HomeResourcesHeadless Ecommerce: The pros and cons

Headless Ecommerce: The pros and cons

15th May 2023 - 5 mins


By Jaime Hutchins

, Solutions Consultant

In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz around the term Headless Ecommerce. It refers to an approach to building ecommerce platforms that separates the frontend and backend of the application.

In a traditional ecommerce platform, the frontend and backend are tightly integrated.
With headless ecommerce, the frontend and backend are decoupled, which allows businesses to use any frontend technology to build their user interface, such as React or Vue.js, and make updates to the user interface without having to modify the backend code.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using Headless Ecommerce, why it is not the silver bullet for all businesses, who it is aimed at, and what it means for the future of ecommerce.
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The benefits of Headless Ecommerce

One of the biggest advantages of headless ecommerce is flexibility. The separation of the frontend and backend allows developers to use any technology they want to build the frontend without being restricted by the backend code. This means businesses can create custom user interfaces, integrate with third-party services, and provide a unique customer experience.
Additionally, businesses can create a faster and more performant website by eliminating the code bloat that can come with traditional ecommerce platforms.
This is because with headless ecommerce, only the necessary code is loaded onto the frontend, leading to faster page load times and a better user experience.
Another benefit of headless ecommerce is scalability. By separating the frontend and backend, businesses can scale their ecommerce platform as needed.
If a business experiences a sudden increase in traffic, they can add more servers to handle the traffic without having to modify the frontend code.
Additionally, businesses can easily integrate with new channels such as social media platforms and marketplaces.
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Why Headless Ecommerce isn’t the silver bullet

Whilst there are many benefits to headless ecommerce, it is not the perfect solution for all businesses.
One of the biggest drawbacks is the complexity of the system. Separating the frontend and backend requires a high level of technical expertise, which means that businesses without large tech teams may struggle to implement and maintain the system.
The initial setup of a headless ecommerce platform can be time-consuming and expensive, which can be a barrier to entry for small businesses.
Another potential issue with headless ecommerce is that it requires businesses to manage multiple systems. With a traditional ecommerce platform, everything is managed in one place, which can be simpler for businesses to manage.
With headless ecommerce, businesses need to manage the frontend code, backend code, and any third-party services they use. This can lead to additional costs and complexity.
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Who is Headless Ecommerce aimed at?

Headless ecommerce is primarily aimed at larger businesses with significant technical resources.
These businesses can take advantage of the flexibility and scalability of headless ecommerce, and they have the resources to implement and maintain the system.
Businesses that want to provide a unique customer experience, integrate with third-party services, or create a faster website may find headless ecommerce to be a good fit for their needs.
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What does it means for the future of ecommerce?

Headless Ecommerce is rapidly gaining popularity, and many industry experts predict that it will become the future of ecommerce. As consumers become more tech-savvy and demand a personalized shopping experience, businesses need to adapt to stay competitive.
With the increasing popularity of mobile shopping and the emergence of new channels such as social media platforms and marketplaces, Headless Ecommerce provides businesses with the flexibility to easily integrate with these channels and stay ahead of the curve.
Although Headless Ecommerce is gaining popularity, there is some scepticism about whether it is truly the future of ecommerce.
While larger businesses with significant technical resources can take advantage of its benefits, it may not be suitable for small companies without access to larger tech teams to implement and manage the system.
The initial setup of a Headless Ecommerce platform can also be time-consuming and expensive, which can be a barrier to entry for small businesses.
As more businesses adopt Headless Ecommerce, it is likely that we will see a shift towards a more API-driven approach to ecommerce. This will enable businesses to easily integrate with third-party services and create a seamless shopping experience for their customers.
We may also see an increase in the use of microservices architecture, which will allow businesses to break down their ecommerce platform into smaller, more manageable components.
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Integrating Headless Ecommerce into Marketing Automation platforms

Businesses may need to work more closely with their marketing automation provider to ensure that their tools are integrated properly with the Headless Ecommerce platform.
They may need to invest in additional tools or expertise to manage the integration effectively. However, this can also provide businesses with more control over their marketing and sales efforts, allowing them to create a more customized and effective customer experience.
Headless Ecommerce can provide businesses with more data and insights into their customers’ behaviour and preferences. This data can be used to create more targeted and personalised marketing campaigns, which can lead to increased conversions and revenue.

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About the author

Jamie Hutchins
Jaime Hutchins Solutions Consultant

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