Headless Commerce: Benefits, Uses, and Top Platforms in 2023

by Sebastian Walach


As the world of e-commerce continues to evolve, headless commerce is gaining popularity as a go-to solution for brands looking to stay competitive. Key e-commerce trends that businesses can't ignore include:

  • Record numbers of new e-commerce stores, requiring brands to stand out.
  • Rising customer acquisition costs, forcing brands to focus on building loyalty through personalised, diversified experiences.
  • The demise of third-party cookies, prompting businesses to get creative in building personalised experiences.
  • Expected growth of the e-commerce market to $1.3 trillion between 2022 and 2025.

In short, businesses need to master creative, omnichannel experiences to attract customers, convert them into loyal clients, and maintain lasting relationships. Headless commerce offers the freedom to create extraordinary shopping experiences at every customer touchpoint by unleashing developer potential. With headless commerce, you can sell anywhere without design or development constraints, making the world your storefront.

At Stop+Care, we can help your business navigate the world of headless commerce and create customised solutions tailored to your unique needs.

What is Headless Commerce Architecture?

Headless commerce architecture refers to the separation of a website's frontend from its backend ecommerce functionality. This separation grants retailers more freedom to customise and build anything they want, enabling them to update the frontend without touching the backend.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), IT partners, and digital experience managers are crucial to the success of headless commerce. These resources allow brands to deliver new experiences and functionality that engage customers and exceed their expectations.

Understanding the two key components of headless commerce is essential:

  • Frontend: The customer-facing digital storefront, or presentation layer, includes more than just a website. Channels such as social media, mobile apps, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices fall under the frontend umbrella. IoT encompasses smart mirrors, self-serve kiosks, vending machines, wearables, and voice-assisted technology like Amazon Alexa.
  • Backend: The systems, processes, workflows, and tools operating behind the scenes to ensure seamless business operations. The backend tech stack helps with activities such as merchandising, fulfilment, integrations, data storage, and checkout.

The separation of frontend and backend is crucial because traditional commerce platforms often tie these elements together, limiting flexibility and creativity.

How Does Headless Commerce Work?

The secret to headless commerce is the API, which connects the frontend and backend, facilitating real-time information exchange. Customer-facing content is managed on a backend platform, like a CMS. With headless storefronts, you can utilise multiple backend systems depending on your needs, including your:

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Progressive Web App (PWA)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Digital Experience Platform (DXP)

These additional SaaS tools create touchpoints for customers, such as mobile apps or vending machines. Whenever a customer interacts with your storefront, an API call sends that information to your backend.

Customers only see the frontend user interface you employ to deliver shopping experiences, not the headless backend.

Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Commerce

A headless architecture provides merchants with more tools to reach a growing customer base than a traditional e-commerce platform (also known as a monolithic platform).

Here are the core differences between the two:

  1. Headless Commerce: Best for brands that need complete customisation and prefer to separate their frontend from their backend system. Although separated, the frontend and backend still communicate, making third-party integrations easy. Brands can readily update the frontend without modifying the backend.
  2. Traditional Commerce: Monolithic commerce platforms are simple to set up and provide everything retailers need to create a storefront, accept payments, and process orders. However, high-growth retailers may find that traditional e-commerce websites begin to limit design capabilities and customer interactions.

From a design perspective, creating visually impressive websites can be challenging with traditional commerce platforms. Unique customizations, graphics, and interactive elements may be difficult to implement using available templates. As a result, retail brands often outgrow these platforms and seek more distinctive storefront ecommerce experiences.

In traditional commerce platforms, the frontend and backend are interdependent. This means the shopping cart, CMS, checkout, subscriptions, and site layout are connected – a change to one section requires changes elsewhere. Consequently, website updates can be time-consuming and costly, with potential downtime causing revenue loss.

Monolithic platforms can make design changes more difficult, especially for highly customised experiences. Additionally, there may be risks of slower page load times due to API calls and technical limitations on the platform.

Embracing Headless Commerce with Stop+Care

At Stop+Care, we understand the potential of headless commerce for e-commerce businesses seeking to stay ahead in a competitive market. Our team of experts is ready to assist you in creating a customised headless commerce solution that caters to your brand's unique needs and goals.

Our services include:

  • Design and Development of headless e-commerce websites
  • Integration of essential backend systems, such as CMS, CRM, and DXP
  • Guidance on UI Design to create visually stunning and user-friendly experiences
  • Assistance with Platform Migrations from traditional e-commerce setups to headless commerce solutions

By partnering with Stop+Care, you can leverage the power of headless commerce to deliver exceptional shopping experiences across various customer touch points. With our expertise, your e-commerce business can thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Are you ready to explore the possibilities of headless commerce for your e-commerce brand? Let's Talk and start building the future of your online store today.