What Is Headless Commerce? And Should You Pursue It?

In the era of eCommerce, technology is changing, and new trends are emerging. With the latest development of the headless approach for eCommerce, here’s what it is and why you should pursue it.

24 May, 2021
Monolithic vs apis
(Source: Bloomreach)


What is Headless Commerce?

With every website, there’s the back-end and front-end. Headless Commerce is the separation of the front-end from the back-end – developed to enable each end to operate independently.

The major reason for Headless Commerce’s rise in popularity is that the architecture offers you new ways to build whatever and however you want.

Online users have adjusted to consuming content and online purchasing through multiple touchpoints. From progressive web apps and beyond, traditional eCommerce platforms, like Monolithic, are struggling to meet the demands of the modern user.


The front-end separated from the back-end.

The front-end is the face of a website – what customers interact with and how they make purchases, subscribe to newsletters, and more.

The back-end is what happens behind the scenes – what businesses use to manage and maintain the sales process.


Development changes made faster.

The front-end changes don’t have to be made and implemented by developers. Other employees can make changes without affecting the back-end.

The back-end is simpler to use, and changes can be made faster, even by less experienced developers.


Headless CMS

(Source: Contentful)


While eCommerce brands are moving with the trend of the Headless Commerce architecture, others face difficulty as they wonder how to invent their own back-end solution. The answer is a Headless Content Management System (CMS).

A Headless CMS is a system that provides a way to present content as data. The ‘head’ is where the content is shown, and the ‘body’ is where the content is stored and authored.


(Source: Storyblok)


Choosing Craft CMS.

Craft CMS supports two different ways of building front-ends – Monolithic and Headless. For Headless, Craft CMS uses a GraphQL API alongside a separate front-end codebase.

As Craft CMS developers, we use a Headless approach for our own website and our clients. Traditional architecture was once a standard approach, but with Craft CMS’ Headless architecture, responsive web pages and innovative content publishing are growing rewards.

If you want to make the switch to Headless, get in touch with us. Through creating and rebuilding websites using Craft CMS’ Headless approach, it’s fair to say we know the in’s and out’s of the new eCommerce platform approach.


Should You Pursue Headless Commerce?

(Source: SimiCart)


Beyond the separation of the front-end and back-end, Headless offers significant benefits to other business areas.


1. Omnichannel

A full omnichannel experience is offered whether a customer is shopping on a desktop computer or a mobile device. Many traditional eCommerce platforms claim to provide an omnichannel experience, which isn’t always true. Businesses can build a front-end for a new digital channel whenever they choose – offering a powerful eCommerce experience.


2. Customised

Headless provides limitless possibilities for the front-end. With IoT-enabled tools that can be integrated into the Headless platform, like cross-selling and loyalty programs, all can be customised to business wants and needs.


3. Personalised

Customers want personalised experiences. To fit purchasing desires, Headless enables businesses to edit and match the front-end to customers’ preferences. You can differentiate yourself from the competition with added features like personalised recommendations and promotions based on previous purchases.


4. Flexible

Much like what was seen in the Covid-19 pandemic, customer buying behaviours can change without notice. Headless offers front-end tools that are flexible to keep up with the demands. For example, adding in click and collect and different delivery options.


5. Revenue

With the ability to customise and the flexibility to adapt quickly, Headless helps reduce websites bounces and all things alike that bring conversion rates down. Headless is purpose-built to enable developers and businesses to create eCommerce excitement that encourages buyers to buy in the moment.


Switching from traditional commerce.

Traditional eCommerce platforms, like Monolithic, are modelled based on the front-end and back-end being intertwined. The back-end is essentially the hub for everything – from the coding for the layouts that aren’t seen to the front-end’s readable content.

Everything bundled together can have its advantages. For a Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) looking to get into the commerce environment quickly, traditional commerce may be ideal – especially if the SME has a low chance of expanding fast in a short amount of time.

BUT if a business is fast-moving, where their sales are hitting targets, and traditional commerce just isn’t cutting it, Headless is the way forward.


Why Headless Commerce

(Source: Storyblok)


From needing a solution tailored to the business to upgrading a CMS due to lag and inefficiency, Headless is more than just an eCommerce platform but a solution to many eCommerce problems.


1. Custom Solutions

Installing add-ons to traditional commerce isn’t just outdated, but it’s beyond difficult. Like WordPress and commercial off-the-shelf solutions, these platforms don’t always perform to today’s standards. Headless gives businesses the advantage of eCommerce functionality within a system that anyone can use.


2. Content Management System (CMS)

Headless CMS opens up many opportunities to present and deliver content. Working alongside an enhanced eCommerce platform means CMS can work smoother and quicker. With a content-led strategy, Headless can be combined with a complex CMS to deliver results.



3. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Bring a native web experience to various devices with Headless. By enabling content and marketing teams to present content through any channel or device effectively, Headless gives customers all the information they need, which transforms to their device to encourage them to buy.


Going Headless

If you want to make changes to your commerce platform’s back-end without interfering with the front-end, Headless enables you to do so. All in all, Headless offers a complete solution to traditional commerce problems, bringing maximum customisation and personalisation to your eCommerce.