Last Updated on July 12, 2022

Table of Contents

What Is Headless Commerce?

The introduction and development of other IT breakthroughs transformed the traditional shopping and business administration approach many years ago. The phrase “headless” is a catchword for the e-commerce landscape. As per Statista, 2021, the total revenue generated from the global retail e-commerce sales was nearly  $4.9 trillion indicating the immense scope of growth. The amount is estimated to grow by 50% in upcoming years and will reach 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025.

In its most basic form, headless commerce is the abstraction of an ecommerce application’s frontend and backend. Being an eCommerce solution, the architecture allows brands to develop anything they want, whenever they want. Because these two environments are independent, developers and company owners can make data more portable and reuse content for a specific consumer category or sales channel. As a result, a developer can alter the frontend without affecting the backend and vice versa. Above all, it allows businesses to improve the consumer experience using  APIs (application programming interfaces). Headless commerce enables the company to deliver API-driven experiences to the customers through DXP, CMS, device, application, or custom frontend- with power generated from BigCommerce for commerce engine.  

What is Headless Commerce: by Salesforce
Retail e-commerce sales worldwide from 2014 to 2025
Retail e-commerce sales worldwide from 2014 to 2025 in billion USD: Statista
Online retail sales, selected economies, 2018-2020
Online retail sales, selected economies, 2018-2020: UNCTAD

Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Ecommerce

What is Headless eCommerce? (vs Traditional Monolith)

1. Flexible Frontend Development 

Traditional Commerce

Frontend developers face various constraints in context to the overall process and design. Traditional ecommerce models are majorly based on a monolithic strategy that worked for enterprises and was well established before headless entered the picture. Monolithic models have some upsides like the complete platform for the IT department, easy set-ups, and access to pre-installed tools. However, the issue of slow go-to-market times and costly development can hinder innovation. Monolithic models also have restricted room for customization, rich merchandising, and complex integration in current systems. With the issues mentioned earlier, working in today’s market cannot afford to face problems related to editing the database, the frontend platforms, and codes daily.  

Headless Commerce 

Flexibility is one factor that encouraged businesses to shift towards new e-commerce models. Headless models are more capable of offering an unparalleled level of flexibility to businesses on the front end. Headless commerce eliminates the need for predefined frontend platforms enabling frontend developers to fabricate excellent customer experience which aligns with core business needs. With a simple API call, developers can modify databases in the backend. In other words, frontend developers are free from the shackles of traditional commerce platforms. The only drawback with headless commerce is that it adds to the hustles of developers as everything needs to be created from scratch, from product pages to landing pages. And getting the right eCommerce web design is no mean feat. 

2. Personalisation and Customisation 

Traditional Commerce 

Despite being equipped with predefined experience for administrative and customer users, these platforms lack customization or personalization capacity. 

Headless Commerce 

Unlike traditional commerce platforms, headless commerce allows developers to control user experience for both admin and customers. 

3. Flexibility and adaptability 

Traditional Commerce 

The frontend is firmly integrated with traditional solutions’ backend coding and infrastructure, leaving very little room for personalization. Developers must update numerous layers of coding between the frontend and the database layer buried in the backend to make a single tweak. 

Headless Commerce 

Because headless commerce has already decoupled the frontend and backend, there are many options for customization as needed. All you need is a front-end developer to make any adjustments. 

headless commerce vs monolithic ecommerce

Why Is Headless Commerce Becoming More Popular?

google trends on headless commerce
Google Trends for last 5 years on Headless Commerce

The pillar of popularity for headless commerce is based on two significant factors. In the initial stages, when headless commerce entered the market, websites were majorly dependent on desktops. As a result, the solutions available in the market were full-stack which incorporated with the website frontend and backend couples. With the technological advancement prevailing in the market, the path to purchase expanded to include mobile traffic and a complex matrix of buyer touchpoints that necessitate flexibility, which is challenging for full-stack solutions to provide due to the system’s connected frontend and backend. 

Second, every market participant today wishes to enter the realm of ecommerce. Because there is so much material already on the site, it is far quicker to construct a commerce engine and connect it to the existing content management system than build a brand new website and import all of their old content into it.

How Headless Commerce Works?

A headless commerce system operates identically to a headless CMS in that it passes requests between the presentation and application levels using web services or application programming interface (API) calls. With headless storefronts, the developer can leverage multiple backend systems as per the needs. 

Some of the commonly used systems are:

  • Content management system (CMS)
  • Digital experience platform (DXP) 
  • Progressive web app (PWA)
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) 

For instance, when a user taps a “Buy Now” button on their smartphone, the headless Commerce system’s presentation layer sends an API request to the application layer to process the order. To show the customer the order status, the application layer makes another API request to the application layer. Customers are not exposed to the brand’s headless backend as the brand only showcases the user interface used to deliver shopping experiences. 

What is a Headless CMS?

Any form of backend content management system in which the content repository “body” is detached or divorced from the presentation layer “head” is known as a headless CMS. Content stored in a headless CMS is provided over APIs for glitch-free presentation through different devices. 

Some classic CMS platforms include a “headless API” that lets users submit content to a different presentation layer. Because the presentation layer is isolated from the body, this is referred to as “headless.” One technique to overcome the restrictions of a typical CMS is implementing a “headless” CMS. Some classic CMS platforms include a “headless API” that lets users submit content to a different presentation layer. Because the presentation layer is isolated from the body, this is referred to as “headless.” Implementing a “headless” CMS — if the display layer of a website is the “head” of a CMS, then cutting off that presentation layer provides a headless CMS — is one technique to overcome the restrictions of a typical CMS. 

While a headless CMS allows the developer to select an appropriate display layer for a digital platform, it doesn’t address the fundamental issue of structuring content. It may be reused across several platforms and channels. Headless architecture is a multichannel approach for effectively distributing dynamic content across various platforms and devices, akin to a headless CMS. The content in a headless architecture is unformatted and unprocessed, and a frontend system doesn’t constrain its final display.

traditional vs headless architecture
traditional vs headless architecture: Shogun

Traditional CMS vs Headless CMS

Traditional CMS Headless CMS 
Hosting & delivery In house In the cloud 
Development oriented mindset Focused on projects Focused on product 
Content model Created for single page Building block for various products 
Supported model Limited Limitless 
Reach One to one One to many 
Updates Waterfall Agile 
Backend system Monolithic, all in-one Microservice, best-in-class 
Investment Large up-front cost Quick proof of concept 
Technical debt Fundamental to the system  Managed 
Workflow Waterfall Agile 

How Does a Headless CMS Work?

A headless CMS functions by : 

  • Provides an interface for editors to manage content.  
  • Provides the same range to developers via APIs to query and build applications 

Most headless CMSes are available as Software as a Service (SaaS), which means that editors will need to log into a web application, and the APIs will be housed in the cloud. One can host the entire solution on a personal server and database with some headless CMSes. This strategy requires the user to scale and operate their own business. 

Benefits of Headless CMS

1. Faster Editing Experiences 

While using the headless CMS, architectures don’t have to spend resources on content rendering and content editing. A headless CMS allows the user to overcome the complications of dealing with the rendering side of operations. 

