Ultimate Guide To Headless Commerce: Definition, Architecture, Examples, Benefits

headless ecommerce guide

Science and technology are constantly developing in recent times. It positively affects many aspects of people’s lives, and online business is also one. A few years ago, researchers introduced headless commerce, a website with a unique structure. This web technology quickly attracted the world’s attention. Large enterprises also confirm the traditional site’s lag and the headless one’s outstanding to the new user experience trend. So what is this headless technology, and what are its benefits? Let’s dig into our headless commerce guide!

What Is Headless Commerce? 

Our headless commerce guide starts with the definition, architecture, and examples of this technology.

Headless Commerce Definition


Headless commerce is a phrase that belongs to the technology term group. Basically, headless commerce refers to eCommerce websites that have a separate front-end and backend structure. This arrangement gives businesses the freedom to display what they want, thereby improving and enriching the customer experience.

Those parts can also operate completely independently.

This is in stark contrast to traditional eCommerce, which must operate as one seamless block. As a result, it makes even the slightest change a big project.

Headless Commerce Example

From the definition of headless commerce, you can see its immense flexibility thanks to its ability to decouple the front-end and back-end. Therefore, now many large companies are trusting to use this technology.

Some famous names are Nike, Venus, Feel Unique, Redbox, etc.

These companies are from different businesses, but they all see an increase in the conversion rate. This shows that headless commerce is fit for various industries.

Headless Commerce Architecture

The basic structure of headless commerce includes cloud infrastructure and a back-end data model.

To work, the headless website needs an API (application programming interface), which connects the back-end with every required layer. Thanks to this, the data access and presentation layer requirements will be accurately presented.


For example, when the customer clicks the order button, the front-end sends data back to the back-end. The backend will send another API call to the presentation layer right after that, asking it to display what the customer needs.

Besides the API, the headless eCommerce CMS also plays a vital role in your web operation. CMS is a content management system for websites. However, since there is no defined front-end, these assets are stored in the cloud.

You can distribute the content hosted in this CMS as you like and flexibly through the API.

Headless Ecommerce vs. Traditional Ecommerce


Headless Ecommerce vs. Traditional Ecommerce

Time-to-market is an essential factor that can affect the profitability of a business. The faster the website is built, the sooner companies can enjoy income from it.

This is one of the great strengths of headless eCommerce. It will save your team a considerable amount of website development time thanks to the absence of the front-end.

Specifically, the development team only needs to focus on building the back-end – the most complex step in the website development process. In fact, it takes up to 85% of the time to build a website. So it is uncontroversial that you are essentially starting at the endpoint.

Initial development cost management

Headless vs Traditional Commerce

For headless eCommerce, only the back-end building cost and related stuff are compulsory from scratch. What appears on the front-end and the API to connect are all customizable. As a result, you have great control over your website building budget.

You can choose to spend money on what is necessary and what is not. All customizations on the website are based on the actual needs of your business. As a result, this will limit the waste on unnecessary features. Thereby reducing the total website cost.

So if you’re going to invest in headless eCommerce, brief your web build agency carefully. This will help you manage and calculate the costs easier.

Regarding traditional eCommerce, since all the changes in the back-end affect the front-end, sometimes there might be something that is required to be added even if you do not feel it is necessary. As a result, the total cost may be higher.

Update and Maintenance

headless commerce vs traditional commerce

Fixes, improvements, or maintenances are critical; they will ensure the website’s function. 

In addition, we got to admit that changes in the website’s interface during holidays or events will cause excitement for consumers. Thanks to this update, customer retention, and conversion rates will relatively increase.

The development of headless eCommerce can significantly reduce the number of steps to upgrade the system for the programming team. 

Since this technology keeps the front-end and back-end separate, website developers can ultimately build and deploy new updates independently of the site’s performance. This means the site still runs normally while you are updating and fixing.

