What is Headless Commerce?

Why should you care about headless commerce?

Headless commerce (or API-first commerce) is becoming a less obscure term to marketers, but it’s still murky for many – especially what it means for real brands and real customers. I could dive into the technicalities of what headless commerce is upfront, but I’ll instead start with a story.

Customers Want to Shop Anywhere, Anytime
In response to the example I mentioned, a marketer might say, “We need to make the jump from ad to individual product page more seamless to avoid cart abandonment.” But why do I need to leave Facebook or Instagram at all? Why can’t I see that jacket, choose my size and color and checkout then and there? Beyond that, why isn’t ANY brand content I see shoppable? With all these new experiences and technologies emerging, why am I stuck essentially with the same options to shop (either on a web storefront or in a brick and mortar) I’ve had for years?

Sooner than marketers want to admit, more customers than not will expect to shop directly in Instagram, or on their Alexa devices, on their smart refrigerators and whatever other new touchpoints emerge 10 years from now. It comes down to enabling commerce at any of these points of inflection, not just when a customer has wandered to your web storefront. You can’t do this if you’re struggling to adapt your backend each time a new channel emerges. You have to have a strategy that can handle new touchpoints as they come. And that’s what brings us to headless commerce.

Headless commerce vs. traditional commerce

Headless commerce isn’t as painful or violent as it might sound. A better analogy might be that headless commerce severs the marriage between your front and back ends. But in this divorce, each side comes out a winner since changes to one side can be made without disrupting the other. This saves time and allows you to deliver a better customer experience across your different customer segments.

Divorcing the front- and back-ends also opens up the possibility to use what’s best for converting customers on the website. The most common use case would be for pushing content to the front end through a brand’s existing content management system (CMS), instead of its commerce platform.

If your company has very few systems needing to plug into the front end, you may actually be better served by a full-suite commerce platform.

Beyond your storefront

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with your head. However, getting rid of it can present new opportunities. If you’ve ever felt constrained regarding your ability to build a network of customer touchpoints you can control with the same underlying tools, it might be time to go headless. Larger brands with an established CMS also find it’s a good fit for starting to sell direct to consumer.

The always-connected world we live in offers myriad other customer touchpoints that traditional ecommerce heads can’t reach—through voice-powered home speakers, smart appliances, or even mirrors. Future-proof your business by embedding content, products, and checkout capability wherever customers are.

Brands Must Rethink the Separation Between Marketing and Commerce
Adapting to these new touchpoints requires eliminating old barriers between marketing and commerce functions. We’ve all seen the beautiful marketing experiences brands create to entice customers and showcase their products. However, these offerings usually end up directing customers right back to bland traditional product pages. The marketing website and ecommerce site are often two separate entities entirely since traditional ecommerce engines can’t support the marketing content. You can create the sexiest, most innovative marketing experiences you want, but if your backend can’t integrate factors like product catalogs, shopping baskets, account info, and more, you’ll always be back at square one. Headless commerce solutions enable brands across verticals to transcend these old paradigms by solving for just that obstacle.

How Headless Commerce Solves the Problem


Leveraging API-oriented commerce, headless commerce architecture supports all functions – commerce, experience management, payment, content, personalization – can be decoupled services. That means you can deconstruct core commerce platform attributes (e.g., product catalog, shopping basket, account services, payment integration and order processing) for more flexibility.

That solves the problem of those old silos and limitations. Since headless commerce provides all commerce logic through the engine API, all information is available to any new channel on a consistent basis. Using an API-first strategy, brands can integrate data about each individual customer regardless of channel.

Whether you’re creating a landing page or microsite for a campaign, or even a blog, when you highlight a product or service, you don’t have to create a click trail for the visitor. It should no longer be an epic quest to find your e-commerce site and ‘add to bag’ button. You can meet that engaged shopper where they are, right on your latest blog post, Instagram or social ad.

Then you can allow customers to buy wherever they want to – which is to say, anywhere. Shoppable videos, social media ads, store kiosks, Alexa-enabled purchase capabilities, virtual and augmented reality…the list goes on. That’s not just the reality for consumers, either – B2B buyers have the same expectations, whether they’re reordering parts or configuring medical equipment.

Wherever a buyer interacts with your brand, an API-first approach connects each interaction to ensure consistent experiences regardless of touchpoint. Plus, on the marketing side, brands have more comprehensive, accurate and accessible data. All of these factors can radically change the customer experience in ways brands have barely conceived.