2. Manage Content Across Various Channels 

Headless content doesn’t tie to a single presentation concern, for instance, websites; hence it gives access to find an audience on multiple channels. Headless CMS can manage content for both websites and applications, and one can manage internal/admin content on a single platform and gain additional value from the same. 

3. Developer Flexibility

Headless content is served using the APIs, and it allows developers to choose frontend tooling as per their needs: hybrid, traditional or headless. The developer has the independence to make shifts from Ruby or PHP to Javascript. It also allows the developer to interchange parts of the stack or change frameworks without causing any damage to the CMS. 

While an entirely headless CMS allows shifting the content to any presentation layer, it can create issues for non-technical marketers as they do not have editing expertise. A hybrid CMS, for instance, Liferay DXP, can assist in alleviating the problem mentioned above while using pre-built frontend tools that work with APIs to connect with backend systems. This allows marketers to create an appropriate frontend environment while using the editing tools and relevant templates to publish content. 

4. Easier Scaling 

In comparison to the traditional CMSs, headless CMS is way more scalable. For instance, if the backend is facing issues related to performance or maintenance, the team can manage the website environment without any failures, performance issues, or downtime. 

Headless adds ease to content management from a single source of truth, alters tools used by developers, and gains benefits from sending content to cloud-based hosting and building services like Netlify and Vercel. Companies tend to avoid the cost invested in starting a new project, and headless CMS’s involvement frees the businesses from the hustle of laborious processes of upgrading systems from scratch. It’s easier to create and generate value from engaging content rather than being focused on minimizing the cost invested. 

5. Enhanced Security and Superior Software Architecture

Headless content is not aligned with the presentation layer; it has a relatively more minor area at risk of an attack. For businesses creating web platforms and services, a headless CMS is an optimum choice for achieving and attaining the best practices environment with the highest levels of security and integrity.CMS provides better software architecture and protection as internal access to the CMS remains within the company. 

How to Decide on a Headless Frontend and Backend? 

Once the user adopts the headless approach, it is essential to opt for a frontend (headless) that aligns with the content strategies. 

category breakdowns in the Headless Commerce ecosystem
category breakdowns in the Headless Commerce ecosystem: Netlify

Before making the concluding decision, the marketing and technical team should consider the following factors: 

  • Will you create the functionality from the ground up or use a decoupled retail app?
  • Which frontend framework, such as React or Angular, are your developers most comfortable with?
  • Is the presentation headless because it is completely disconnected from backend commerce or content capabilities and instead relies on APIs?
  • How will the backend engine and the frontend be connected?
  • Is the front end using a serverless architecture?
  • How will your company safeguard the frontend code?
  • What kind of monitoring tools will your programmers need?
  • Is the infrastructure going to be scalable and adaptable?
  • Will the development team give technical help on an ongoing basis?
  • What added value would the new storefront provide for your company?
  • What would be the implementation timeline?

In addition to the above-stated factors, the business should consider specific parameters before selecting a frontend and a backend engine. Following are the eCommerce requirements that should be met by frontend and backend: 

  • Manage Peak Traffic: The website should be capable of loading quickly and managing traffic outbursts, especially during busy seasons. 
  • Security: To avoid hacking, the frontend CMS and backend platforms should operate safely and securely. 
  • Continuous Monitoring: The admin should constantly keep an eye on all operations and actively solve issues.  
  • Customizations: Ensure that the chosen platform can serve different needs and future requirements. 

They choose a headless commerce platform that can join forces with the CMS, static site generators, frontend framework, etc. These elements frame the backend and frontend engine of the headless architecture. 

We will discuss a list of platforms that a business can opt for to attain a seamless eCommerce experience in the upcoming session. 

Headless Commerce Frontend Frameworks

  • React.js: It is an open-source JavaScript library that can create flexible user interfaces for single-page applications. It is mainly used for managing the view layer for mobile and web apps. 
  • Vue.js: It is one of the most progressive and lightweight frameworks for JavaScript used to develop one-page applications and web interfaces. Not only for the web interfaces but Vue.js, it can also be used for mobile app development and desktop with Electron framework.  
  • Angular.js: It is a structural framework for developing highly interactive web apps. Designers can utilize HTML as the template language with AngularJS, which allows them to extend HTML syntax to communicate the application’s components quickly. Angular eliminates a lot of the code you would have to write otherwise.
  • Next.js: It allows you to use React to create server-side rendering and static web applications. It’s an excellent tool for creating your future website, and it includes many fantastic features and benefits that could make Nextjs your first choice for developing your next web app.
  • Vue Storefront: Vue Storefront is an open-source frontend for any eCommerce site that uses a current JS stack and is developed as a PWA. It builds a mobile-first user experience using contemporary technologies like Vue.Js and PWA.

Static Site Generators Platform for Headless Commerce

  1. Jekyll: Jekyll is a static site generator that is free and open source. Jekyll, like a content management system (such as Drupal or WordPress), may be used to create websites with extensive and intuitive navigation. 
  2. Hugo: Hugo is a popular open-source static site generator that offers incredible speed and flexibility. 
  3. Gatsby: Gatsby is a free and open-source React framework that allows developers to create lightning-fast websites and apps.” Developers can use Gatsby to create a site using React and interact with any data source (CMSs, Markdown, etc.). 
  4. Spike: Spike is a modern static site generator built on the webpack framework.
  5. Wyam: Wyam is a static content generator that may be used to make websites, documentation, and ebooks, among other things.
  6. VuePress: It generates pre-rendered minimalistic Vue-powered static HTML for every page and runs in the form of SPA after the page is loaded. 

What Is Headless Commerce Architecture?

basic headless architecture flowchart

In layman’s terms, headless architecture involves encapsulating all business logic and operations in APIs backed by specialized backends and made available. Any front-end channel can hook into these APIs and give the desired customer experience.

It allows you to access ‘best of breed’ platforms that are experts in their fields (for example, Commerce, CMS, Search, Payment, Customers, PIM, and Media management). Instead of using the front-end technology of your commerce or CMS platform, the headless architecture allows you to pick how you want to develop your front-end for your sales channels.

It also allows for the rapid introduction of new client touch points/front-end channels. They may all be supported by the same APIs, assuring data and functionality consistency. The processing logic for the add-to-cart event, for example, is defined only once—in the API—rather than being copied to all subsequent front-ends. The phrase ‘headless architecture’ was coined a while ago and has been used to describe this notion ever since. New meanings emerge as headless architecture develops. Some have dubbed headless commerce ‘composable commerce,’ implying that you can choose how you create your commerce applications by selecting your building components from several vendors rather than relying on a single platform vendor. 

sample headless architecture
Sample headless architecture: Infosys
sample technology view of headless architecture
Sample technology view of headless architecture : Infosys

Types of Headless Architecture

Headless solutions can be differentiated into three broad categories depending on the back-end construction. One can either build a microservice-based back end or put a platform like CMS or ecommerce to the core.  

1. Based out of API- a driven ecommerce platform 

headless-architecture driven by API
Crystallize

This option is appropriate for a  company seeking more UI design flexibility while the business logic of the business website remains standard. By using this architecture type, businesses can access pre-built ecommerce functionality. In addition to this, the companies can also save on the cost of the back-end development. 

