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Headless eCommerce - What? Why? How?

Psst: we are hiring remote frontend developers and backend developers.

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What is headless eCommerce? Why and when should you use headless eCommerce? And how to successfully adopt a headless eCommerce strategy. Let us dive into the separation of frontend and backend, the benefits like site speed and developer experience. Finally we take a look at the team and process you need to adopt to succeed with headless eCommerce.

What is headless eCommerce?

The simplest definition of headless eCommerce is that the websshop frontend and the backend is decoupled. The connection between the frontend and backend eCommerce service is an eCommerce API.

Compared to traditional monolithic eCommerce where everything is in one piece of software, a headless eCommerce strategy is about designing a best of breed stack of services. This enables you to build a stack of eCommerce services that fits your business:

Headless eCommerce vs monolithic eCommerce

Why and when to use headless eCommerce?

There are several reasons to adopt a headless eCommerce strategy. Site speed and true multi channel eCommerce using the same backend are two of the main reasons why. Let us take a look at this from a business point of view and a developers perspective.

Why use headless eCommerce from a business point of view:

Why use headless eCommerce from a developers perspective:

  • Freedom to choose frontend framework
  • Freedom to design a best of breed stack
  • Easy to add multiple frontends or Apps on
  • Fast iterations of the frontends independently of the backend
  • Developers are happy with more freedom
PageSpeed insight with core web vitals screenshot

How to use headless eCommerce

The first thing to get in place when you are adopting a headless eCommerce strategy is the team. The skills for working with headless is a bit different than the traditional monolithic approach. Tailor making the customer experience and customer journey is one of the key principles. This means that you have to make choices and need to get in place a team with a particular set of skills to execute the process.

The team for a successful headless eCommerce:

Overview of a successful headless eCommerce process:

  • Content strategy
  • Information architecture and content modeling
  • Headless architecture with best of breed stack
  • UI/UX design
  • Frontend and/or App development
  • Integrations and business logic development in service API
  • Adding analytics to track performance of customer journey

In addition a successful headless eCommerce strategy should adopt a continuous development process where analytics and insights are used to make decisions of future improvements.

Headless eCommerce architecture diagram

Livestream discussing headless eCommerce