date July 6, 2022 time 37:12 Minutes
Ted Rogers
Ted Rogers

Chief Marketing Officer for Digital River

play podcastpause podcast
Commerce Connect Podcast
commercetools’ Kelly Goetsch: The Value of Headless Commerce
July 6, 2022
play bars
Learn more about our partners

With a diverse range of partners, we're helping brands reach new markets through state-of-the-art commerce solutions.

commercetools’ Kelly Goetsch: The Value of Headless Commerce

Kelly Goetsch is Chief Strategy Officer for commercetools, a German-based company changing the way we think about ecommerce. commercetools (spelled with a lower-case c) is an API-first multi-tenant SaaS commerce platform dedicated to the idea of modern composable commerce. Headless commerce started with commercetools.

Goetsch says commercetools' solutions are based off a catalogue of around 300 individually consumable API’s in three buckets: product discovery, anything related to customers or users, and anything related to orders. It’s a flexible business model that allows larger companies to use only what they want to use, as well as provide smaller companies with a complete solution. “What we do is a very, very thorough job of offering these pieces, and we do so in a market-based approach, which allows for very easy consumption,” Goetsch said. (21:25)

One thing commercetools doesn’t bend on is the architecture it has created. “We actually came up with a term called MACH,” Goetsch explained. “Microservices, API-first, cloud-native, multi-tenant SaaS and headless.” (8:20) Goetsch says MACH is the method by which commercetools and other vendors build their products and expose them to the world. Goetsch has worked with commercetools’ partners to create a 501(c)(6) called the MACH Alliance. The group works to protect the now trade-marked term, as well as offer guidelines about what MACH is, and who can actually claim to use the architecture. The goal is to educate, grow awareness and make it easier to buy and use MACH-based products together. Goetsch believes brands building an ecommerce journey with a headless approach have the best opportunity to create richer, more engaging experiences for their customers – the kind of experiences that build brand loyalty. While Goetsch sees opportunity in specific instances for brands selling via a marketplace, that approach is more commoditized, exactly the opposite of what Goetsch recommends for brands looking to differentiate themselves from the pack.

As to whether the metaverse will be a place where brands can build that engaging use experience is something Goetsch has a wait-and-see attitude about. “I think the notion that we’re all suddenly, magically going to be throwing on these VR headsets and going off and hanging out with friends on Mars – I think that’s a little far-fetched,” said Goetsch. (28:15) However, Goetsch sees big implications for commerce and augmented reality. “Imagine walking through Best Buy and seeing product reviews pop up of the products that you’re looking at. That has much more applicability to commerce.” Whatever the future holds, Goetsch is confident commercetools will be in a good position to enable the commerce experience. Commerce in the virtual world still means a callback to a commerce engine. “I mean, that’s the lowest common denominator and all of the internet is making an API call at this point. So we’ll be fine, whatever that experience is.”

Listen to the full conversation with Kelly Goetsch, chief strategy officer for commerce tools, and Digital River CMO Ted Rogers right here or on your favorite podcast platform.