The main ecommerce features a business can get are: 

  • Product catalog 
  • Online merchandising
  • Content management of products 
  • Checkout functionality and Online payment 
  • Entry-level order management 
  • Management of sales performance 

2. Based on API- driven CMS 

Headless eCommerce With API

If the business chooses to: 

  • Opt for developing a content-rich website (Soft-sell marketing)
  • Need for an ecommerce component for a exceptional CMS based website 

The main ecommerce features a business can get are: 

3. Based on Microservices 

  • Build-in alignment of current business capabilities 
  • Deployed and developed independently from each other 
  • Fast to test, design and deploy. 

Build Your Own eCommerce Store

Hire eCommerce Developers

Example of Headless Commerce Architecture

Headless commerce solutions include:

  • The front end is a user interface shared across sales channels.
  • APIs are a bridge between the front and back ends that allow for data requests and interchange input.
  • The back end is the logic behind all business activities and user interactions (checkout rules, promotions, catalog structure, etc.).
  • Data sources are integrated business systems used to store and handle corporate data. Corporate requirements drive integrations with business systems, and if no business systems are required, data is retrieved from the database (s).

Monolithic versus Headless Architecture

Some of the distinctions between headless and monolithic systems have previously been mentioned in defining how headless commerce works. These benefits and drawbacks result from the separation of the frontend and backend.

First, we should enumerate the positives (mainly) and negatives (limited) of the headless commerce architecture and explain why they exist.

  • Development is less problematic.
  • A single backend can power several frontends.
  • Integration with other systems is simplified and more adaptable.
  • More technical expertise is necessary

Development

Modifications to the front and backend may be done independently; a system based on a headless commerce architecture simplifies development. In a monolithic system, any change to the way information is displayed to the user requires knowledge of the entire system – an understanding of how that information is both accessed and processed. Because each modification made to one system has the potential to break the other. An improvement is also more likely to void software warranties and cause problems with future updates.

A frontend developer in a headless commerce system may make whatever modification they want while just needing to understand the backend interface — the APIs – and backend developers can allow new features by supporting new APIs. Since making adjustments is easier, development may be faster and more agile. This distinction between frontend and backend will enable developers to specialize, implying that new features may be built more quickly in smaller teams. Larger teams find it simpler to locate skilled developers, and these employees, in general, have a better understanding of their areas of specialty.

This decoupling also allows whole separate teams to oversee the various systems. Or even systems managed by different companies – for example, a new frontend could be licensed as SaaS.

Multiple frontends

This offers flexibility because the headless commerce system simply has to give the frontend an interface (through APIs). Initially, the sole user touchpoint linked to the back end might be a website, but with headless, a mobile application, PWAs, kiosks, wearables, voice interfaces, and so on may be connected.

With a decoupled headless commerce platform, just one system must process information, requiring minimal development work to serve all touchpoints while maintaining consistency. There is also some “future-proofing.” Web technologies, for example, evolve at a breakneck pace; when something new emerges, it can simply be integrated into the old backend.

Integrations

This offers flexibility because the headless commerce system simply has to give the frontend an interface (through APIs). Initially, the sole user touchpoint linked to the back end might be a website, but with headless, a mobile application, PWAs, kiosks, wearables, voice interfaces, and so on may be connected.

With a decoupled headless commerce platform, just one system must process information, requiring minimal development work to serve all touchpoints while maintaining consistency. There is also some “future-proofing.” Web technologies, for example, evolve at a breakneck pace; when something new emerges, it can simply be integrated into the old backend. Furthermore, conversion rates may be increased by giving multiple payment methods to different categories of clients. Because the number of eCommerce tools accessible is rising exponentially, being able to swiftly test and integrate these products can significantly influence business performance.

Technical Knowledge

To take advantage of the opportunities described above, a team with the expertise to execute these changes is required. There are significant distinctions between designing a single system that handles everything and constructing a collection of interconnected ones. The current trend in eCommerce is to collaborate with “best-of-breed” solutions, but this isn’t doable without extra skills, and if it is, headless commerce solutions alleviate the pain.

The team will need to include the same people as any other tech-focused eCommerce firm – frontend developers, backend developers, architects, project managers, and so on – but there will also need to be a tight collaboration with the marketing team.

Monolithic versus headless architectures

The Advantages of A Headless Architecture for eCommerce 

Adopting a “continuous updating” mentality means that contemporary technologies are developed in a specific way for a purpose and that developers should remain open to these new possibilities. This is straightforward: new technologies are better, more powerful, and more adaptable, and new technologies address the shortcomings of earlier systems. That is precisely the case with “Headless Architecture for eCommerce,” or simply Headless eCommerce – an effective technique to construct fully-customizable, tailor-made eCommerce solutions for the end client. As a full-stack developer who enjoys developing and writing code, Headless eCommerce provides greater freedom of expression and creativity, liberating the developer from numerous limitations and allowing the developer to provide the best possible solution for both the front- and backends. 

The benefits of Headless architecture may be summed up in four points: 

Greater Flexibility and Customization for Both Developers and Users 

Without a standard eCommerce platform’s limits, frontend developers may be proactively creative in developing the user experience they want to provide to the ultimate user. Templates and databases (and other server-related difficulties) are no longer inextricably linked, which means that continual updates to meet client preferences are no longer required. Experienced developers who enjoy writing code and building apps from the ground up will relish the opportunity to immerse themselves in this exciting environment. In this setting, developers might be not only strategic decision-makers executors but also all-around counselors to their customers, from strategy to execution. Calls to the application’s different backend RESTful APIs (which, in turn, may be fully customized to satisfy any demand) provide the link between the two worlds, handling various requests between the presentation and the software layer. Furthermore, users of the application may be provided with a completely personalized and unique user experience tailored to the customer’s exact demands. 

Perfect Ecosystems for The Omnichannel Strategy 

In this setting, developers might be not only strategic decision-makers executors but also all-around counselors to their customers, from strategy to execution. 

Calls to the application’s different backend RESTful APIs (which, in turn, may be fully customized to satisfy any demand) provide the link between the two worlds, handling various requests between the presentation and the software layer. 

Furthermore, users of the application may be provided with a completely personalized and unique user experience tailored to the customer’s exact demands. The ideal setting for an ‘omnichannel approach.’ 

From an IOT standpoint, the omnichannel strategy (also known as the omnichannel method) allows us to refine the matter further. 

The omnichannel strategy/approach is a sales strategy in which all customer care and fulfillment channels collaborate to provide the best degree of comfort for retail network shoppers. The concept is simple yet effective: the more integrated resources a client has at their disposal for purchasing, the better their buying experience. Companies must take a road from non-integrated optimization of several contact points to progressively integrated management to fulfill the actual essence of an omnichannel strategy. The article was provided using the omnichannel strategy. Users connect with the firm through various on- and offline touchpoints with the same seamless experience without repeating the process each time. 

One of the most critical aspects of an omnichannel experience is giving the same quality and customization to the consumer across all platforms, touchpoints, and devices. 

