Case Studies

Improving performance and sales with 'headless' ecommerce, for Bear & Bear

When you're a player in the e-commerce space, one thing remains a constant, performance pays. As the performance of legacy, 'monolithic' applications like Magento / Adobe Ecommerce, or WooCommerce come increasingly under scrutiny, the ecommerce space is seeing a rise in 'headless' ecommerce, where the ecommerce fulfilment application is left in place, and the 'front-end' website is replaced by a web app, that can deliver much better performance and personalised, 'blended' delivery of content and product. There are myriad advantages to this approach.

Improving ecommerce website performance, with 'Headless' Blaze

'Headless’ ecommerce describes a stack where the backend ecommerce functionality, in Bear & Bear’s case WooCommerce, is decoupled from the front-end website, now running in Blaze. Using the WooCommerce API we have taken the product catalogue and can now publish product within content and listings managed within Blaze. The Blaze front-end web application, built in ReactJS and Next.JS, delivers an app experience to the website visitor's browser faster than any static page template, like with WordPress (and WooCommerce). The performance benefits, measured in Google’s Web Vitals are enormous, delivering better engagement and customer conversion:– a 47% decrease in page load time, leading to a 78% increase in page Views, a 37% increase in transactions and a 60% increase in revenue overall (measured YOY).

Front-end performance is also scaled using elastic load-balancing, provided by serverless Amazon Web Services (AWS), deployed using Terraform with Blaze continuous integration and delivery tools, which means it increases and decreases instantly to meet demand and is therefore cost efficient. Bear & Bear’s infrastructure is monitored in Datadog, whilst Sentry, Snyk and CodeCov monitor application health, ongoing.

'Shop the content', with product driven editorial

Blaze’s ability to deliver an app like experience, to the browser, is built and controlled using Blaze Page-Builder tools.  These have enabled Bear & Bear’s merchandising team to achieve a much tighter integration between content and product. This results in a much-improved editorial and content marketing led experience, for shoppers. Product reviews and content led product editorial is now possible, allowing content and product marketers to create rich editorial, using different media components and to embed dynamic product data from the WooCommerce product catalogue into editorial and searchable product listings.

Accessing all product and content via Blaze’s GraphQL API framework not only benefits the front-end Blaze App, but also authenticated SaaS partner tools like MailChimp, which can access content, product and user preference and transaction data in an efficient way. Bear & Bear ecommerce marketers can now create and manage content marketing and marketing automation campaigns, with dynamic product and customer order data.

Creating and sharing product and first-party data, to drive sales

Paid product placement and paid advertising plays a key role in any ecommerce site’s marketing, often driving the majority of converting traffic. Blaze's game-changing analytics tools have allowed Bear & Bear ecommerce marketers to create and share the lowest level product and content engagement data, from page components, as each part of the page renders in a visitor's web browser, often on a mobile device. Most ecommerce and CMS systems manage this at only the ‘page’ level. Blaze offers unparalleled ability to encapsulate each page component in ‘data layer’ analytics, event and conversion tracking. Bear & Bear are able to view reports and analytics relating to each visitor’s complete content and product engagement pathway through the site, giving the richest insight. Product engagement and conversion data is also configured, by marketing users, to seamlessly flow into Google and Bing Advertising networks, enabling audience re-targeting and conversion campaigns, driven by nuanced advertising and editorial. 

Managing product catalogue and content listings, with Page Builder and Elastic Search

One of the significant advantages of being able to ingest product data from ecommerce platforms, like WooCommerce, is that ecommerce managers at businesses like Bear & Bear can utilise the Elastic Search driven, catalogue and listings search functionality.  Elastic Search is part of the Blaze technology stack. Upon ingestion product data is indexed in Elastic Search, Blaze’s Page-Builder tools then allow content and ecommerce managers at Bear & Bear to create, configure and easily copy and modify searchable listings of both content and product. Landing pages comprising card and listings of blended content and product data can be created, replicated, their performance and conversion data captured and analysed, tweaked and improved, ongoing

Performance like no other ‘headless’ ecommerce setup

In Developing Blaze, Byte9 did not set out to replace incumbent ecommerce fulfilment functionality, like WooCommerce, which is typically functional and integrated with a number of systems managing ecommerce operations. By Implementing ‘headless’ ecommerce, with Blaze, businesses like Bear & Bear are able to leverage best in class performance, catalogue & content management, analytics and first-party data creation and sharing functionality delivered by a best-in-class, headless content management system; Blaze. This is a new and exciting paradigm for ecommerce operators, as they look to take advantage of the multi-channel, multi-device opportunities presented by ‘headless’ ecommerce.

Look out for forthcoming Blaze integrations with Shopware, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento / Adobe Commerce, which are incoming.

"Byte9 were able to react unbelievably quickly to transition our entire website to Blaze and a far more stable and performance-enabled environment"

Sam Gore, Owner, Bear and Bear