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What’s the Best CMS for Headless eCommerce?

What’s the Best CMS for Headless eCommerce?

Today, we discuss the top headless CMS for your eCommerce website because eCommerce content and sales pitches go beyond product pages.

What’s the Best CMS for Headless eCommerce?

Modern-day eCommerce marketing strategies rarely go without content marketing in place. And to create and manage content that goes beyond product page requirements, you need to have a content management system (CMS) in place.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of CMS platforms. If you're not using the right CMS, it could be holding your business back from realizing its full potential.

Let's examine these systems more closely and consider how to find the best one for your use case.

What Is a Headless CMS?

A content management system (in general) allows you to store all your data and content in one place and quickly deliver it anywhere it’s needed. If multiple content editors frequently update said content, you’ll likely benefit from a CMS.

A headless CMS is not coupled with a front end. You’re free to bring your own frontend(s) to it, using application programming interfaces (APIs) or plugins for communication between them. You can also add and remove frontends without affecting the CMS or other frontends.

A headless CMS can be an effective part of a headless eCommerce implementation. When the headless model is extended to your eCommerce architecture, you can implement as many frontends as you want, all of which communicate with the same backend, allowing your customers to find you wherever they happen to be (ex., web, mobile, kiosk). You can fearlessly try out new ideas and integrate the latest technologies. A solid headless implementation will produce outstanding performance, which is crucial for delivering the best customer experiences possible.

You’re excited to get started, right? Well, the good and bad news is that there are a dizzying number of headless CMS platforms out there. You may naturally want to spare yourself the headache and just focus on the best one. Which is it?

Well, that’s not quite the right question to ask.

What’s the Best Headless CMS Platform … For Your Needs?

So many of these platforms exist because each business out there has unique needs. To figure out the best platform for your business, you need to perform some assessment first. Where are you now? Where are your goals for the future? What are your must-have requirements? And what CMS platform(s) are capable of supporting all of this?

Slow down. Take the time to get this right. It could make all the difference later on.

Here are some examples of questions you need to ask yourself and what to take into account:

  • The very first thing to check is the eCommerce platform you’re using. You need to figure out which CMS works well with it. If the combo matches, you’ll be able to create and deliver remarkable shopping experiences.
  • Your business type (ex., retail, wholesale, B2B, B2C). While most CMS platforms offer flexibility, others may be better suited for one type or another.
  • Your current business size and expected growth. Can the CMS scale to meet your needs now and in the future?
  • Your most important business requirements (ex., multi-language support, authorization/authentication). What CMS platforms offer the features you need most, and how easy/hard is it to incorporate those features?
  • Your business location(s). Although this may not always be the case, a platform developer from the same geographic region may better understand your relevant business laws and be better suited to meet those needs.
  • Whether you’re starting from scratch or migrating from an existing platform, if migrating, is your current framework (or frameworks) supported by the platform you’re evaluating? How easy/difficult is it to transition to the new platform?
  • Your current developer team size/experience (GraphQL, REST, etc.). You either want a platform they can work with, or you’ll need to hire new developers who can handle the platform in question.
  • How long will it take to train everyone on the new platform? Will you be provided with any training or learning materials?
  • The costs of using the platform. What can you afford?
  • How the platform is hosted. What happens if something breaks or goes down?
  • Who offers support while getting started and with issues down the line?
  • Whether you want a customized solution. Who can help with that? 
  • How will this platform help you to be better? (ex. performance gains, improved user experience (UX) for you and your customers)

Top Headless CMSs

Once you have a solid idea of your requirements, see what CMS platforms can meet or surpass them. Here are just a few examples of platforms you may wish to evaluate. When you’ve come up with your own perspective list, take the time to try out each one and ask plenty of questions.


Sanity is currently a top choice in the industry. It offers a powerful, flexible platform for front-end development, particularly suited for projects requiring real-time collaboration, custom content modeling, and cross-platform content delivery. The standout features are Sanity Studio, an open-source editing environment that can be deployed locally or hosted on Sanity's cloud service, and the use of a query language called GROQ (Graph-Relational Object Queries). However, its learning curve, cost, and customization requirements should be carefully considered.

Sanity pairs exceptionally well with modern, API-driven eCommerce solutions. Shopify, BigCommerce, and Snipcart stand out as examples.


Contentful might be easy to use and understand for technical and non-technical users, but it isn't quite as fast or flexible as Sanity. Its strongest point is its sophisticated content modeling ability, which enables developers to define custom content types and structures. While it could be used to power eCommerce independently, its sheer complexity makes it really hard.

Thankfully, their marketplace is a robust ecosystem, offering a variety of SDKs, APIs, and third-party integrations. This ecosystem facilitates the development of feature-rich applications by seamlessly connecting with other tools and services, such as analytics, marketing, and eCommerce platforms.

Contentful's pricing model, based on usage metrics like the number of entries, assets, and bandwidth, can become costly for larger projects or those with high content turnover.


Storyblok has emerged as a noteworthy contender in recent times, particularly for its headless architecture and emphasis on visual editing capabilities. Its Visual Editor provides a real-time preview of content changes within the context of the actual website design. It employs a component-based approach to content, enabling developers to define customizable content blocks on top of comprehensive API and SDK support.

Storyblok's pricing model, based on users, projects, and additional features, can escalate costs for larger teams or projects requiring advanced functionalities.

eCommerec platforms that support API-driven interactions can leverage Storyblok's dynamic content delivery capabilities and are the best match.

🤔Then there Is Crystallize.

Well, of course, I have to mention Crystallize. Like the others, Crystallize is a full-featured headless CMS. Unlike the others, Crystallize also handles your product information management (PIM) and digital asset management (DAM).

Instead of buying multiple solutions, dealing with multiple vendors, and having your data for products, content, and processes split among them, you can have one backend to rule them all–a single source of truth that’s platform-agnostic and integrates well with multiple frontends and third-party applications.

Have a look at our free open-source Remix retail store boilerplate in action and see how easy it is to handle product pages (with complete data editing, web preview, and automatic PDF product catalog generation) and sales/article/blog content (complete editing and previewing) in Crystallize.


Strapi is a popular open-source and fully customizable option. You can host it on your own server or in Strapi’s cloud, making it particularly well-suited for projects where customization and control over the infrastructure are paramount. However, expertise is required to set up and perform advanced customization.

The cool thing about Strapi is that it supports both RESTful and GraphQL APIs out of the box, ensuring easy access to content from any frontend system. Plus, you can leverage their Plugin Marketplace for easy eCommerce integrations, mostly for well-known solutions such as BigCommerce, Magento, and Shopify.

As a self-hosted solution, the development team is responsible for optimizing performance and scaling the application, which can be challenging.

Instead of Conclusion

There is no absolute best CMS platform for headless eCommerce, but with some research and experimentation, you can find the one that best supports your goals now and in the future.

Considering the commerce + CMS combo? Give Crystallize a try.

Signing up is free, and you can join our Slack community if you need help setting up your project.

Learn More😎

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