The structure and features of the Headless architecture allow for the inclusion of additional sales channels without the need for a new specialized backend for each addition. Centralizing the API and the database and having an unlimited number of ‘heads’ (frontend points) enables a considerably greater degree of integration. Greater harmony across the various channels is achieved far more accessible, faster, and more effectively than the previous technique and with far fewer resources. 

Painless Dedicated Solutions 

A Headless architecture seeks to configure the best eCommerce solutions to match the client company’s demands. This entails taking a comprehensive, tailored strategy to provide the optimal solution, both in terms of backend maintenance after release and ultimate usability. 

The Headless solution’s power and flexibility come into play – in facilitating a dedicated solution tailored to the specific customer that produces the desired user experience, uses the most appropriate backend technologies, and allows changes to be made without rebuilding the architecture.

The Time to Market Ratio Is Reduced and Enhanced

Headless architecture aims to improve the time to market ratio dramatically. The time-to-market concept (also known as TTM) in the business sphere is the period from developing a new idea or product until it is accessible in the marketplace. Because the backend components are distinct, a Headless method makes it easier to supply new frontend pieces (campaigns, banners, upgrades) in much shorter timeframes. Reactions to recent market trends may be adopted quickly, allowing new features to be launched in days or weeks rather than months, improving the time to market ratio. 

Differences Between Headless vs Other CMS Architectures For Commerce

A headless Content Management System (CMS) is software that enables non-technical individuals to generate, manage, and alter content for a website or application. A website, smartphone app, or another smart device might serve as the frontend. A headless CMS provides APIs to link the content repository to the frontend (head). On the other hand, a typical CMS is a software that allows individuals to generate, manage, and edit website content without requiring specialist technical skills. A conventional CMS’s architectural implementation is monolithic and stiff, forming solid ties between frontend templates and backend administration, rendering, controllers, and databases. A conventional CMS often handles extensibility through a plugin system to add more features and functionality to a website.

Traditional CMS vs Headless CMS

What Are The Benefits Of Headless Commerce?

  1. Improved employee adoption: Some businesses may be hesitant to adopt new technology because of high learning curves. Because everyone on your team can simply access and update the front end without sophisticated knowledge, having a contemporary commerce platform alongside the ease of headless commerce overcomes this problem.
  2. The proper equipment for the job: Headless commerce empowers companies to create unique experiences for their customers that they cannot get anyplace else. APIs are critical for ensuring coordinated, brand-consistent experiences across channels powered by shared commerce services such as promotions, inventories, product information, and more.
  3. Savings in IT time: Developers save time on user interface modifications since updates to the front end may be implemented quickly. Furthermore, with headless templates and partner solutions, developers need a few clicks or minimal coding to get commerce apps up and to run.
  4. It’s market time: Businesses can swiftly develop new frontend experiences with headless commerce. Reacting to a new market trend may be done quickly and with little back-end development costs.
  5. To go genuinely omnichannel (without the discomfort): First and foremost, a headless content management system will assist you in propelling your material anywhere. That includes providing your products, product videos, or blog articles via whatever channel has evolved — or will arise — for an eCommerce company. 
  6. To stay competitive: A headless commerce platform allows you to release updates quickly without disrupting your backend infrastructure. And you can quickly alter your frontend to keep up with the pace of consumer technology. Major commerce firms that use a conventional platform often release updates every few weeks. When a frontend system is not strongly tied to the backend, you do not have to update the entire system, simply a portion of it.
  7. For agile marketing: When new technologies emerge, a headless commerce system can support them. This is ideal for creating new consumer experiences. This puts marketing teams back in control, allowing them to launch many sites across multiple brands, divisions, and portfolios.
  8. To personalize and consistency the customer experience: Even if customers’ demands vary over time, they should still receive a consistent customer experience across all devices and channels. Furthermore, individuals prefer to purchase from eCommerce firms that understand their demands across all platforms. This goes beyond the standard “those who bought X also bought Y.” The backend already knows what a customer has purchased, and this information is used to power customization algorithms on CMS, mobile applications, and social platforms.
  9. For seamless integrations: A headless commerce solution must, by definition, have an API (such as GraphQL), which makes it simpler to connect and communicate with other platforms. Any new gadget may be branded, boosting your chances and reaching out to more clients simultaneously. It will also take hours rather than months to integrate your commerce platform with a new device.
  10. The user may experiment with various themes and methodologies with headless commerce in place for effective conversion optimization. For example, while running the exact frontend search, one may experiment with a different backend search solution. Consequently, headless commerce enables users to perform continuous tests and optimization cycles, allowing them to gain a more profound knowledge of their customers while improving their learning rate faster than other merchants.
  11. Faster time to market: If the company successfully creates a multi-channel or omnichannel shopping experience using a typical eCommerce platform, time to market will be excruciatingly long, and scaling will be complex. On the other hand, a headless commerce platform allows marketers to focus on developing frontend experiences across many devices and touchpoints because content and items are held centrally and provided through API to any location. This allows for a speedier time to market when implementing new channels, entering new markets, etc.

What Are The Benefits Of Headless Commerce For Your Ecommerce Site?

Reduced time to market

When you go headless, you should speed up your experimentation and alterations. This solves the age-old problem of developers being unable to work on both frontend and backend systems at the same time. Customer-facing tasks may be done separately without waiting for backend work and vice versa. It implies you may isolate copy from code and allow one team to continue working independently without relying on the other to complete first.

Greater control and quicker scaling

Existing systems written in various languages can impede necessary interconnections, even if they negatively impact the user experience. Headless gets along with everyone. According to data, 57 percent of IT and ecommerce leaders believe their existing platform will be able to sustain their organization for no more than 12 months. With its powerful APIs, headless allows you to link all of your current systems (ERP, PIM, IMS, etc.) to create a shopping experience in your programming language. It safeguards you against technological disruptions, but it also allows you the freedom to move at your speed and adapt as swiftly as commerce itself.

Personalization has been enhanced.

Customer behavior is your North Star while working with headless. It gives developers more freedom to provide data to users, independent of the device they’re using. Headless allows you to rapidly split test what you create in order to improve the customer experience and conversion rate. You may modify any storefront where your customer’s shop, sending data to them. When the buying experience is highly individualized, shoppers are 40% more likely to spend more than expected. Going headless gives your company the agility to stay up with shifting consumer acquisition trends.

What Are The Benefits Of Headless Commerce For Customers?

Balance Privacy and Personalization

In today’s world, online privacy is one of the biggest concerns for online shoppers. However, as per the industry research, customers are still open to sharing data in revert of personalized shopping experiences. Headless commerce enables you to collect and exchange data across platforms. If a customer opens an account on your ecommerce website and then continues shopping on a separate device (such as a smartwatch), a headless architecture allows you to sync their data across the two. Provide tailored product suggestions, cross-device shopping cart saving, and the preferred payment option based on a repeat customer’s order history.

