Loyalty programs aren’t exactly a new thing. However, they used to be based on a more traditional approach: the merchant issued a card that let the client collect stamps and get something extra for coming back to the company. Thanks to the internet, we moved on to virtual points and coupons. It was always the brand who prepared their online loyalty system and introduced it to their clients, though. The introduction of API technology was the first step toward collaborating with external providers. They could build, implement, and manage advanced solutions to serve the enterprises that wanted to offer additional features to their customers. Headless software was born.
This article is dedicated to explaining what headless products have to offer, how they can be utilized for loyalty services, and why Open Loyalty is the best choice in this area. We’ll also take a closer look at the implementation process at Divante because we’re an experienced eCommerce company that has worked with Open Loyalty for years. Let’s jump right in!
Understanding the concept of headless software
Headless software is a type of software that works without the presence of a graphical interface. It allows an organization to create their own front end but can work without it nonetheless. This is done by using virtualization technologies. No wonder this concept is gaining momentum. It has become an essential part of the digital transformation strategy for many companies because it saves a lot of time, helps with cost optimization, and enables high-level customization.
The idea of headless software is that we’re moving away from the traditional applications that required some kind of “middleman” to connect the front end and back end. A modular structure and the increased scalability that can be achieved have a huge impact on the capabilities of this type of software. In headless products, there’s a single API, or set of APIs, that can be used by other applications rather than having to host a full-blown application on your own servers.
By doing this, companies can delegate responsibility for managing the infrastructure to other parties. It’s like outsourcing a part of the app’s work. Why’s that beneficial? Because this gives smaller enterprises access to more powerful hardware without needing all the resources themselves. It also allows larger companies to focus on creating innovative new features without needing to worry about handling everything on their own. Instead, they can simply focus on adding new features and functionalities to their software. Maintenance, updates, and patches are done by the company that delivers the back end.
The structure of headless software
Headless software has three main components. They are:
- A physical or virtual data center.
- A management platform where all the configurations are made.
- A set of APIs that communicate with the API gateway and other services.
Here, however, it’s more important to understand the two main sides of each software solution. They are the back-end and front-end layers. In so-called monolithic apps, everything is inseparable, and usually, the company that releases its product is responsible for developing and managing both of these elements. According to an article by Open Loyalty: “The innovation of headless loyalty software is that the external layer, which serves as the visual interface for displaying the content of the loyalty program, is separated from the back-end infrastructure.”
This applies to all headless solutions, and that’s the essence of the headless approach to software. The structure, that’s not tightly connected together, gives companies and their IT teams more freedom when creating products and less stress when it comes to management.
Why is headless loyalty the future?
The market for loyalty solutions is growing and changing. It went through a truly transformative time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like many other industries. The changing habits and preferences of customers raised a question: how can you keep them coming back? Loyalty solutions have to be smart, extremely usable, and seamless to use in order to achieve that. Headless loyalty is the way to achieve all these things.
Traditional programs are based on the idea that customers can be rewarded for their loyalty, but they should also take a certain action to earn rewards. Basically, there’s a lot of effort required from both sides to successfully execute the whole loyalty scheme. The company has to design, develop, and execute a certain loyalty solution. The client has to sign up for a program, collect points, flash a loyalty card during checkout, activate coupons, etc. What’s more, they have to remember about this every time they decide to make a purchase or want to redeem their rewards.
All that led to decreased usage of loyalty programs in recent years. For example, according to research from 2019, “People belong on average to 14.8 loyalty program memberships but are only active in 6.7 of them.” This means that many customers never use their rewards or even collect points, even though they might use products or services of particular companies.
This is just one example. People don’t want to waste their time collecting points or remembering about special offers just for the sake of earning some small discount. The headless approach supports brands in preparing loyalty solutions that are automated and easy to use whenever they’re needed as well as innovative in terms of measuring loyalty and rewarding customers for it. Instead of plastic cards, we get mobile apps where the back end, developed by a loyalty-specialized provider, communicates with the front end adjusted to the company’s branding and their clients’ expectations. Headless tech is the future because it gives us countless opportunities to adjust loyalty products to individual needs and requirements.
Open Loyalty - your to-go headless loyalty solution
Open Loyalty is a complete headless loyalty solution that you can use to manage all your loyalty programs. It can be used by any business and has been developed with flexibility in mind. Their mission is to provide a simple and intuitive platform that helps organizations deliver better customer experiences, drive higher engagement, and increase revenue. When using Open Loyalty, you receive a complete back-end layer filled with useful features, refined know-how, and technical support. Also, their crew is responsible for hosting your loyalty solution, maintaining it, and upgrading it based on the technological improvements they develop.
“We migrated to use Open Loyalty because it provides the business and technical flexibility needed by an enterprise-sized company like ours. With the Open Loyalty integration framework, we could match the loyalty engine with our custom needs.”
Karen Shen from MSI
What’s crucial in the case of Open Loyalty is its architecture and approach to their clients. We’ve mentioned already that monolith products are not applicable for companies that bet on tech advancement and growth. They also don’t want to buy out-of-the-box solutions because, usually, they can’t meet all their needs. A headless approach, especially based on MACH Alliance principles, is an excellent choice for them.
What does MACH stand for?
According to their website, “The MACH Alliance presents and advocates for an open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystem. The ecosystem technology is: microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native SaaS and headless.” It gives companies increased flexibility and speeds up the process of introducing changes. At the same time, it decreases their dependency on third-party providers because the structure of a product can be easily rebuilt, which is not the case for all-in-one solutions. That’s not even mentioning the scalability, which is much cheaper for products built with MACH rules in mind.
You have to remember that, in big enterprises, the process of choosing the best tool stack for the marketing department is quite time consuming and includes various people. They don’t want their loyalty solution to duplicate some functionalities from other platforms they use. These systems should integrate and complement each other for the best possible results. On top of that, enterprises want to take full ownership of the data they work on and look for on-premise products. Headless solutions are great because they optimize the most problematic areas while still giving business owners a lot of freedom exactly where they need it.
Implementing Open Loyalty with Divante
We like to say Open Loyalty is like LEGO bricks. It can be used to build custom loyalty programs with a dedicated design and features. It’s definitely quicker than creating such a product from scratch and provides way more possibilities than premade solutions. However, without any knowledge about technicalities, it can be hard to prepare and implement. That’s why Divante acts as a partner to all enterprises that want a loyalty solution but don’t know where to start.
We create a headless front end for each client that wants to use Open Loyalty as their system for boosting and measuring customer loyalty. Our team provides adequate branding that’s in tune with your company’s style of communication and presentation. We develop every feature that’s desired by your ideal potential customer with all your unique selling points (USPs) in mind. Finally, we connect the back end with the front end along with all required integrations to make a complete system that will handle all loyalty-related matters. After release, you can also receive support in terms of updates, bug fixes, and further development of your loyalty solution.
Our work process is transparent and highly productive thanks to the methodologies we use internally as a team. From the very first moment you contact us, we accompany you as a contractor responsible for delivering the final result. With our years of experience working with Open Loyalty, we’re eager to share our expertise and become the advisor your business needs. We’ll build a loyalty platform that will fulfill all your business goals and be future-proof in our rapidly evolving world.
Many companies have decided to trust us with Open Loyalty implementation, and we encourage you to do the same. Do you want to take advantage of all the benefits of the headless approach, kickstart your omnichannel presence with a superb loyalty solution, and become an industry leader when it comes to innovation in your field? Contact us and let’s launch your Open Loyalty system together. We can promise you that it will level up your loyalty game and positively influence your company’s results.
Published June 13, 2022