Headless Commerce

What is Headless Commerce?

Definition

Simply said, headless commerce means that the back-end and the front-end are decoupled so the content presentation layer and the business logic layer are completely separated.

Back-end developers can use APIs to interact with backend resources like Orders, Products, Customers, while front-end developers can work on creating beautiful storefront experiences.

Headless commerce architecture is designed for the IoT age. The back-end and the front-end stand independently of one another.

This approach allows you to create a single commerce engine to store and manage your content but it doesn’t limit you to a specific front-end layer. Instead, you can easily add ecommerce functionality across all of your buyer touchpoints.

By going headless you connect and integrate your commerce content with any content management system (CMS) like your online store or your blog but you can also offer your products in different sales channels like Facebook, Amazon or Instagram.

Why headless commerce is becoming so popular?

“Headless” is not a new concept. It’s been around for a while in the software world. In the last few years it became an increasingly popular way to build websites, including online stores.

Two of the biggest advantages of the technology are:

– Flexibility to use any tech stack
– Performance optimizations

Flexibility

Going “headless” means developers can use any technology they feel would be best for their front-end needs. Many of the traditional monolithic content management systems/platforms limit the ability to use modern libraries or frameworks like React, Angular or Vue.js when developing the “head” of the online store. The “headless” technology doesn’t come with any limitations. A store owner can still benefit from using a back-end platform of their choice to easily manage products, orders, fulfillments etc., without having to compromise when it comes to creating a beautiful storefront.

Performance optimizations

A “Headless” architecture allows developers to take advantage of using the most appopriate tools for the job. Online stores can vary significantly. Some merchants only sell a single product while others have large catalogues with thousands of products organized in hundreds of collections and sub-collections. Presenting the products in the best possible way depends on the products, the industry and the target audience among other factors. The traditional e-commerce platforms usually offer a unified way of building the storefront. They often offer full flexibility in terms of writing custom HTML and CSS but the overall structure of the front-end is static and comes with many restrictions.

By using a “headless” approach, a merchant can organize and present the shop content in the best possible way, which in most cases leads to significant performance benefits. For example, using a framework like React will not necessarily force the browse to perform a full page refresh every time a customer wants to visit a page. This will improve the page loading times and will make the overall shopping experience much smoother.

Headless commerce benefits:

– Flexibility to choose any tech stack
– Fully adaptable and customizable storefronts
– Performance gains
– Seamless integrations with multiple platforms
– Reduced dependency on the back-end platform used for managing the content