Headless eCommerce platforms. Find the best solution

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If you’re looking for a Headless eCommerce solution, then look no further. We have the best solutions for your needs. From Shopify development to WordPress and BigCommerce you can fully control your website. Additionally, you can improve your customer’s eCommerce experience. Learn more about Headless Ecommerce solutions.

Headless eCommerce solutions

Modern eCommerce has always focused on rapid and effective user experience. There are many options available to achieve this goal and headless commerce is probably a better option. We have a look at what is headless eCommerce. We will compare the headless approach to the traditional eCommerce platform approach. Lastly, we will provide you with a range of benefits of headless eCommerce platforms.

What is headless commerce?

Headless commerce solutions are based on Headless CMS. This means that the content management system is separated from the appearance aspect. The backend and the front-end can be edited separately. So for example, if you want to change something about the functionality of your online shop. This is will not have a direct implication for the way your content is displayed.

One characteristic that sets headless commerce apart from traditional CMS is the use of APIs. The API is directly responsible for delivering the content where you would like it to go. Then the API will generate that content exactly there. The API communicates with the content repository system.

Static Site generators for headless eCommerce

Static site generators allow us to render websites as full static HTML files, as opposed to server-based websites. This is important for a few reasons: 

  • Static file websites load faster because they are not dependent on databases and servers. A static website is pre-rendered, therefore, it does not wait for user requests in order to load. It is preloaded and ready to go. 
  • Using static site generators eliminates the need for traditional caching. This again makes your site load quickly and be able to handle high traffic.
  • Static files are more secure because they are ready to go and complete as they are. They are not attached to the server or database. There is no communication back and forth between the static file and the server, thus limiting hacking opportunities. 

 Most popular options for static site generators for headless eCommerce platforms include options such as: 

  1. Next.js
  2. Gatsby 

Deployment platforms

 So deployment platforms or hostings as they are otherwise known, in terms of headless eCommerce, allow us to host websites without a server.  

NETLIFY 

Netlify is designed to bring all the decoupled elements of your eCommerce platform together. It will bring together your favorite tools, content, and APIs. It combines all this while still making sure that your online shop is still fast loading.

Netlify allows your eCommerce shop to be 10x faster in terms of performance. Additionally, it is more secure and easier in terms of scalability. Netlify like most deployment platforms for headless eCommerce platforms uses a CDN to distribute content. It renders your static HTML files and pushes them through to any given website user. 

VERCEL 

Vercel similarly to Netlify combines all the elements that we previously separated using a headless content management system. Furthermore, it is a platform for front-end frameworks and static sites. Vercel is an excellent deployment platform because it has created its own CDN called “Proprietary Edge Network”. This is essentially the way that your content is distributed across various networks using the closest location available to any given user. 

What is headless architecture?

Headless architecture is an approach to building and maintaining headless retail solutions. Think about them as the foundations of your website: Content distribution network, content management system (CMS) middleware, and so on. It consists of an API communication that is integrated into the architecture of a headless webpage.

Headless eCommerce vs. Traditional eCommerce

Flexibility is an important benefit of headless architectures. Traditional e-commerce solutions are based on a unified platform. Everything from product & order management to customer accounts is dependent upon software requirements. It is an excellent platform for many merchants with no entry barriers. Headless solutions however offer complete freedom of choice in the functions and functionality that you require.

Traditional eCommerce platforms

Traditional eCommerce

Traditional ecommerce platforms generally have a monlithic design meaning your front end presentation layer and your backend system is interconnected. This can be limiting in terms of how you present your content on various browsers and operating systems.

A traditional ecommerce platform can have limitations in terms of how your data is structured. So, you may not have as many options in terms of content layout. Additionally, you may also be limited into terms of SEO. Most traditional ecommerce platforms use plugins for SEO and website optimization. A headless ecommerce gives you more opportunites to customise your page titles, meta descriptions, tags etc.

Customizations in your shop experiences can be restricted too. Because everything can be managed from a single platform, customization of UX may be hard.

