Innovation in commerce – headless e-commerce
Headless e-commerce is a modern solution in the commerce industry, enabling companies to create fast and dynamic online stores.
2024-01-26 by Sebastian Pikand
Innovation in commerce – headless e-commerce
Traditional online store
Relatively easy to create an online store quickly
Development and management are rather inexpensive
Achieving good performance is usually complex
Not the most secure solution
Limited options for adding new features and customizing the online store as the business grows
Headless online store
Better and more stable performance
A secure and resilient solution against attacks
Easy to integrate new features and customize the online store as the business grows
Technologically more complex to develop
Higher development and maintenance costs
What is headless e-commerce?
Headless e-commerce refers to the architecture of e-commerce where the online store separates the front-end (user interface or visual aspect seen by the visitor) and back-end (technical structure or information systems). The front-end is known as the "head," hence the term "headless," meaning without a head. An e-commerce store based on headless technology can be developed and managed more flexibly and smoothly than a traditional e-commerce store. This implies the ability to seamlessly enhance the user experience for visitors and customize the online store according to specific needs and standards. For a better understanding, it is also beneficial to read about headless content management systems.
Pros of headless e-commerce
To better understand the advantages of headless e-commerce, it can be compared to a traditional e-commerce. In traditional e-commerce, the front-end and back-end are typically tightly coupled, forming a unified entity. However, this can negatively impact the site's performance and security. Additionally, it is not a convenient solution for developers. We will now describe the benefits of headless e-commerce.
Complete freedom in creating the user interface
Headless technologies allow you to create a website and online store with the exact appearance that your brand requires.
In a traditional system where the front-end is strictly defined and connected to the back-end, it is possible to quickly create an online store and bring your products to the market.
However, as your brand grows with its digital identity, the online store demands more customizations to provide users with a more dynamic and personalized experience. With traditional solutions, there may come a point where it becomes challenging to implement all desired customizations. In contrast, a headless online store is more flexible, allowing for the creation of complex solutions without compromising design, user experience, or data/service integration and synchronization. 1
Improved website performance
When a customer arrives at your site, you have only a few seconds to capture their attention – the page must load quickly.
WebsiteBuilderExpert found that loading speed has a significant impact:
64% of smartphone users expect pages to load within four seconds;
40% of visitors will not wait more than three seconds before leaving a site;
82% of customers state that a slow page affects their purchasing decisions. 1
Headless solutions enable the creation of fast-loading pages on both desktop and mobile devices. The improvement in site speed can significantly enhance sales outcomes. The two to three-second mark is a turning point with a substantial impact on whether a customer stays on your site to make a purchase or navigates to a competitor's website. 1
Through powerful APIs, it is possible to integrate all existing systems (ERP, PIM, IMS, etc.) to create the best shopping experience for users. The capability to use APIs provides the freedom to customize the site according to specific needs and leverage any tools within your e-commerce infrastructure. It also offers the opportunity to create online stores at zero cost.
Cons of headless e-commerce
While headless e-commerce is a modern and beneficial choice, it also comes with some drawbacks.
Headless e-commerce requires more knowledge compared to the traditional approach. Creating a traditional online store, for example, using WordPress and its WooCommerce plugin, may be manageable even for someone with limited technical expertise. However, building a headless web store requires a developer or a team of developers.
If you choose to opt for a headless e-commerce solution, be prepared for higher costs compared to a traditional online store. In addition to the initial development, there are annual maintenance costs, depending on functionality, tools, and customizations made to the site.
Platforms for building headless online stores
There are various platforms and web development frameworks that allow the creation of headless online stores, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, Medusa.js, Strapi, and others. 2;3;4 Learn more about their specific features in the article "E-commerce software for building headless online stores".
Headless e-commerce is an innovative but also a more complex approach
In summary, it can be said that headless e-commerce is an innovative approach in the commerce industry, enabling businesses to create dynamic and personalized online stores. The architecture, where the front-end and back-end are decoupled, offers several advantages – it is an excellent choice when a company seeks complete control, flexibility, and the ability to provide guests with a unique experience in creating an online store. However, it is essential to consider the higher costs and the technologically more complex approach associated with it.
© 2023 Bitropia, All Rights Reserved
RD Field Holding OÜ (14117556)