof” e-commerce mean?

According to Forrester research, “future-proof e-commerce allows you to evolve your customer experience and adopt any new touchpoint without being dependent on your e-commerce vendor to enable that touchpoint. With only incremental effort, you can add or replace new experiences and commerce APIs.” 

Put simply, future proof e-commerce is e-commerce that will have continued value in the distant future. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it will last forever in its current state, but that it won’t become obsolete and be unable to support you as new technologies and strategies emerge. 

A future-proof e-commerce technology is one that is going to enable you to be prepared, from a digital strategy standpoint, to continue to automate and digitize all of your business’ e-commerce and order management needs over time, without taking a forklift to your entire suite of technology solutions again and again and again.

A future-proof e-commerce strategy is the key to avoiding constant replatforming, reducing overall tech debt and inefficiencies, and setting your business up for future success as it evolves. To do so, you must harness the powers of headless architecture and APIs. 

What are some signs you need to future-proof your e-commerce?

We know that the IT realities of today’s businesses make it hard for you to truly embody the need to put the customer first, prioritize innovation and sit in the driver’s seat, using technology to propel the business forward. 

In our guide, "The 7 Realities of Today’s CIO", we discuss seven roadblocks that often push CIOs and IT leaders over the edge, forcing them to rethink their approach and move towards future-proof e-commerce:

  1. You have to fix broken systems.
  2.  Your customers find it hard to do business with you.
  3. You’re unable to meet deadlines.
  4. You’re consistently denying new feature requests.
  5. You’re avoiding customizations, updates, and upgrades.
  6. You’re passing up integrations with new and existing technologies.
  7. You’re watching as the business consistently misses the mark on revenue goals.

As an IT or technology leader, you are familiar with the challenges that come with planning for the future. You find yourself tasked with preparing for open-ended, unpredictable growth. So, you want to confidently invest in technology without having to worry about whether that technology will be able to handle your growth. You want to say “Yes!” to digital transformation, to solve order management and automation challenges with ease, and to drive company vision forward, and so you need future-proof e-commerce.

What are key components to a successful future-proof approach to e-commerce?

  • Headless architecture. We define headless as a platform/solution that abstains from defining the perfect front-end by simply not having one. Headless architecture makes your e-commerce experience more flexible and scalable. Updates and features can be made on the fly without any risk to the back-end. Customer experiences can be easily added and rolled out, all while being managed by a single admin interface. For growing businesses, this is ideal, because as business changes there’s no need to replatform to a new software every time you land a customer.
  • APIs at the core.  Having APIs at the core of your business strategies allows for easier integration into existing systems and data, and enables your IT systems to be more responsible and adaptable. Through better connections, you’re able to expose data across numerous systems across your business, both legacy and modern.
  • Cloud-based.  Cloud-hosted architecture enables unlimited scalability with all the cost savings that entails. You’re also able to eliminate many concerns about infrastructure, data storage, security and scalability that come with on-premise technology.
  • Accelerated time-to-market.  Modern technologies and architecture support your need to get to market faster, to pivot and iterate on the fly, and to be prepared for expansion and iteration. Things like headless architecture and access to best-of-breed microservices and APIs make this your reality.
  • An experienced partner.  To truly future-proof your strategy, you shouldn’t go at this alone. Choose a partner and/or a technology vendor that has seen it all and has a proven track record of driving game-changing results.

When thinking about the future of your business, there’s a lot to be excited about, but also plenty of hurdles to prepare for.

But with the right technology, the right partner, and the right future-proof e-commerce strategy to get there, you’ll be ready to experience substantial, sustained success.

Download guide The 7 realities of today's CIOs and future-proof your digital transformation.