A True Omnichannel Experience

The customer journey is more complicated: 74% of customers have utilized numerous channels to initiate and finish a purchase. Another 76% choose multiple commerce outlets depending on the situation. Because shopping experiences are available to online and offline customers, headless and omnichannel are an excellent complement. A smartphone app, an internet of things devices such as a smart mirror or watch, voice purchasing, a Buy button, or a progressive web app can all be used for headless commerce. Headless commerce converts each client touchpoint into a sales opportunity, with the commerce side controlled by a single backend.

More Trust and Loyalty to Brands

At the end of the day, every client wants to know that they can trust the organizations they do business with. While achieving (and maintaining) consumer loyalty might be difficult, there is a significant benefit for both companies and customers. When customers trust a company, they get a sense of mental relaxation that their requirements will be addressed. Not to mention the relief of not spending hours tracking down a parcel, haggling with customer care, or battling a glitchy or inaccessible shop.

Headless Commerce Use Cases

1. Custom Solutions

One of the chief causes to go headless is that you have large ideas that no one system can give out of the box. Perhaps you’ve discovered the personalization you want by working with open-source platforms in the past but could not handle the lengthy development cycles and upkeep.

Headless allows you to preserve the customization while saving money and time on maintenance. Perhaps you’ve worked on SaaS but discovered that it was limiting your ability to innovate.

Headless can provide you with the best of both worlds in terms of open SaaS. APIs provide the flexibility required to go beyond the boundaries of any one platform or technology and link systems in a more modular manner. BigCommerce’s Channels Toolkit makes it even simpler to identify, test, and onboard headless solutions directly from the Channel Manager.

Being inventive and delivering distinctive and appealing digital experiences to clients may make or ruin an ecommerce business. To keep on the leading edge, headless can make it easier to adapt and pivot your site.

2. Content Management System (CMS).

When the headless method is combined with a CMS, it creates a potent combo. The ecommerce platform is detached from the presentation layer in these circumstances, allowing a brand to employ popular CMS systems like WordPress, DXPs like Drupal, or bespoke frontend solutions for exceptional customer experiences that drive conversion.

a)  WordPress

WordPress

WordPress is the CMS of choice for over 30 million websites worldwide. With the release of BigCommerce’s BigCommerce for WordPress plugin, the WordPress brand now has a scalable, SaaS option. BigCommerce also collaborates with Nexcess to provide unrivaled WordPress hosting support.

b) Contentful

Contentful

Contentful is a headless CMS and API-first content management platform that enables users to create, manage, and distribute content across several digital channels. Unlike typical CMSs, Contentful allows customers complete control over their content model, allowing them to pick which material to manage. Users may utilize REST APIs to distribute content across websites, mobile applications, and a number of other platforms. Contentful is a user-friendly interface that allows individuals to manage their content alone or grant-specific roles, rights, and validations to collaborate with a team.

c) Prismic

prismic-io

Prismic is a headless website builder that assists digital businesses in unlocking growth via optimized performance, powerful branding, and rapid iteration. As an API-first, hosted, proprietary CMS, Prismic provides a web interface for authoring and publishing content that is user-friendly for both developers and editors. Prismic, unlike other solutions, is compatible with all technologies, allowing developers to use whatever tools/languages they prefer; it enables content teams to work independently, updating content in the authoring environment without involving developers; and it does not require infrastructure management, allowing marketing teams to start creating and publishing content right away.

d)  Contentstack

Contentstack

Contentstack, a forerunner in agile CMS, enables marketers and developers to collaborate on content. Contentstack, as a headless, API-first solution, strives to ease content production by isolating frontend content from backend code, allowing developers to produce and manage content using RESTful APIs. Teams may use Contenstack’s technology to publish to many platforms, including online marketplaces and mobile apps. Contentstack, like Prism, allows teams to build content independently of backend engineers, allowing them to get their websites up and running rapidly and flawlessly.

3. Digital Experience Platform (DXP).

The Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is a new category of enterprise software that aims to address the demands of firms undertaking digital transformation in order to provide better customer experiences. DXPs can be a single product or a collection of goods that operate together. DXPs enable businesses to digitize business activities, create connected customer experiences, and collect meaningful consumer intelligence.

Digital Experience Platform (DXP).
digital experience platform: BigCommerce

a) Bloomreach

Bloomreach is a DXP and headless commerce system designed specifically for big, business merchants. The solution provides a microservice/headless architecture and APIs to decrease IT complexity while providing a one-of-a-kind experience from the site through the checkout. Bloomreach’s microservice architecture and relationship with BigCommerce may be a suitable fit for merchants running a full omnichannel business.

b) Uniform

Uniform is a frictionless DXP designed for current performance and scalability requirements. Their system enables merchants to incorporate both traditional and headless solutions without having to re-platform. This implies that customers may apply omnichannel strategies and develop new user experiences in real-time, regardless of how their tech stacks grow over time.

c) Amplience

Amplience is a DXP that is designed to fulfill client expectations both now and in the future. Amplience, which works with over 400 businesses ranging from Crate & Barrel to Primark, offers feature-rich, enterprise-level, out-of-the-box DAM (digital asset management), DXP, and CMS capabilities. Amplience, using a MACH methodology, provides a developer-powered, business-enabled solution for users wishing to build outstanding digital experiences while keeping up with growing trends.

4. Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

Progressive web apps (PWA) are online applications that leverage the most recent web capabilities to provide users with a native app-like experience. They are standard web pages or websites, but they might seem to the user as traditional programs or native mobile apps. They integrate the capabilities of websites with mobile apps to provide an immersive user experience, which can result in increased conversion rates and more time spent on the site.

a) Vue Storefront

Vue Storefront enables retailers to create compelling user experiences that work across all devices. It links to all major ecommerce backends, including BigCommerce, with ease. The solution powers the remainder of the experience using PWAs, allowing marketers to upgrade their user interface without affecting the backend.

b) Next.js

Next.js is a React framework that allows users to create fast, user-friendly static webpages and single-page JavaScript apps. Next.js provides all of the out-of-the-box features needed to make the web quicker and fulfill consumer expectations, including hybrid static and server rendering, code splitting and bundling, rapid refresh, zero setup, and more.

c) Gatsby.

Gatsby is a React-based, GraphQL-powered framework that integrates elements of React, GraphQL, webpack, and other frontend technologies to improve the developer experience. Gatsby makes it easier and more pleasurable for developers to construct websites and generate excellent user experiences by handling code-splitting, code minification, and other backend optimizations.

Examples Of Headless Commerce In Action

a) Burrow

Burrow

b) The Good and the Beautiful.

good and beautiful

c) West Elm

west elm

d) Nomad

nomadgoods

e) J. Crew

jcrew

f) Bosch

Bosch

g) Steinhoff

steinhoff

How Does Headless Commerce Impact Your Customers?

Instantaneous Changes and Optimization

When a company adds new material to its front end, the changes are reflected practically immediately. Traditional commerce architecture-based sites, on the other hand, might take minutes, if not hours (read: too long), before all consumers can see a brand’s current look.

Rich User Experiences and Interfaces 

Because companies can now easily control all of the aspects with which customers engage, marketers may be more creative with the material they post on their websites to create experimental design. Furthermore, headless commerce’s global interoperability guarantees that your website operates effortlessly and as intended across all devices and viewing modes. Traditional ecommerce website managers, on the other hand, must account for responsive design to reduce the danger of elements vanishing or showing wrongly on different devices. 