Is Headless Commerce a New Thing? (Or Just a New Name for Something Command C Has Always Done?

Yes and no. The concept isn’t really new, but the reliability and accessibility of these kinds of solutions is new. Headless commerce is about trading information between two disparate systems, likely using an API. There are already many examples of this kind of integration. For instance, subscribing to a newsletter often uses the email service provider’s API to send the user’s information to your mailing list. An ecommerce checkout uses your payment gateway’s API – think Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, etc. – to send your data to authorize payment. Headless commerce may sound new or trendy because “headless” sounds a lot catchier than the more technical alternatives for describing this integration of systems.

Build an empire, not a landing page.

Your company has an online presence whether you like it or not.

Whether or not you play an active role in building or maintaining an online presence for your brand, it exists. Someone, somewhere, has probably left a review of your products, services or staff. They might have just uploaded a picture with your logo in the background. Regardless, today everything is digitised, social and accessible – and if you’re not, your business is at a loss. Public discourse and perception is the difference between a positive or negative brand image. And your brand image is everything.

Companies with established sales and marketing processes all have one thing in common. A significant amount of their research and resources go towards developing brand guidelines for a seamless media strategy. These rules set visual and communicative standards that are consistent across platforms to streamline your message, tone, values and personality. They connect with your audience based on proven results and research into relevant demographics, psycho-graphics and trends. Ultimately, this asset acts as an essential blueprint for your company’s identity, laying the groundwork for a positive reputation and increased brand awareness.

When it comes to creating a dynamic digital space, you want to build an empire, not a landing page. Herein lies the difference between hosting a website and hosting a community. Simply attracting people to your page will not guarantee leads, conversions or sales. Nor will it create customer loyalty. For that, you need to demonstrate an interest in engaging with your audience and adapting your services or processes to their feedback. In other words, you need to establish a relationship with your viewers and create opportunities for them to identify with your company values. This, in turn, results in the organic growth of brand ambassadors that are willing to vouch for you.

Business accounts do this by adapting their online profiles to relevant social networking sites and by making themselves transparently accessible to the public. Adhering to tailor-made brand guidelines and a cultural understanding of social media etiquette, their marketing teams work across the board to be at the forefront of trends, industry updates and to be a source of information for their audiences.

Investing in your online presence is not an additional marketing expense but rather an essential tool for managing your brand’s reputation. Like public relations, it empowers members of your team to promote positive conversation around your services, minimise unwanted publicity and reinforce who you are in the digital landscape.

Our team is readily available to support you in digitizing your brand and curating creative brand guidelines. Get in touch today to find out how our services can solidify your brand identity and boost your online performance.

10 Cyber Security Trends To Watch Going Into 2020

Cybersecurity breaches have become an ever-growing threat, with more types of attacks cropping up as the years pass by. With this increase of attack methods comes an increase in the kinds of cybersecurity procedures that are available to fight these attacks.

It’s certainly likely that the sorts of attacks that will occur in 2020 and later will be ones that could be recognized by current cybersecurity experts. This means that companies should exert their security-related resources towards working on security vulnerabilities that they have already assessed and accounted for.

These companies should keep track of the following 10 cybersecurity trends that are expected to occur in 2020.

1. A Rise in Automated Cyber Security

Automation is quickly becoming a staple of business modernization and is widely recognized as an advantageous factor in a company’s quest for improved cybersecurity.

Palo Alto Networks reports that many Information Technology (IT) security professionals and specialists actively use automated platforms and products within their companies or plan to use automation soon. The movement towards greater automation is meant to relieve some of the stress faced by low-staffed cybersecurity teams.

At present, the move to automation poses its issues that will need to be addressed by organizations in the future. Specifically, organizations implementing automation security solutions will have to seek out knowledgeable automation experts to properly and efficiently utilize those platforms.

2. The Advent of 5G

5G is continuing to develop network infrastructure and has done so since 2018.

With this increased development, there have been a rise in Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices that utilize 5G networks rather than merely relying on Wi-Fi networks.

Over time, these IoT devices will become completely defenseless from sophisticated hacking attempts, as the devices will not receive their internet connection through an encrypted router signal. The ability of a 5G network to reach cloud-based storage platforms will also create new, valuable targets for future attackers to breach and exploit.

