Headless commerce boosted page load speed to 1.8 seconds
Castorama Poland is a leader in the Home Improvement category in Poland. The company opened its first shop in 1997.
Currently, it sells in 80 locations in different parts of Poland. It also provides customers throughout the country with access to its on-line offer. The company employs nearly 12 thousand people. Castorama Poland is part of Kingfisher plc, an international company with almost 1200 stores in 10 European countries.
The first headless commerce for DIY
Castorama is one of the largest home improvement online stores in Poland, supporting very high traffic (up to 7 million sessions per month, April 2019). For this reason, the client needed a solution that, despite such a load in the store, would provide the appropriate speed of loading the website and meet the expectations of consumers (omnichannel).
The changing world of shopping
To solve this problem, we proposed a headless commerce model. Headless is the technology of the future, which is the answer to the changing world of e-commerce and consumer needs. When online sales appeared on the market, customers had the choice of buying only from a computer screen (desktop). For this reason, sales platforms offered "all-inclusive" solutions that combined backend and frontend. Today, this has changed - the requirements of customers are growing, as well as the number of places where they buy (omnichannel) is increasing. Technology must keep pace with these changes while maintaining service performance.
E-commerce is a very competitive field. Our goal has always been to provide the best experience for our customers so that they can reach their products and make purchases as quickly as possible. To meet these needs, we have invested in headless, which soon will become a standard for the biggest e-commerce players - Tomasz Stefanowski, Service WWW Development Manager, Castorama Polska.
Headless in e-commerce
Deciding on this solution, we had in mind that headless allows connecting any backend, without any changes in frontend. Headless also gives more scope for experimentation and better personalization (UX). We can make A/B tests, better customize the content to the user and expand the functionality of the service, without involving backend.
Headless separates the frontend (the part that is presented to the user) and backend (the technology behind it that makes everything work) of the sales platform into individual elements. In other words, what user sees when entering the website (visual layer) is independent of the e-commerce platform, e.g. order management systems, payment or product information management (e.g. Magento in Castorama’s case).
In the traditional model of building a sales platform, there are 3 layers of a shop. This means that the database, backend and frontend work together. In the headless e-commerce approach, the frontend layer works separately and communicates with the rest via API.
Advantages of headless
Headless allows you to create a faster online store and make updates and changes without affecting the backend.
It's easier to modify without worrying about how minor changes can affect other parts.
Thanks to the API, which connects backend with the front, we can create a completely separate appearance for the store, POS system or mobile application.
Better shopping experience
The use of headless commerce solution primarily improves the speed of service loading. The user gets results much faster, e.g. when he changes the search filters in particular product categories (in the past the website was overloaded each time, and thus, the user had to wait longer for the results). With this model, Castorama can offer users great shopping experience.
We are very pleased with the results of our work on headless. This is only the beginning of the implementation of this solution in our store, and you can already see great results. The site loads faster so we can stay ahead of the competition and provide our customers with a world-class shopping experience - Tomasz Stefanowski, Service WWW Development Manager, Castorama Polska.
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