Some Headless Commerce Myths 

It is evident that with the current headless commerce buzzes in the eCommerce landscape showcases potential for bringing drastic performance changes and excellent user experiences for businesses. However, there/s is bound to be a certain level of disinformation and confusion that follows the popularity of subjects with such complex structure.

Headless commerce discussions are not immune to data and information relays that transform it into a skeptical space. 

Myth 1: High Risk Associated with Implementation Process of Headless Commerce 

It should be noted that solution migrations, lengthy data and overhauls are not essential to gain access to a headless commerce solution. In fact, once up and running, the proper solution will be much safer and more secure. This is especially significant for merchants who are transitioning from a monolithic tech stack to a microservices-based strategy. The prospect can be frightening for a variety of reasons such as data loss, faulty transfers, and other human blunders. Using a headless commerce platform, on the other hand, can reduce this risk and speed up the transition from a monolithic structure to a best-of-breed microservices.

The ideal headless commerce solution will integrate with your existing systems by consuming data from all sources, rearranging it into a uniform schema, and then delivering it to your storefront via our APIs. The static site generation process of your webstore is enabled by efficiently delivering this data. By removing the typical origin server architecture, static site creation improves site speed, performance, and security. Following that, code is created in a single codebase for all downstream devices.

As your website grows, you can remove and implement additional systems while still maintaining the abstraction layer. The platform provides the heavy lifting and enables best-of-breed microservices, saving merchants the trouble of making the conversion to microservices on their own.

Myth 2: All Experiences Built on Headless Commerce Are Equal

The requirements for headless builds might vary greatly depending on factors such as company size and the expertise of your in-house development team. Not all headless commerce builds are made equal, and what works for one may not work for another.

Myth 3: A Synchronization Between Two Monolithic Systems Counts As Headless Commerce.

The phrase “headless commerce” has been diluted. As previously stated, the strict definition of headless commerce is a separation between the frontend and the backend; yet, some comments will claim that and then refer to a solution that disregards that definition. An eCommerce platform that syncs and transfers data to another vendor’s CMS, for example, is not necessarily headless if the CMS is also loading the frontend experience. Customers will not get the headless PWA experience when purchasing even if the frontend and backend are “independent” in terms of suppliers. To do a successful headless build, the frontend framework and backend code must be well separated, regardless of the systems or solutions employed.

Myth 4: A Headless Commerce Solution Cannot Scale or Grow With You.

With a microservices strategy, the ideal headless commerce solution will be adaptable and fluid, supporting business growth and changing demands. When considering technology, technical debt will always be a factor, and decreasing debt may be used to justify headless commerce and a best-of-breed software strategy. If the user is utilizing a monolithic solution that is limiting your brand, headless commerce can provide access to different options.

Myth 5: The only advantage of a headless commerce solution is faster site speed.

The lightning-fast page load rates enabled by headless commerce and progressive web apps (PWAs) generate stunning benefits that immediately improve your most essential eCommerce KPIs, such as conversion rate and average order value. However, there are many more advantages to headless commerce and PWAs than just increased speed. The ability to go mobile-first and develop a native app-like experience on a mobile browser may pay off big time, especially if your marketing team is investing in social media advertising. Your advertisements may be effective, but if customers are confronted with a store that is not suited for their device, they will go. 

How Do You Get Started With Headless Commerce?

1. Determine if you should stick with your current commerce platform or change it. 

Adding APIs to your existing commerce platform may be the best option for small businesses. Many mid-market or corporate firms, on the other hand, prefer to use a SaaS (software as a service) solution. In the long term, a SaaS platform provides greater scalability and flexibility.

If you already have a Shopify store, you’re in luck. Shopify provides a plethora of APIs that can assist you in becoming headless without losing access to the commerce features you now have.

2. Select a Headless CMS.

A headless content management system (CMS) is the way to go if you want to distribute material to visitors across numerous media. You may then utilize a single CMS to develop content tailored to each channel and user experience. Your dependable API will sync your frontend and backend, providing the appropriate material to the touchpoints.

You can use an open-source CMS or one provided by a SaaS company. An open-source system provides maximum freedom, but it requires more specialized skills to design and install. If you want to get started quickly and cheaply, SaaS is a terrific option.

3. Synchronize your CMS and APIs.

Consider syncing to be “linking ahead” to your headless CMS. When it comes to a seamless system that combines the frontend and backend, this is a vital phase in the process—where the proverbial magic happens. We propose taking gradual steps when moving from a traditional commerce platform rather than going all-in. Build and sync APIs to smaller areas of your headless CMS, such as a blog post or landing page. Once you’re sure in the method, test, optimize, and scale-up.

Is Headless Commerce Fit For All eCommerce Stores? 

The short answer is no—headless is not suitable for every online shop. If your company is doing well with traditional architecture, investing in headless may not be worth the money and time resources. It all depends on what you want to achieve and whether going headless is the best way to get there.

However, suppose you want to provide a more customized and unique client experience while also being more flexible in your development. You have the development resources to enable a headless transformation, and in that case, headless may be perfect for you.

The Two Biggest Drawbacks Of Headless Commerce

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no single formula for market dominance. Each technology has advantages and disadvantages, and headless e-commerce is no exception. The two most significant disadvantages of headless commerce are the initial setup fees and the complexity of the development team.

Ongoing Costs

Trying anything new typically comes with some upfront costs. Because a headless e-commerce platform often does not have a frontend component, the creation of presentation layers falls mainly on the shoulders of an organization. Aside from that, headless systems incur maintenance expenses due to their complicated non-standard design, which includes a different front and backend.

Whatever it is, each significant undertaking needs time and work. It is entirely feasible to minimize expenditures and maximize the potential of your idea with the help of a specialized technical team.

Market Isolation 

Everything in life is relative. With the benefit of technology and variety comes the disadvantage of team complexity. A single team may maintain frontend and backend layers in a monolith, which also applies to QA. On the other hand, a small crew is not the ideal solution for supporting and maintaining a completely headless system. 

Building an API-driven architecture requires many more technologies than traditional platform development, which implies expanding the development workforce and enlisting the assistance of third-party vendors. Even if you already have a dedicated team in place, you must simplify your team’s activities and duties and learn how to correctly assign new work to avoid wasting essential resources and promptly achieve the intended outcomes.

How Headless Commerce Supports Omnichannel Retail?

Omnichannel shopping allows customers to shop from ecommerce stores online or offline using any internet-connected device. For online merchants, user experience is critical, and establishing a seamless and straightforward shopping environment for their potential customers to explore can enhance conversions and the worth of your brand. Headless commerce is the only way to use omnichannel shopping properly, and shopping across many channels is soon becoming the norm. Brands that fail to provide compelling experiences across digital platforms, physical shops, and other devices will lose market share and income. 

Can All Commerce Platforms Support a “Headless” Approach?

Some suppliers were born headless, which we refer to as “native” headless commerce platforms in this piece. This indicates that the software solution was designed from the start to have a headless architecture. There are benefits to adopting a native headless platform if you’re going headless, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only option to go headless. Given the popularity of headless commerce in general, many, but not all, traditional commerce systems (i.e., those not born as headless) now enable the option to run in headless mode. The critical factor to consider is how well or cleanly these providers can support the headless method. 