3. Public Utility Development

Public utilities and infrastructure are crucial elements of an advanced economy and society.

Their importance makes them significant targets of cyber hackers and terrorists.

Utilities such as roadways, electricity, waste management and telecommunication provide vital services for the vast majority of people and governments across the world.

In spite of this, these individuals and agencies typically work with outdated and less efficient infrastructure models. Attempts to rectify these infrastructure issues and correct cybersecurity problems can create undesirable periods of service interruptions or downtimes.

The utilities of some countries are also tied up with private contractors and private utility providers, who typically are not capable of effectively handling a major cybersecurity threat.

The development of the public utilities to prevent exploitation by cybercriminals will certainly be something to watch for in 2020.

4. AI Attack Mobilization

Malicious hackers and cyber attackers will not be satisfied with merely attacking the artificial intelligence (AI) systems and platforms of organizations.

Cyber attackers will begin to mobilize AI, exploiting the increased efficiency and versatility of AI-enhanced automation to their data breaching exploits.

AI-powered automated systems could evaluate organizational systems and networks, noting previously unforeseen vulnerabilities and taking advantage of them.

AI can be incorporated into social engineering and phishing attacks, creating seemingly credible emails and videos that can scam unfortunate individuals of information, resources or money. Malevolently used AI could even be used to carry out believable misinformation campaigns.

5. AI Defense Mobilization

Machine learning technologies are already being used to identify and protect networks and companies against cyber threats. AI can be mobilized for the protection of IT networks and frameworks as well as for attacks. AI platforms can track and correct vulnerabilities, strengthening networks against future attacks.

An AI platform could be used to simulate progressively challenging attacks to identify a previously unknown vulnerability that can be corrected before a malicious force finds the same issue.

6. Shadow IT Assets

According to McAfee MVISION Cloud – Skyhigh Networks, Shadow IT is a suite of IT applications or functions that are operated outside of the IT department without their explicit knowledge. Shadow IT is increasingly raising non-IT technology expenditures, as it has made organizations more productive.

However, the increased use of Shadow IT will also make it a prime target for cyber attackers in 2020. Organizations will have to address their organizational culture’s use and protection of Shadow IT assets to safeguard themselves from Shadow IT vulnerabilities.

7. Software Supply Chain Exploitation

Software supply chains are a regular target of cyber-attacks, with malware being sent along with legitimate software bundles. Cybersecurity experts from vpnAlert note that many organizations lack processes for fully vetting all of the vendors and third-parties that they work with.

The attacks can be orchestrated during the software generation stage at a vendor’s facility or when the software is being handled by a third-party. The software exploitation usually involves the attacker including malware into a legitimate software update, granting the attacker access to data connected to the computer network once the update is accepted by an end-user.

8. Capturing Online Data Traffic

In 2020, cyber attackers will target IoT applications, home routers and other data centers to gain access to some of the data going through these technologies.

Malware affecting these applications could record credit card numbers, spam a victim with malicious websites, steal secure banking information or access personal and proprietary information. Organizations are implementing methods to prevent these data breaches, such as not storing credit card CVV numbers to better protect eCommerce databases.

Cyber attackers will certainly seek out new ways to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data and buyer information while it is in transit.

9. Cloud-Based Security

In 2020, the majority of deals involving CASBs, cloud-based access security brokers, will be bundled together with web application firewalls (WAFs), secure web gateways (SWGs) and network firewall technologies. As clients and organizations move their data and services to the cloud and consider bundled cloud services, they should investigate each bundle’s application deployment guide.

10. Increased Cyber Security Spending

Expect cybersecurity spending to rise in 2020. Spending on cybersecurity solutions across the globe has increased steadily each year, with spending on software and hardware for cybersecurity spending growing past $100 billion in just 2019.

This increased spending is expected as organizations put higher amounts of resources into their cybersecurity solutions. The US is expected to be the largest individual cybersecurity market, with spending estimated to reach somewhere close to $45 billion by the end of 2019.

7 Ways Hackers and Scammers Are Exploiting Coronavirus Panic

“Every country in the world has seen at least one COVID-19 themed attack,” said Rob Lefferts, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365 Security. These attacks, however, account for less than 2% of all attacks analyzed by Microsoft on a daily basis.

“Our data shows that these COVID-19 themed threats are retreads of existing attacks that have been slightly altered to tie to this pandemic,” Lefferts added. “This means we’re seeing a changing of lures, not a surge in attacks.”

