Your Go-To FAQs Handbook for Headless Commerce

Your Go-To FAQs Handbook for Headless Commerce
Your Go-To FAQs Handbook for Headless Commerce

Prasenjit Dey

Content Writer

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Headless commerce is one such innovation that has changed the revolution of online market. Breaking free from the traditional monolithic structures to headless commerce, helps businesses with unparalleled flexibility and adaptability. As much as “headless” is a buzz word, there are also confusions around the topic. Let’s clear the air with some FAQs. 

We are sure that by the end of this text you’d get your basic right!

1.What is headless Commerce?

Headless commerce represents an innovative ecommerce approach wherein the front-end presentation layer is distinct from the back-end functionality. This separation facilitates versatile content delivery across a range of platforms, including websites, apps, kiosks, and IoT devices. This architectural choice is highly favoured by brands due to its ability to unleash creative expression in crafting distinctive storefront experiences, a level of freedom often constrained by traditional monolithic platforms. 

Developers are enthusiastic about embracing the headless model because it provides an unprecedented degree of development control. It empowers them to harness composable technology stacks and integrate their preferred best-of-breed commerce tools.

2. Do I need Headless Commerce?

When there's a requirement to integrate commerce functionalities beyond the confines of a conventional website interface, especially in scenarios involving multiple digital touchpoints like mobile apps, kiosk machines, embedded shopping in augmented reality (AR), or in-car displays, a headless architecture becomes an ideal choice. 

Hence, headless commerce emerged to specifically address and cater to such diverse and expanded digital engagement scenarios.

3. What is Headless Strategy?

Within a headless commerce framework, a unified catalog serves as the central repository, disseminating and coordinating product data to various destinations such as the primary web storefront and localized or regional storefronts. The orders originating from these diverse channels converge into a centralized order management system.

Maintaining a singular source-of-truth for the catalog ensures the consistency and real-time accuracy of product data, including stock levels, across all channels. This unified approach streamlines order management, enhancing operational efficiency by enabling the processing of a higher volume of orders within the same timeframe.

Moreover, the consolidation of order details in a central location empowers the customer service team to deliver improved support, as they can effortlessly access and review order information irrespective of the order's origin or channel.

4. How does Headless Commerce work?


Headless commerce is an ecommerce structural design that works through an APIs. Commonly labelled as "API-first," this architecture relies on communication between the frontend and backend facilitated through an APIs layer. It allows apps and services to transmit data with each other, even if they use different frameworks. 

Whenever a request is made, APIs pushes the information from backend to frontend. The entire process becomes easier when it is done through API orchestration. (API orchestration is a process of implementing and coordinating with multiple APIs from different sources and reorganizing them into a consolidated set of outputs). 

5. What are the benefits of the Headless Commerce Platform?

The headless approach offers various benefits. Some of the benefits of headless technology as described by those who already use it.

  • Choose any tech breed for your eCommerce: When you opt for headless, it provides you the full flexibility to choose the best tech breed to develop your commerce stack. API-first architecture helps you to customize your eCommerce store as per your need and demand. 
  • Unlimited UI/UX Control: The working of headless commerce starts by decoupling the storefront and business logic, and the interaction between the layers are made through API. As, the frontend and backend get separated, you have unlimited control over the UI/UX. 
  • Omnichannel Possibilities: Headless commerce facilitates omnichannel possibilities by separating the front-end from the e-commerce backend. This enables businesses to deliver consistent experiences across various channels, including websites, mobile apps, and social media platforms. With the flexibility to create content for each channel independently, companies can adapt swiftly to changing consumer behaviors and emerging technologies. This approach ensures a cohesive brand experience throughout the customer journey, driving engagement and business success across diverse touchpoints. 
  • Faster Performance: With a headless strategy, developers can choose modern frameworks to develop frontend layers, which results in faster performance and provide better user experience. 
  • Less Development Cost: With headless commerce, developers can work independently which results in less development cost. As the frontend and backend gets separated, developers and other team can develop, test, rectify bugs and work on UI/UX independently without jeopardizing the whole system. 
  • Higher Conversion Rate:  Headless architecture allows businesses to adopt a more dynamic and innovative approach to user interface and design, optimizing customer journey. 
    Headless commerce also allows for the easy integration of third-party services, and emerging technologies. This facilitates the rapid implementation of new functionalities and features. Iterating and optimizing the user experience quickly leads to increased customer satisfaction, and ultimately a higher conversion rate. Visitors are more likely convert to customers when they experience a positive, frictionless shopping experience.


