Headless e-Commerce is having a moment.
Businesses have grown wary of becoming overly reliant on products and services that trap them into a specific ecosystem. These “monolithic” e-Commerce providers bundle everything together, so you’re effectively stuck with a front end and back end of a product that looks and works a certain way, regardless of the changing needs of your business.
But with headless e-Commerce, you’re no longer shackled to a single provider and its required operating rules. Headless e-Commerce frees businesses from the singular architecture that their monolithic providers demand they use. It provides a level of flexibility that would have been unthinkable just a couple years ago, and it enables businesses of all sizes to bring agility to their operations.
Let’s explore headless e-Commerce in detail, highlighting the reasons why so many have chosen to make the jump.
First Things First: What Is Headless e-Commerce?
Before we get too deep into the benefits of e-Commerce, it helps to understand precisely what we mean.
Most providers of online marketplaces, i.e. companies like Shopify, Salesforce, Wix, and many, many others, tie their front-end user interface to CMS and product tools. This can make it easy for no-frills businesses, particularly those without a ton of customer and product data, to get up and running. But as businesses grow, and their data grows more robust and complex, with other operational needs affecting the tools they use, that backend may no longer be sufficient.
This creates a Catch-22; if you’re the business owner, you need to switch e-Commerce platforms to suit your needs. But doing so will mean transferring all your data to that other platform, leaving you to implement a new shopping cart and user interface on top of it.
This is where headless e-Commerce comes in. Headless e-Commerce divorces all your backend business operations from your front-end user interface. This lets you transfer data seamlessly between your storefront, your preferred CMS, and any other software crucial for your business. Is your front-end user interface working well? Great, you get to keep it, only now you’re receiving and transferring data via a CMS of your choosing, not the CMS your digital shopping provider demands that you use.