1 — Mobile Malware

Check Point Research uncovered at least 16 different mobile apps, which claimed to offer information related to the outbreak but instead contained malware, including adware (Hiddad) and banker Trojans (Cerberus), that stole users’ personal information or generated fraudulent revenues from premium-rate services.

“Skilled threat actors are exploiting people’s concerns about coronavirus to spread mobile malware, including Mobile Remote Access Trojans (MRATs), banker trojans, and premium dialers, via apps which claim to offer Coronavirus-related information and help for users,”

2 — Email Phishing

In a separate report published today and shared with Salam Digital, cybersecurity firm Group-IB claims to have found that most COVOD-19 related phishing emails came with AgentTesla (45%), NetWire (30%), and LokiBot (8%) embedded as attachments, thereby allowing the attacker to steal personal and financial data.

Email Phishing

The emails, which were sent between February 13 and April 1, 2020, masqueraded as health advisories from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and other international agencies and companies such as Maersk, Pekos Valves, and CISCO.

3 — Discounted off-the-shelf Malware

Group-IB’s research also found more than 500 posts on underground forums where users offered coronavirus discounts and promotional codes on DDoS, spamming, and other malware services.

This is consistent with Check Point Research’s earlier findings of hackers promoting their exploit tools on the darknet with ‘COVID19’ or ‘coronavirus’ as discount codes.

4 — SMS Phishing

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) also issued a joint advisory about fake SMS messages from senders such as “COVID” and “UKGOV” which contain a link to phishing sites.

sms scam

“In addition to SMS, possible channels include WhatsApp and other messaging services,” CISA cautioned.

5 — Face Mask and Hand Sanitizer Scams

Europol recently arrested a 39-year-old man from Singapore for allegedly attempting to launder cash generated from a business email scam (BEC) by posing as a legitimate company that advertised the fast delivery of FFP2 surgical masks and hand sanitizers.

Face Coronavirus Mask and Hand Sanitizer Scam

An unnamed pharmaceutical company, based in Europe, was defrauded out of €6.64 million after the items were never delivered, and the supplier became uncontactable. Europol had previously seized €13 million in potentially dangerous drugs as part of a counterfeit medicine trafficking operation.

6 — Malicious Software

As people increasingly work from home and online communication platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams become crucial, threat actors are sending phishing emails that include malicious files with names such as “zoom-us-zoom_##########.exe” and “microsoft-teams_V#mu#D_##########.exe” in a bid to trick people into downloading malware on their devices.

7 — Ransomware Attacks

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) warned member countries that cybercriminals are attempting to target major hospitals and other institutions on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 with ransomware.

“Cybercriminals are using ransomware to hold hospitals and medical services digitally hostage, preventing them from accessing vital files and systems until a ransom is paid,” Interpol said.

Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus Threats Online

“Malicious cyber actors are continually adjusting their tactics to take advantage of new situations, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” CISA said.

“Malicious cyber actors are using the high appetite for COVID-19-related information as an opportunity to deliver malware and ransomware, and to steal user credentials. Individuals and organizations should remain vigilant.”

The NCSC has offered guidance on what to look out for when opening coronavirus-themed emails and text messages that contain links to such fake websites.

In general, avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments, and do not make meetings public and ensure they are protected by passwords to prevent videoconferencing hijacking.

15 REASONS WHY YOU GET NO TRAFFIC FROM GOOGLE?

Why does my website get no traffic from Google?

If you’re reading this article, chances are that your website is feeling lonely and you’re in search of a solution to increase traffic from SEO. Whilst likely that you are doing something wrong; do not fear as you are not alone! In fact, according to a recent search traffic AHREFs study, over 91% of all content on the internet gets no traffic at all!

From simple fixes to on-going medication for your website, we’ve compiled an infographic with the top 15 reasons why your website is getting no traffic from Google. Time to put your website in the top 9%.

Why You Don’t Get Traffic From Google

At times Google can be a fickle creature. Although most of the time it operates exactly as it’s designed to, with businesses either too inflexible or uninterested in learning and leveraging the world’s most powerful platform. The reason why you get no traffic from Google will stem from issues surrounding SEO, content or technical flaws. For more businesses than not, it may just be all three that are holding you back. If you’re looking at another month of dismal web traffic numbers, stop wondering where it is all going wrong and start diagnosing and correcting those issues.