6. What is the difference between Traditional and Headless Commerce?


Here you can find the difference between traditional and headless commerce:


Key AspectsTraditional CommerceHeadless Commerce
DefinitionTraditional Commerce relies on all-in-one platform that is bundled with frontend and backend database. Headless Commerce is a modern architecture that decouples storefront from business logic.                    
CommunicationCommunication between frontend and backend is made through coupled code.Communication between frontend and backend is made via API. 
CapabilitiesLimited customization and flexibility of stack because of bundled codebase. Unlimited customization and full-fledge flexibility because of decoupled codebase.
ChannelSupports multichannel experiences optimized for single channel. Supports Omnichannel experiences optimized for multiple devices.
CostImplementation and development cost goes higher.Implementation and development cost is budget friendly but goes higher as per customization.

7. What is Headless CMS?


A headless CMS is a content management system that helps in centralizing and managing all your content in one single place through the help of APIs. A headless CMS commonly stores the content and APIs securely on a cloud-based platform rather than a local server. In this approach, content is managed as data and distributed to frontend channels in the relevant format via APIs.


8. What can headless commerce do for my business?


Headless Commerce is a modern approach for businesses to provide better shopping experience to their customers and gain better ROI. If you want to shift your business from traditional to headless or want to scale your business, then headless can-do wonders. 

  • Headless architecture can provide your customers with true omnichannel experience.
  • Implementing Headless can boost your site performance as the architecture supports good connectivity between services and APIs. 
  • Headless technology is future ready; thus, brands have full flexibility to integrate new trends and expand their offerings as and when needed. Thanks to the API module that connects with frontend, backend, and any third-party services, through which it becomes possible to integrate any features easily. 
  • As headless technology enables quicker deployment, brands can quickly get their campaign faster to the market and look forward to a better ROI. 

9. Is Headless Good for SEO?


Headless CMS offers SEO-friendly features and integrations such as:

  • Well-structured data support
  • Customizable URLs
  • Boost Page Loading Speed
  • Better Visibility in SERP.


Apart from these there are much more benefits that make headless a good fit for SEO.


10. Why is Headless Commerce Faster?


There are several reasons that makes headless commerce faster than other tech stack. Here are some of them:


  • Technology Stack Flexibility: The architecture allows developers to choose the most suitable tech stack for both storefront and business logic. This helps them to use modern technologies and frameworks that are well-optimized for both speed and performance. 
  • Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): In large businesses there are various static assets such as images, stylesheets, scripts that needs to be managed efficiently. Through CDN these can be served directly that helps in reducing latency and improving web pages speed by caching them.
  • API-First Approach: Headless architecture totally relies on APIs to make communication between frontend and backend.  Through API-First approach communication and integration with various channels becomes faster, as a result exchanging of data becomes more efficient. 
  • SEO-Friendly: Headless architecture is SEO-friendly which means that you can optimize your web pages and other resources as per different search engines which results in better visibility and ranking. 


11. Can Existing e-commerce Platforms be Migrated to a Headless Architecture?


Yes, many ecommerce platforms provide option to shift their commerce stack to headless. But before migrating you must ask yourself the following questions:


  • Are you struggling with your current tech stack?
  • What are your pain points with your current platform and can headless rectify them?
  • Are you planning to scale your business?
  • Do you have good budget to move towards Headless? And so on…


Now as you have answer to your question, you need to follow these steps to migrate to headless architecture:

Step 1: Backup your entire data from your current provider. 
Step 2: Once your backup is done, you need to choose the right platform and infrastructure to integrate your headless architecture. 
Step 3: Now the development phase gets started by decoupling the frontend and backend. APIs come into the role where interaction becomes easy between these two layers. This is the phase where you can customize your stack the way you want. You can integrate various plugins, themes, advanced ecommerce tools like PIM, OMS, CMS that suits your business well. 
Step 4: Now you need to migrate your data from old platform to the new one. 
Step 5: Testing is important to rectify any technical glitches prior launch. 
Step 6: Finally, after completing all the above steps, your tech stack is ready to go live.


12. What are the Factors That Influence the Cost for Headless Architecture?


The cost for headless architectures from scratch depends on various factors such as:

Front-end Development Costs

The front-end development cost includes designing and developing the storefront and any ongoing maintenance or updates that are required.


  • Development time: Headless architecture development can cost you higher due to several factors like time and resources required to develop and maintain the site, cost of hiring the developers (in-house or on contractual basis). 
  • Tools and Resources: Costs associated with purchasing tools or subscriptions (text editors, debugging tools, or designing software) that are needed for frontend development.
  • Hosting Cost: You need to purchase hosting where your site will be hosted and server where your data will be stored. 