Limitless personalization and customization

headless commerce guide

This is one of the biggest strengths of headless eCommerce. It provides endless customization with no need to change the database. Furthermore, these customizations will follow exactly what developers and administrators want.

This flexibility is due to the absence of a defined front-end. Instead, thanks to the API and CMS, the website interface can be designed by the business owner so that appropriate to numerous circumstances.

Also, business owners have complete freedom to personalize the front-end to what they want most. Once done, they need to reconnect to the back-end via the API.

Besides, headless eCommerce can be integrated with much leading software today with this discrete architecture.

For example, with traditional eCommerce, you can still send emails to customers. However, this process will be much more cumbersome than MailChimp – today’s top email delivery platform.

However, this is entirely solvable with headless eCommerce. Let’s integrate your back-end with MailChimp via an API. And now this software has become one of your powerful tools.

For traditional eCommerce, this is a fatal weakness. Changes in data, display, or experience can lead to significant database and user interface changes. This will significantly increase the amount of work, cost, and modification time.

Headless Ecommerce Platform 

Adobe Commerce (aka Magento)

magento headless commerce

Adobe Commerce is a very famous website building support platform. Many well-known companies entrust this brand to develop their websites, such as Nike, CocaCola, HP, etc.

In version 2.3, Magento has started to support headless eCommerce development such as developing a Magento Progressive Web App using Magento PWA Studio. With it, you will be able to take advantage of the best headless CMS for eCommerce, combined with PWA’s app-like features such as offline access, push notification, add-to-home-screen, etc.

If you already use the Magento website and want to switch to headless eCommerce, then double-check if your Magento version is up-to-date. Because if the Magento version is lower than 2.3, you will not be able to develop a Magento headless website.



Besides Magento, Shopify is also one of the best platforms for headless commerce development.

The platform supports rapid and engaged storefronts development with GraphQL as an API.

In addition, it also provides several management systems such as CMS, CRM ERP, and Shopify Plus Partners. However, they will take a monthly fee from you. So, in the long run, this platform is relatively expensive.


top headless commerce platforms

BigCommerce currently accounts for only 1.32% of the global eCommerce market share. However, despite not having high popularity, this platform still possesses many strengths that other platforms do not have.

In particular, BigCommerce’s headless eCommerce service is also quite effective when it comes to providing a highly interactive interface, improving performance, conversion rate triggering functions, and having high security.

However, besides those advantages, this platform also has some pretty huge weaknesses. For example, it needs plugin modifying, third-party analytics platforms supporting, and various management systems. These limitations can lead to an increase in the time and money spent building your website.

The Best Headless Commerce Guide & Solution Provider

Because many platforms support building headless commerce, web development companies’ numbers are also very diverse. This can confuse many businesses looking for a headless solution provider. It is difficult to find a reputable and specialized business among hundreds of different companies.

headless ecommerce solutions provider

Tigren will love to work with you if you face this problem. We are confident to be a great companion for three reasons:

Firstly, we have a skilled team with more than ten years of experience in the technology field. We have provided headless commerce guide and solutions to many customers and received positive feedback.

Second, after a long time continuously supporting different business owners, we have developed optimized workflows and web-building processes. We believe we can complete the website in the shortest time at an affordable price with them.

Third, around the time you get your online store, we will give you free support to help you get used to the website. We have an extremely dedicated and professional customer care team to handle this.

Send us your project requirements to get started!

Bottom Line

Headless commerce is a technology that is currently very prominent in the market. It provides various benefits like conversion optimization, seamless integration, money-saving, and a good customer experience. However, to build it will need a good knowledge of the technical side. Therefore, you should consider it carefully before choosing your developers. Hope that this headless commerce guide is helpful to you.

Read More:

What Is A Headless eCommerce Website and How Does It Affect eCommerce?

Headless CMS Explained: Definitions, Examples, Pros And Cons

Headless Website: A Must Read Guide Of A Vital Business Trend