Traditional ecommerce platforms are great for smaller eCommerce brands and shops. However, if you are considering to expand your business in the future, you may encounter some problems. Traditional commerce platforms do provide scalability to a point, especially platforms like regular WooCommerce.

However, it is important to remember that a bigger shop will likely have more traffic. High traffic can be handled poorly by some online shop platforms. For many platforms, high traffic leads to a slow site. A slow site leads to customer drop off due to negative experiences. This is where you may consider switching to headless ecommerce.

Headless eCommerce

The headless architecture decouples the front end from the back end of online shops. Giving developers full flexibility over the tools they use. Customizing has been an easier process as access is decentralized to the front end of the store. This also gives greater flexibility in terms of the way a store is displayed. Since the components are not tightly linked they may be updated or inter-changed. This will not affect other parts of the application. Typically, 👉 headless CMS 👈 for e-commerce offers superior performance as the product does not require heavy loads or clutter like traditional solutions.

A great option in terms of Headless CMS websites includes 👉 Jamstack development 👈

Best Headless eCommerce platforms

Shopify development

Headless commerce solution
Image Source: Shopify.com

Shopify is an excellent option for online shop beginners or smaller eCommerce endeavors. Furthermore, an eCommerce store on Shopify can be used in combination with a Headless CMS. The platform, and this content management system, play nicely together. The two biggest benefits of using Shopify development include: 

  • It improves customer experience because the content they are viewing is intentionally curated for them. What do I mean by that? Using headless CMS you are able to create content toward a specific operating system, browser, and device. This is all to ensure that what your customer sees is 100% responsive and customized for their user needs. 
  • It makes your website faster. Your webpages are not reliant on a web server or database, therefore they load faster. Headless CMS allows us to create content using static pages. This means they are ready to go before a user requests to view them and do not wait for the server to respond.  

Both of these benefits make your website perform better and achieve high conversion rates. 

Some key features to consider when looking to Shopify for your eCommerce website are: 

  • The platform in itself offers a wide range of tools to work with and run your website
  • The navigation panel for admin users is intuitive and easy to use 

BigCommerce

Headless commerce platform
Image Source: Bigcommerce.com

BigCommerce is a big leader when it comes to the headless eCommerce world. It is especially popular for those who are looking to run their own business entirely online. BigCommerce’s panel makes it easy to run your entire online shop from the comfort of your laptop or computer. 

Its panel may have a slight learning curve in comparison to Shopify. However, it’s worth it to gain additional functionalities that you need to make being an online shop business owner easier.  

 Key Features of BigCommerce: 

One major feature of this eCommerce platform giant is the fact that you can add up to 600 variants for one product 🔥

Another key element is that BigCommerce also offers many built-in sales features. Features such as checkout customization & mobile optimization. Along with digital wallets, promo codes, and so much more.   

Snipcart

Headless solution
Image Source: Snipcart.com

 Snipcart is another excellent example of a Headless CMS for your eCommerce shop. You can integrate Snipcart into your Jamstack website in order to create an online shop. Snipcart provides your store with two key features: 

  • The cart 
  • Checkout process

Snipcart provides these key features using popular developer tools. Tools like JavaScript and coding languages such as HTML.

Snipcart provides you with a backend for your online store. So, you will have a place to store, manage and update your content.

Commercelayer

headless commerce
Image Source: commercelayer.io

Commercelayer was built with headless architecture in mind. This eCommerce solution is part of the future. Commercelayer offers developers all the tools and APIs they need to create a fast eCommerce store.

Commerce Tools

Headless commerce approach
Image Source: Commercetools.com

This headless eCommerce platform allows you to work with various elements of your online shop independently. So you can provide the best experience for your customers and for developers alike. Using this platform you are able to get ahead of customer expectations and needs. You can manage each element of your online store separately.

Commerce tools are built on the following principles:

  1. Micro-service based
  2. API first
  3. Cloud-native
  4. Headless CMS

 Headless WordPress + WooCommerce Plugin

Another headless CMS option is WordPress with WooCommerce. The plugin WooCommerce uses a REST API. This can help us use WordPress as a headless content management system as opposed to the traditional option we all know.