Headless Commerce Platforms To Consider

Snipcart

Snipcart

Snipcart is a robust HTML/JavaScript shopping cart framework designed for developers. It allows you to implement bespoke e-commerce to any website or online application quickly. Snipcart is not platform-specific, and they provide essential “add to cart” HTML buttons and a configurable JavaScript shopping cart in just two lines of code.

Commerce.js

Commercejs

Commerce.js has you covered whether you’re starting from scratch with vanilla JavaScript or utilizing a popular framework like React, Next, or Vue. Commerce.js lets you easily construct storefronts from your e-commerce backend by providing specific e-commerce APIs for product data, cart functionality, and checkout features. It makes it easier to implement e-commerce on Jamstack.

Swell

Swell

E-commerce businesses frequently outgrow their tools and must shift to something new. Swell intends to alter that. They provide e-commerce enterprises with a “future-proof backend” that works at any scale.

Their adaptability and limitless modification support this promise. They offer an easy-to-use, flexible dashboard that is understandable to their marketing, engineers, and operations staff. Swell includes a headless storefront theme that is hosted on our servers. You may also host it yourself or use our API to create any type of shopping experience.

Commercetools

Commercetools

Commercetools is designed for large, complicated businesses. They provide a vast collection of over 300 API endpoints for your commerce apps. With so many a la carte alternatives, e-commerce businesses can simply take a gradual approach, experimenting with new features such as live chat, inventory management, and more rather than implementing them all at once. Commercetools solely manages the commerce layer; it lacks an integrated digital experience platform or content management system, hence it must work with other Jamstack tools. However, because they are API-first, integrating Commercetools with your preferred CMS is simple.

Nacelle

Nacelle

Nacelle indexes and optimizes data from your backend systems, such as your e-commerce platform, CMS, OMS, and PIM, before importing it into your frontend codebase.

Shopify

Shopify logo

Shopify has long been a one-dimensional platform. However, with the introduction of Shopify’s GraphQL API, headless commerce opened up a whole new world of possibilities for Shopify retailers. It’s the best of both worlds: you can benefit from Shopify’s admin’s stability, security, and well-built architecture while updating the storefront development experience.Shopify is also well-known for its huge app marketplace. Many of the applications in this shop are simple to install, while some require the use of Shopify’s proprietary programming language. Shopify Plus is often implemented for a multiyear contract, therefore fees vary.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an API-first, adaptable eCommerce platform that assists merchants in growing their business and sales at all stages of development. Developers are treated as first-class citizens, and BigCommerce makes it quite simple to begin developing an integration to the platform, whether it’s an app that extends their inherent capabilities. BigCommerce differs from other big multi-tenant eCommerce providers in that, unlike Shopify, it does not limit API calls to the platform.

Builder.io

Builder.io

Builder.io includes a headless CMS and a visual editor. They provide a large number of themes, making it an excellent solution for businesses with little creative resources. Another advantage of Builder.io is their outstanding Shopify integration.

Bloomreach

Bloomreach

Bloomreach is a headless CMS and Digital Experience platform that allows marketers to make changes without the help of a development staff. Bloomreach Experience (brX) comes included with content management, product search, and merchandising features, making it simple to create personalized, omnichannel shopping experiences without writing code. They also work with popular headless commerce platforms such as commercetools and BigCommerce.

Adobe Commerce  (Previously Magento Commerce)

adobe commerce

Adobe Commerce enables developers to create bespoke apps with a high level of customisation based on the demands of the customer. Experimentation can allow this customisation. 

Magento allows for experimentation since the systems are separated and do not interfere with each other’s activities. 

The modular design allows for rapid addition of new features and integrations. 

The.com 

thecom

The.com’s site editor loads before the real site, elevating WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) to a whole new level. This makes customizing the appearance and feel of the site quite easily.

The.com’s serverless hosting allows you to build and modify your site without limitations, while keeping it fast and safe.

OroCommerce 

OroCommerce 

OroCommerce was created by the same leadership team that created Magento and specializes on B2B solutions. Having said that, the platform may be tailored to meet any B2B, B2B2C, B2B2B, or B2C eCommerce requirement. Inventory management tools in OroCommerce allow you to manage several websites and warehouses. Catalogs may be personalized and prices can be adjusted.

Acro Media

Acro Media

Acro Media is an eCommerce platform development firm that strategizes, designs, and delivers eCommerce solutions using Drupal technology. It assists you in developing collaborative collaborations through the use of an agile approach.

Kentico Content

Kentico Content

Kentico Content is a headless CMS that gives you the freedom to install new applications that will set you apart from the competition and help you increase your business.

Salsita Software  

Salsita Software  

The Prague-based studio has over ten years of expertise developing smart, modern online and mobile applications. It employs a user-experience-first strategy that prioritizes product quality while decreasing development time and expenses.

It focuses on developing platforms that provide quick load times, comprehensive frontend customisation, individualized consumer experiences, more flexibility, and a genuinely omnichannel experience. All of this helps you save money and future-proof your platform.

Salsita Software provides customer service by phone, email, and a ticketing system. Pricing is available based on your specific needs.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Headless Platform

1. Is a frontend packaged with it?

Some headless commerce platforms include both the back and front ends, which can act as an assest for some. 

It depends on the needs of the user; if the developer’s team is working on a custom site and app, a ready-made frontend website may not be the best option. Even if both pieces come together, the user will have access to all the benefits listed above, including the ability to change frontends in the future, add additional digital channels and connectors, and build eCommerce stack more effectively.

2. Does it have APIs which cover your required integrations?

If the user already holds integration needs for existing or prospective tools, must be validated.This is important for the team building the integrations to understand because there’s a considerable difference between having an available API integration and knowing that the API will work with your chosen ESP.

3. Are its APIs generic enough to support future requirements?

We don’t know what the future holds, but it’s pretty guaranteed that substantial changes will occur. We may not be able to plan beyond five to ten years in eCommerce, but the platform chosen must be able to meet the more urgent needs. This support can be certified if bringing kiosks inside the business is on your to-do list. A well-designed interface should allow integration with a wide variety of tools in various ways, regardless of what else might happen.

4. Can your team understand how it works?

Because headless commerce requires more technical engagement, development teams must have the necessary abilities to access the needed code and use the platform as efficiently as possible. 

This covers the quality of the interfaces, the documentation, and the level of support and training supplied. 

A brilliant place to start would be for your team to evaluate any existing documentation.Business teams must be able to manage the solution in addition to technical teams: marketers must generate content, and merchandisers must serve the good products, all through the new system. 

It’s also crucial to evaluate what interface is offered for continuous maintenance and address similar questions.

5. Is your company set up to take advantage?

All of the primary advantages of headless commerce are worthless if the company cannot use them. 

