Product Information Management Done Headless
A headless approach to PIM means having a service ready to manage product information in seconds. Product information and content are delivered via an API. No templates, no webpages, only structured content. Pure developer bliss.
We’ve already talked about what is PIM and why and how you should use it. In this post, we’re going to talk a bit in-depth about headless PIM.
The headless architecture enables a decoupled approach to web and app development. Basically, you get to treat the frontend (the presentation layer) and backend (services layer) independently.
With the development of frontend technologies moving at a staggering speed, an API-driven ecommerce backend ensures that you always stay cutting edge in the frontend. So, if you prefer building your web-based front ends in React, Angular, Vue.js, or your native Apps in React Native, Flutter, Ionic, it does not matter. You are free to choose, experiment, and evolve your business and customer experience.
PIM as a Service
PIM as a service means that you have a cloud-based service available at the push of a button and scales with your growth. You have no server management, no database management, you don't have to think about backups and predictable costs. All the backend pain points have been removed.
This leaves you in the sweet spot of using PIM as a commodity service. At the same time, you can focus your efforts on your core business and continuously optimize the shopping experience for maximum conversion and customer satisfaction.
All of this is possible with a properly designed API. As you know, there are two approaches to API design, i.e., you can go the REST or GraphQL way. Pros and cons on both sides. But instead of talking about them, let me explain which one we opted out for and how it helps our headless PIM approach.
GraphQL Instead of REST for Fast APIs
In ecommerce, product structures are complex by nature, and you manage structured products of many shapes, organized in a complex tree or grid.
For example, when building a shopping experience for a food website, you may typically end up with scenarios/pages like fetching five apples, two oranges, and the three latest cooking explainer videos.
This is where REST falls short. REST is typically designed to give you apples or an apple - not apples and oranges simultaneously. REST is a single resource focussed. GraphQL is designed for this scenario to get many resources in a single request.
There are a few apparent benefits of GraphQL here:
- One query to fetch complex structured data with multiple resources, i.e., one round trip to the API, means lower latency.
- Ask for just what you need. Transfer only what you need—smaller content transfer chunks.
- GraphQL describes what is possible with the API. One endpoint to your complete service, meaning faster developer ramp up and fewer errors.
With all this in mind, we built a GraphQL PIM API that allows you to select precisely what data you want to have transferred, resulting in smaller payloads.
BTW you can play with our GraphQL API directly on the site. Live. No cache. Just a fast and easy-to-use API.
Headless PIM For Your Business
Headless PIM allows developers to build tailor-made ecommerce experiences in the frontend framework of their choice. It is a perfect match for businesses who want to future-proof their product information and easily change their frontend or add additional ecommerce channels.
Keep in mind that a good product information management service allows you to define products in any way you want and keep them structured, organized, and easily managed.
With an excellent PIM service much like Crystallize, you’ll be able to manage rich content like pictures and HD videos from the same place as well.
Are you looking to shift your business to headless architecture? We can help.