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Headless Commerce

This page includes all the resources you need to understand if Headless Commerce is the right fit for your business

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What is Headless Commerce?

Headless Commerce has been gaining popularity over the course of the past 5 years or so, but when some people hear the term "headless" it still gets some puzzled reactions.

The concept of "headless" refers to the decoupling of the front-end of an application, or the user interface that the end-user interacts with, and the back-end, or the engine of the application that processes all the business logic. In the commerce space, when organizations embrace a Headless Commerce approach, it means they're leveraging a back-end commerce engine that doesn't come with a front-end UI, and instead they build their own front-end that consumers use to purchase goods and services from that brand or retailers. But determining if headless is right for your business can be a daunting decision.  

 

What is Headless Commerce (and why should you care about it?) 

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Deep-dive into Headless Commerce

Now that you understand the basic principles of Headless Commerce, we'll now go a little deeper. What's so great about a Headless approach for delivering your digital commerce experiences to your consumers? It really comes down to the flexibility, speed, and control you get with a headless approach. If your commerce requirements are straight-forward, you'll probably be best served with a traditional, out-of-the-box eCommerce Platform, like Magento, Shopify, Big Commerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and others. But if the following benefits appeal to you, then a headless approach may be the right fit for your business:

  • Faster time-to-market and ongoing iteration
  • Design freedom
  • Lower TCO
  • More control
  • More flexibility to innovate
  • Enhanced brand experience
Headless Commerce eBook (free & un-gated) 

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Headless eCommerce vs traditional eCommerce platforms

By now you're on your way to becoming an expert on Headless Commerce, but it can still be daunting to decide if going down the headless path is best for your business, or if you would be better off sticking with a traditional eCommerce Platform. There are a few key considerations:

  • Access to developers: with a headless approach, you will need access to developers to build the "head", i.e. the front-end of the application. You can either hire your own developers or work with an agency. 
  • Uniqueness of your requirements: if you have mostly vanilla requirements, you may be better off with a traditional eCommerce platform. But if you have aspire to deliver a unique commerce experience with complex and/or unique requirements, then a headless approach will provide more flexibility. 
  • Anticipated future changes: will your eCommerce website will be a "set it and forget it" setup or do you anticipate the need to quickly respond to changing business requirements over time? If the later, then a headless architecture is probably the best solution for your business. 
Headless Commerce comparison guide 
Headless Search Engine Optimization

How "Headless" impacts your SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical factor for any eCommerce business, and there are some special considerations for businesses leveraging a headless approach to their eCommerce solutions. The common SEO tactics still apply, such as:

  • Ensuring use of HTTPS protocol
  • Use of keywords in the URL
  • Using human-readable URL
  • Having a clear structure of a website
  • Ensuring a quick page load time

But there are other considerations that apply specifically to Headless eCommerce websites, such as:

  • Your URL structure
  • How you use Metadata
  • Crawlability of your headless site structure, especially when using modern approaches like JAMstack

SEO for headless-powered eCommerce websites 

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