 Here are some key advantages of choosing headless WooCommerce: 

  • Better scalability. When we separate the backend from the frontend, we can present one version in various formats. Visual formats for different operating systems and browsers. So if you see that most of your business is from mobile users, you can modify your WooCommerce shop to handle high traffic from mobile device users. The same is true in reverse, you can provide fewer options on the desktop version if most of your users do not interact with your online shop in that way.
  • Better performance. Headless eCommerce is built around better performance because they do not rely on plugins, servers, or databases. What does this mean for the overall picture? This means that your WooCommerce shop is ready to go before the user even requests it. Therefore, your shop will load in less than 1 second, as opposed to 2 to 4 seconds. Huge difference right? 💥
  • Multichannel platform. Headless WooCommerce allows you to publish the same content on different platforms. So for example, you can publish your products directly on your online store and Amazon. You can do this via advanced integrations. The best part is that you do not have to leave your WooCommerce panel. 

Benefits of Headless eCommerce solutions

So I have mentioned to benefits of Headless eCommerce solutions for individual platforms. Let me provide you with a more detailed scope of the overall benefits of using Headless eCommerce solutions. 

Better customer experience

A headless eCommerce solution provides your customers with a better experience. You are able to have one version of your content displayed in multiple ways, without having duplicates. 

If you have ever used a traditional content management system, you can recall the pain of having duplicated content. For example, you will have a footer. You will have a footer that is dedicated to your desktop. Then a copy of that footer that has been slightly modified for your mobile devices and so on. Using a headless eCommerce solution, you no longer have this issue. You have one content file delivered via an API in any format you want to the desired location.

Better Security

So this point may seem redundant to you at this point, but trust me, headless eCommerce is more secure than any traditional online shop platform. You no longer have to depend on firewalls, antiviruses, etc. to keep your online store secure. 

Headless eCommerce eliminates the possibility of hacking. This is because it does not depend on servers or databases.

Better SEO

Headless eCommerce gives you infinite options in terms of SEO. You are not limited to the functions that would be offered to you via a plugin, no, you have more control. Firstly, you can control how your content is displayed. Secondly, you can set up page titles, meta descriptions, keywords and so much more. Lastly, you can also configure breadcrumbs, taxonomies, and metadata. 

Learn more about 👉 SEO and conversion rates 👈

Better performance

Something that goes hand-in-hand with SEO is eCommerce platform performance. Once again, I am repeating myself, but headless eCommerce offers you a fast-loading website. Moreover, you can achieve great results on PageSpeed Insights (mobile).

Check out our most recent project that achieved fantastic results 👉 ENDGAME 👈

Better scalability

As trends change your business adapts, and headless technology can help protect your company. Front-end developers use APIs to add backend functionality to existing systems. It can also be used to add frameworks were required to suit their needs. Instead of starting over from scratch using a headlessly-built solution, you can handle all new functionality. Also, you can add new functionality as the site grows.

Headless eCommerce platforms handle growth and high traffic much better than your traditional online shop solutions. Many big companies take advantage of headless eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, Under Armour, and Lancôme.

Create fast websites

Ensure that your web page loads quickly. According to a Google study, 70 percent of customers believe page speeds influence buying decisions. Not only do page loading speeds affect search rankings on the web and mobile; but the slower your website is the lower your chance to rank higher. Lucky for us, eCommerce sites have their content centralized and can be delivered via an API wherever they are.

Flexibility and familiarity for developers

Headless Commerce gives businesses the opportunity to select the most efficient e-commerce platform to manage their website. While being able to use other products in conjunction with Headless CMS.

Additionally, by disconnecting, front-end developers will be given the opportunity to build what they want. They don’t have to adhere to traditional CMSs. The front end or head of most online stores is the theme or templates that control who can see your product. Headless gives you more flexibility to create content through the connection of a website or IoT device. This enables the production and delivery of customized content. Alternatively, you could switch to a front end without changing its functionality.

Need help selecting from the best headless eCommerce platforms?

Our team of developers can help you pick the right headless eCommerce platform for your online business. If you are interested in a headless system for your next online shop, 👉Contact us 👈

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