TECHNICAL ISSUES

We’ve all been the bearer of our fair share of 404’s, but these issues should hopefully be quite infrequent. The goods news? Correcting these issues will have an immediate benefit to your website, setting yourself up to facilitate traffic and house your content. The bad news? If you are not deep in the detail or hanging out in the backend, some of these technical issues might not readily present themselves and can continue to wreak havoc undetected.

Technical issues that may be causing no traffic from Google are:

  • Poor code structure
  • Your website is set to ‘no index’
  • Your website has been hacked
  • Your hosting server is down
  • You are using ‘free hosting’ or a free domain

SEO CHALLENGES

Second only to the technical running of your website is your SEO. SEO is the gatekeeper to traffic from Google, with many businesses underestimating the three letter acronym. If your website is SEO challenged then Google will not deem it to be an authoritative source in its field. What that means for you, is that even the sleekest web design and greatest content will not assist with visibility or allow your website to climb the ranks. Resist SEO compliance at your own risk, or choose to optimise your website to a position where Google is working with you to put your page and business in front of the right customers.

SEO challenges that may be causing no traffic from Google are:

  • Bad SEO practices from a provider in the past
  • There’s a problem with your backlink profile
  • You have multiple websites for the same business
  • You have not set up google analytics
  • Broken 301 redirects

MISSED CONTENT OPPORTUNITIES

Content failures are particularly painful for businesses as there shouldn’t be any excuse for it. While an SEO agency will advise on a superior content strategy, there is nothing stopping internal resources from transforming a website with relevant and keyword-rich content. With unrivalled knowledge of your business landscape and the ins and outs of customer pain points, your team should set about designing a content narrative that will support your SEO outlook.

Missed content opportunities that may be causing no traffic from Google are:

  • Your site doesn’t have any information
  • Your Google Business page is vacant and not optimised
  • All your content is plagiarized
  • Your website is hard to navigate
  • Your on-page is not optimised

Less head scratching and more optimisation will see a significant shift in the traffic you generate from Google. Each technical, SEO and content issues can be approached in tandem so that you make incremental improvements as time goes on. Finding an SEO agency that has mastered these areas will allow for a faster diagnosis and recovery plan, getting you competing again for the top spot.

Using AI and Analytics to Predict Consumer Behavior

Predictive solutions are a necessity for today’s markets. Machine learning, Deep learning, Big Data and Artificial Analysis (AI) are all part of solutions that can predict consumer behavior.

How to predict consumer behavior with Big Data and AI
Over the years, companies have made use of effective marketing strategies such as monitoring social media and other online platforms to reach out to consumers and find out how best to serve them. Now that more than enough data has been collected from these sources, there arises the need to make use of it, for instance, to predict consumer behavior days and even months from now. Anticipating consumer needs is made possible through Big Data and advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI).


Forecasting consumer behavior is realized through merging Big Data with AI. According to predictions from Forrester, there will be increased adoption of Big Data and AI among 70% of businesses globally; this is a 51% increase than in 2017. Let’s get into how Big Data and AI can predict consumer behavior.

Levels of Predictions

  • Emotional and Intent Analysis

It refers to a solution that can identify the emotion behind the experience and the intent behind consumer actions

  • Segment Patterns
  • Segmenting customers into small groups based on actual behaviors instead of only looking at aggregate data;
  • Tacking customer 

on how they move among different segments over time including different customer lifecycle context instead of looking just at the actual segment do not considering how they arrived there.

  • Future Actions

This enables a company to predict that if a particular experience occurs, the client will act in a certain manner

Decision making is no longer based on guessing or inaccurate surveys and studies conducted on selected groups of people. The progress made in Big Data analytics using AI simplifies companies’ decision making processes in real time. Big Data can be structured, unstructured, or semi-structured, and in these forms, it can be difficult to interpret effectively by the human mind. AI systems use algorithms to break down and make sense of Big Data into actionable insight which contributes to a more mature decision-making process by businesses.

Social media is growing into a significant tool for monitoring customer needs, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and overall behavior. Big Data and AI better customer experience by predicting what they will want in the near future. Companies can easily enhance a product or service, do away with it, or introduce a new and better one altogether all based on the information gathered from AI analytics. Big Data and AI yield more relevant and creative solutions for consumers before they even know it. They are certainly a must-have for modern businesses today.

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