Headless DAM: Why It Is Relevant for Omnichannel Commerce?

This article has been provided by Dietmar Rietsch, CEO of Pimcore.  He is a passionate entrepreneur who has been designing and realizing digital projects for more than 20 years.


In today’s Martech space, steered by omnichannel commerce , headless architecture has gained an unprecedented momentum.  Headless digital asset management (DAM) has become a must-have for businesses aiming to deliver highly visual, up-to-the-minute shopping experiences . It offers opportunities to improve speed to market and agility in numerous ways. In an ambitious bid to deliver their content more efficiently, brands now view DAM as more than just a solution but as an integral part of their digital experience and content strategies.

To put things into perspective, the content publishing lifecycle – managing images and videos – in omnichannel commerce needs to penetrate numerous silos and patch disparate systems. It goes without saying that these complex systems hinder content delivery and distribution. The broader picture: brands must stay ahead of their competitors as they contend for mindshare by delivering superior and distinctive customer experiences tailored to their specific needs and drive conversions, customer engagement, and brand loyalty.

A headless DAM is precisely what they need to turn these into reality. Put succinctly, headless DAM helps store visuals in one system, followed by the distribution of the same original content through different systems via APIs in the correct format. At a time when typical DAM (without headless architecture) is estimated to snowball into an $8 billion industry by 2027, headless DAM can enhance the change, enabling dynamic marketing and making updates across all connected systems seamless and instant. In empowering brands with time, cost, and effort savings, along with high-grade efficiency, agility, and better overall control over the assets—headless DAM utilizes APIs to distribute the right digital assets at the right place and at the right time.

With forward-thinking leaders viewing omnichannel as an indispensable aspect of commerce, the relevance of headless DAM is not lost on them either. With customers turning to different touchpoints to browse and buy, brands must be equipped and prepared to engage them on their journeys at each of these channels. Decoupling the frontend interface from the backend functionality provides direct and easy access of digital assets to systems such as PIM, CRM, CMS, and more. Moreover, it also eliminates the need to re-platform from a monolithic solution that restricts API-first scalability. Headless DAM’s relevancy in omnichannel commerce cannot be understated. Let’s understand why:

Customized UI

When using a DAM, users can interact with the platform through an intuitive user interface (UI) for seamless browsing and searching through their existing assets, upload new with drag and drop functionality, and more. This interface is referred to as the ‘head’ of DAM (front-end), while the ‘body’ is the back-end. As the word suggests, headless DAM connects systems, platforms, and tools to DAM without any UI, through APIs that provide access to every datapoint. Traditional DAMs often follow a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the UI. With headless DAM, teams can build custom UI on top of APIs and enable functionalities tailored to the specific needs and preferences of their business. This customization empowers different teams to interact with assets with more flexibility . Therefore, custom UI allows teams to eliminate the use of DAM’s UI,  instead it helps connect varied content to other systems such as CMS, PIM, and more that need access to the assets.

Decreased time and effort

With headless DAM, assets can be extended into existing systems and workflows,  driving more adoption. Apart from improving asset uploads and search, the integrations through headless DAM can create customizable workflows that lead to time savings and increased efficiency. These benefits are realized when, for instance, headless DAM is connected to Slack or PIM. Users are notified, or product listings are automatically updated in the event of the smallest of changes. Specifically for storefronts, these instant updates translate to improved page-load speed on the site. In the absence of a headless DAM, changes to the back-end affect page-load speed, downloading time, and time spent for checkout impacting buyers’ decision, who expects a hassle-free, fast, and smooth eCommerce interface. To boost customer loyalty and conversion while also reducing customer bounce rates, brands can implement a headless commerce model to significantly improve sales.

Maximum efficiency

Implementing a headless architecture brings in the promise of enhancing the marketing efficiency of omnichannel commerce brands. With best-in-class capabilities to provide an engaging experience for a visual-first audience, organizations using headless DAM get to go beyond just storing and managing digital visual assets in silos. Headless DAM enables different teams to find the right asset at the right time. It communicates and shares content with diverse applications through APIs. Headless DAM running on multi-cloud architecture empowers users with the much-needed agility, streamlined content workflows, and increased team efficiencies. When a best-of-breed stack is established with a headless architecture, agile replacements and upgrades can be made to the stack, further empowering organizations to keep up with dynamic business requirements. Additionally, they can stay nimble and keep abreast of new technologies and tools. The solution proves extremely efficient when employed by businesses operating with multiple content systems, as it enables cross-platform data sharing across different teams, helping them create and deliver superior digital experiences.

Better scalability 

Apart from effortless image processing and access at scale, headless DAM is instrumental in processing thousands of assets. In an omnichannel world, the number of these assets is only growing. Headless DAM readily provides the capacity to scale with these ever-changing business demands. A pure headless approach to DAM provides marketing technologists and developers an edge with the building blocks of an integrated, scalable, and agile solution. However, when it comes to scalability, brands struggle to answer some questions when the load on their systems increase. For instance, should they scale up each component individually or all of them together?  A headless architecture allows effortless scaling of the DAM software via creating custom combination of platforms and scaling them as per their asset management needs. Provided that all systems and functions are connected using APIs, the data flows seamlessly across the organization. At its core, headless DAM has been specifically designed to help enterprises meet their scale and growth goals in a cost-effective manner.

High flexibility

Headless DAM gains its prominence from the flexibility it provides in offering great customer experiences and adapting to present and future trends. Changes can be made on the fly through intermediary APIs without disrupting the entire platform. As headless approach suggests an architecture without a ‘head,’, enterprises get to experience a ‘flexible head’ that allows them to gain more freedom and control in the way they produce content for their sales channels. Enterprises employ robust APIs to create custom interfaces or system integrations. The increased control over design and templates drives enhanced user and customer experiences. . From introducing new customer touchpoints with ease to changing and deploying the components of their digital application, enterprises reap the benefits of their flexible architecture in numerous ways.

The road to headless

Omnichannel commerce and headless DAM are among the top buzzwords reverberating in conversations across the enterprise software landscape. With brands bullish on meeting customers where they want to be met and keeping up with technology advances, headless DAM can be the missing piece of the puzzle they are looking for. A relatively new flavor of digital commerce architecture, headless DAM is the differentiator that brands need in order to boost productivity, efficiency, and agility in a world of digital content explosion. It’s time to look beyond the ability to control usage and compliance with DAM and hit the road with headless architecture.


This article has been provided by Dietmar Rietsch, CEO of Pimcore.  He is a passionate entrepreneur who has been designing and realizing digital projects for more than 20 years.

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