Back-end Development Costs

When it comes to the backend development, the cost depends on several factors such as: 

  • Configuration of database: The entire process includes designing the database schema, configuring the database server, and integrating the database with your tech stack.
  • Payment Gateways: As you are into ecommerce business, you need to integrate safe and secure payment gateways that supports multiple payment options for your customers. 
  • Order Management: This may include customer account management, order processing, cart and checkouts, tracking of orders etc. 

Integration Costs

Integration costs may include all the tools and third-party services that you are using in your tech stack. Timely updates and integration of new features may increase your integration cost depending on the size of your business. 

Maintenance Costs

Post launch, your stack requires timely maintenance to ensure it remains bug free and you remain updated accordingly to the latest market trends. Maintenance costs may include maintenance of your platform, frequent updates and changes, A/B testing, third-party tools, and services. 


13. Is Headless Commerce suitable for all types of businesses?


Headless commerce is particularly beneficial for businesses that prioritize flexibility, quick adaptation to market changes, and a streamlined development process. However, its suitability depends on specific business needs and goals such as:


  • It is becoming difficult for you to manage your vast product listing, and you want to centralize them at one place.
  • You want to stay up to date with the latest market trends.
  • Your business requires regular updates and modifications, and you want to avoid lot of coding.
  • Your current provider doesn’t provide flexibility to integrate third party plugins, etc. 

14. What are the Challenges for Headless Commerce?

While headless commerce offers greater flexibility, speed, and scalability, addressing these challenges is crucial to realizing its full potential and reaping the benefits of this innovative architecture. Implementing headless commerce comes with certain set of challenges such as: 


  • Difficulty in managing the decoupled front-end and back-end systems. Coordinating the communication between these components requires careful planning to ensure seamless integration and optimal functionality.
  • Businesses may face difficulties in maintaining consistent user experiences across various channels, as the responsibility for presentation logic shifts to the front end.
  • Transitioning from a traditional e-commerce setup to a headless architecture can pose challenges in terms of data migration and system compatibility. 

15. Can businesses maintain a consistent brand identity across different channels with Headless Commerce?

Yes, implementing headless can help you to maintain brand identity across different channel. Headless commerce provides omnichannel strategy that involves seamlessly integrating and coordinating various channels, such as web, mobile, social media, and physical stores, while leveraging a headless CMS to deliver content across these channels. 

16. How does Headless Commerce impact the user experience for customers?

Headless Commerce impact the user experience by offering unparalleled flexibility and speed. The decoupling of the front-end and back-end allows for the creation of highly responsive and dynamic interfaces, translating to faster page load times and smoother navigation. This stack help businesses to adapt changing user expectations and trends, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable online shopping experience. 


Headless approach also facilitates advanced personalization, enabling businesses to deliver tailor-made content, recommendations, and promotions based on customers shopping habit. This level of customization enhances customer engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction, as users feel a more personalized connection with the brand.

17. How does Headless Commerce impact website performance and loading times?

Headless Commerce stands as a game-changer in website performance and loading time of web pages, which leads to speed and efficiency. By decoupling the front-end from the back end, headless architectures help businesses to craft highly optimized and responsive interfaces. Front-end developers can integrate cutting-edge technologies and frameworks to streamline the user experience, resulting in faster rendering and reduced loading times. 

18. What security considerations should businesses keep in mind when adopting a Headless Commerce approach?

When adopting a Headless Commerce approach, businesses must prioritize robust security measures to safeguard sensitive data and ensure the integrity of their e-commerce ecosystem. As the architecture involves multiple services communicating through APIs, it's crucial to


  • Implement secure API practices, including authentication mechanisms and encryption protocols.
  • Prevent unauthorized access and data breaches. 
  • Regular security audits and penetration testing.
  • Businesses should choose reputable third-party integrations, keeping a keen eye on their security standards.
  • Implementing secure coding practices.
  • Regularly updating software components, and
  • Ensuring compliance with industry standards. 

By placing security at the forefront of their strategy, businesses can build trust in their customers and protect their digital infrastructure against potential threats.

19. What role does API (Application Programming Interface) play in Headless Commerce?

APIs play a crucial role in Headless Commerce, serving as the bridge that facilitates communication between the storefront and business logic. Here’s what APIs play in a Headless Commerce architecture:


  • Decoupling Storefront and Business logic.
  • Connecting Microservices with each other.
  • Seamless content delivery with the help of CMS
  • Integration of various third-party tools
  • Provide great Omnichannel Experiences


End Note

As we end up with exploration of headless commerce FAQs, it becomes a proof that this cutting-edge approach is not just a trend but a big transformation for online businesses. From enhanced user experiences to seamless integrations, the advantages of headless commerce are shaping the future of online business.

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