Oracle and Headless Commerce: How to Go Headless with Oracle

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Oracle and Headless Commerce: How to Go Headless with Oracle



January 25, 2023

Being a fast-paced industry, eCommerce requires staying on top of the technical game to keep up with the demands of the market. It’s only natural that commerce platforms are taking a significant leap forward, bravely facing new challenges. 

Older players like Oracle Commerce are bound to follow or stay behind as a legacy. Despite being packed with features, the platform lacks agility — and that’s what raises concerns among its commerce users. 

Is it possible to take vantage of headless commerce while being tied up to Oracle Commerce? Read on — we’re about to get to the bottom of it. 

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What is headless commerce?

First things first: definitions. Headless commerce is defined by decoupled layers, meaning the frontend — the presentation layer — is separated from the backend. It grants brands increased flexibility and better performance, allowing handling the storefront alone while keeping the business logic intact. 

What’s mighty important here is that separating the presentation layer gives retailers the freedom to choose whichever tech vendors they like for different store functions and connect their solutions via APIs. Like building a customizable system out of preferable blocks. 

Is Oracle Commerce headless?

Well, technically yes but not really, not by design. 

Once designed to be an all-in-one commerce solution, Oracle’s core use case was to launch a profound, steady monolith system for eCommerce, where all the components are tightly connected. 

This worked back when most commerce took place on desktops. Now it’s all about the omnichannel seamless experience and multiple digital touchpoints the customers go through before actually buying an item. With headless technology advantages in the spotlight, Oracle Commerce is slightly lagging.

However, Oracle implied that they do have options for going hybrid or fully headless: the platform can be integrated with third parties via APIs and it also has its Open Storefront Framework (that runs solely on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure though). The company also offers built-in solutions, such as Oracle Content Management CMS.

So, what does that mean? Is it possible to go headless with Oracle Commerce, or not? 

How to move to headless commerce with Oracle 

Despite possible API integrations, Oracle Commerce didn’t really embrace headless fully, and this can define your further approach. 

There are two major ways you can handle the headless transformation:

  • Full re-platforming
  • Gradual composable commerce

Let’s take a closer look at all of them. 

Full re-platforming

In this case, you’re ditching Oracle Commerce fully, moving to a more agile and modern eCommerce stack. To provide the best customer experience, brands decide to start their replatforming with the frontend part, using Frontend as a Service like Alokai.   

With a Frontend as a Service you start where the entire customer journey happens – on the frontend, to improve web performance and get control over the presentation layer.   

Thanks to numerous ready integrations and out-of-the-box UI components, you can build a fast and mobile-friendly frontend, which can be easily integrated into a full-fledged composable commerce system. 

30+ ready integrations, ready API and a pre-optimized Cloud solution make Alokai Frontend as a Service the perfect start towards headless commerce. 

Download the whitepaper and learn how Alokai helps to make the first step towards headless commerce. 

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How to replatform

Once you opt for full replatforming, you have to decide how you carry out the migration. 

However, keep in mind that this is not an overnight process: each element has to be migrated one by one with its product data and business function intact.

The process of replatforming your entire eCommerce system to a new headless commerce system entails several steps:

Proper needs analysis and defining goals. Investigate and choose the best composable solutions for your business, including UI, API orchestration layer, headless commerce platform , CMS, hosting, and all other 3-rd party tools required like search, payments, and loyalty.

Set priorities based on your requirements. As improving web performance and customer experiences are the primary driving forces for full replatforming, you should start the process with the frontend layer.

Map your replatforming path and scenarios. A well-planned replatforming conducted by an experienced team should go smoothly, without obstructions to the daily operations of your store. 

Migrate your data to the new system. Once you’ve chosen a composable commerce solution, you’ll need to migrate your data from the old Oracle system.

Connect your frontend with the new backend. Pair integrations, extensions, and plugins via APIs. 

Test. Before you go live with your new composable commerce system, it’s essential to test it thoroughly. 

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Gradual migration

We mentioned before that Oracle supports API integrations with third-party services. That means you can benefit from composable commerce solutions while staying on the same platform backend-wise. 

Composable commerce is a wide term, describing the modular approach to architecture. It allows businesses to replace one or several pieces of their tech stack with more suitable options provided by tech vendors other than the original platform. 

Those modular units are called Packaged Business Capabilities or PBC. Each PBC is a fully operational module related to a certain business function. Let’s say, for example, you would like to replace the native checkout process in the Oracle-based store to optimize the checkout and reduce the number of rejections in the final stage. With a composable commerce approach, you can delegate the checkout to another vendor. 

Wrap-up: Start with the frontend

If you're considering migrating from Oracle to headless commerce, there's no need to hesitate. The process is actually quite straight-forward and the benefits are well worth it. With proper planning and preparation, you can make the transition smooth and successful. And once your store runs on a headless commerce system, you'll be able to take your business to the next level.

To ensure that the replatforming process starts with the customer experience, choose Alokai as the first step on your journey.

Download the whitepaper and learn how to start!

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