When deciding whether a company is ready, ask the following questions:

  • Are the benefits relevant to my company’s size, goods, services, and stage of development?
  • Is my company’s strategy compatible with these benefits? 
  • Is it necessary to connect online, offline, or on other channels? 
  • Will the capacity to build these touchpoints flexibly provide a distinct value proposition?
  • Are my groups ready? 
  • Is there enough bandwidth to support a new project, and do they have the necessary expertise? 

This is especially true for technical teams, but everyone else must participate.  

Where Do Personalization And Testing Fit In?

Marketers want to provide tailored, optimized, and synchronized experiences; how can we merge these systems? I addressed this briefly while addressing integrations, but because everything in a headless commerce architecture has APIs, achieving these goals is significantly more possible.

If you wish to test search providers, you can simply perform an A/B test between the two API endpoints provided by the headless commerce and personalization platforms. However, for such testing, it is more important to include members of the technical team. Someone must comprehend the search interface and develop the code to route a section of customers to one search provider and another to the other. It is crucial to note that APIs are not required for all tests; they may be integrated with client-side testing. With the headless commerce platform, you can design more interesting API-based use cases and use client-side ease of use to allow marketing and business teams to iterate more quickly without relying heavily on tech teams.

To create an experience, the APIs from the headless commerce platform are integrated with those from the testing/personalization platform.

There are several techniques that may be adopted, depending on the complexities of each tool, but at a high level, it follows this pattern:

  • In the headless commerce platform, several variations are generated — this might be something simple, like a banner on the site, or something more systemic, like the search provider.
  • Assume three variants are created: A, B, and C.
  • These variants are then referenced as variations in the customization platform, allowing testing and targeting to be configured. For example, versions A and B are set to be tested for all users except those in the country’s south, who will see variation C.
  • The customization platform does not need to comprehend the variants; it just needs to know which variation should be given to each user and assess how the users engage with them.
  • When a user is offered a tailored experience, the frontend request is intercepted and sent to the customization API. The customization API then returns a reference to the variant of the headless commerce platform, which is fetched and finally provided to the frontend.
  • The user is shown the returned variant via the frontend.
  • Events are delivered to the customization platform to track interactions with experiences and key performance indicators (KPIs), including conversions, add-to-carts, and transactions.

Consider Your Costs

One of the most frequent questions during the transitioning period is the cost to be invested in the development. the three key areas that tend to influence the total cost are:

  • Fees for a Subscription license
  • Type of Headless Commerce chosen by the business
  • Cost for implementation and re-platforming

At Emizentech, typically, the cost starts from 15,000 USD and above, depending on the brand’s unique needs.

Headless Commerce The Future Of eCommerce 

The route to growth entails pivoting to meet new customer and social expectations. Businesses are increasingly looking to use headless commerce.

So, what exactly is headless commerce, and how should you assess it to see whether it’s a good match for you?

Because of the growing gap between frontend and backend technology, many stores are embracing the headless commerce strategy. A headless commerce solution becomes a collection of backend services that any frontend solution can access by eliminating the conventional practice of bundling a commerce solution with a fully integrated storefront. This allows businesses to develop their storefront UI independently of the backend system and apps, resulting in an optimal customer experience. By separating the development cycles for the commerce engine and the storefront, enterprises may respond to market changes faster and lower the time-to-market for product updates and additions. This is crucial in a volatile economy.

Terminology Associated with Headless Commerce

  • Content Management System (CMS): Software is used to store and create videos, articles, images, or other digital content. 
  • eCommerce platform: Firms use software to sell services and products online.  
  • Personalization engine or platform: The software provides tailored content messaging and recommendations in and out on digital channels. 
  • Digital experience platform (DXP): A lower-level component related to the architecture domain works to combine services to create personalized and connected customer experiences. 
  • Monolithic software: Applications are used for combining code for the data access and interface. 
  • Frontend: It is a user interface. For instance, a website is used by people to buy products. 
  • Backend: The system responsible for storing and processing data is usually available on a server somewhere. 
  • Application Programming Interface (API): A connection allows applications to interact with each other and a set of functions that can be used to trigger actions or access data. 
  • RESTful: An architecture for web services such as APIs allows requests to receive all essential information using uniform resource identifiers (URIs) without maintaining the client state on the server. 
  • Web services: Web servers that reply to requests for a domain-specific task to be completed.
  • Microservice architecture: An architectural style in which applications are organized as a collection of loosely connected services.
  • Loose coupling: Where different bundled services are as independent as feasible, e.g., a change in one service does not necessitate updating the others.
  • Presentation and application layers: Telecommunications layers of the open systems interconnection (OSI) concept. The presentation could include data decryption as well as a set of APIs. This word is sometimes overused to refer to the separation of frontend and backend code.
  • Omnichannel: Creating a consistent customer experience across several interaction channels, such as the email, app, call center, web in-store, etc.

Are You Looking for  the Latest E Commerce Tools and Tips for Growing Your Business?

Contact us to learn more about how headless commerce is being used to develop power content- and experience-driven online stores. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Headless Commerce

  1. What is a headless approach?

    A headless approach involves separating the front-end and back-end of your ecommerce website to allow for rapid development and customization on each end. It is different from a full-stack approach, which calls for the front-end and back-end to be developed in tandem, leaving less room for expedited changes.

  2. Is Shopify a headless CMS?

    Shopify is an ecommerce platform that plays nicely with a headless setup. Merchants can use third-party applications to build the front-end presentation layer and pull data from Shopify via the GraphQL Storefront API. The API also lets you design and implement your own checkout flow, as well as build a cart that unlocks features like estimated totals with taxes, duties, and discounts.

  3. How do I get started with headless commerce?

    >> Decide whether you want to keep or switch your commerce platform.
    >> Choose a headless CMS.
    >> Sync your CMS and APIs. 
    >> Consider costs and time.

  4. Can I transition my website from a traditional application to a headless one?

    Switching to a headless application is an obvious query that might arise after reviewing the difference between the two ecommerce platforms mentioned above. Fortunately, it is possible. Headless is a flexible and versatile platform that allows users to transfer modules and functions that hold great value for a business. 

  5. Does switching from monolithic to headless commerce take a lot of time?

    As a company, you're probably concerned about the time it will take to transition from traditional or monolithic commerce to headless commerce. No, that is not the case, and all that is required is creating a new website with existing integrations and its launch. 

  6. Are headless and microservices the same?

    When searching online, viewers are frequently perplexed by phrases such as headless and microservices and ask if there is any distinction between the two.  “Microservices” or “microservices architecture” refers to single-function application-based development. Only the back-end and front-end systems are decoupled in headless apps. The total single-function applications are coupled in microservices, offering the thus constructed website a more significant edge of scaling jointly.

  7. Are there any disadvantages of using a headless platform for eCommerce needs?

    One of the platform's most noticeable flaws is that it does not allow the user to preview the website before publishing. The user may receive a very vague preview. Naturally, if the user is unhappy with some parts, they will need to request changes. Another grey area for the headless development framework is that it provides a wide range of development choices. Firms that wish to take on an ambitious project like establishing a website that fulfils its objective must entrust their development work to highly skilled developers.
    The competence of the procedure is called into question because it necessitates a great deal of knowledge in the field. Such complex development necessitates precision and expertise for attaining pre-defined goals and objectives. 

Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.