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  • Writer's pictureMichael Zhdanau

If benefits of Headless Commerce are good for your online store?

Updated: Nov 2

Learn about the differences between traditional and headless commerce, and how to choose the best approach for your online store.


Benefits of headless commerce

There are 2 main development approaches for websites:

  • Traditional or Monolithic;

  • Headless or Microservices.

How to choose the best approach for your website? Let's dive into both solutions and find the key benefits of each.


Traditional approach

This means that you have one system that is responsible for storing data, managing, and providing a user-facing interface.


For example, WordPress. It provides an admin panel and template engine. You can manage content and customize themes there, you will get a working website then. But what if the page speed is low or you need to enhance content management flow? You are limited by the platform now and should research how to solve these issues within platform limitations. Anyway, WordPress is a great platform for customization so you are likely to find the solution. But it usually looks like a bunch of compromises and doesn't have the best performance. Also creating mobile applications is still an issue.


Headless approach

Let's imagine that we have a separation of a few applications that are responsible for a particular role. For example, content management, commerce operations, and an application with a user-facing interface that uses data from both systems and shows it to the user. Now each of these 3 applications can be replaced with a more suitable one. This is a headless approach where components of your website are independent and can be easily replaced or changed. In other words, headless commerce is a separation of a backend (content, commerce operations, CRMs, etc.) and a frontend (storefronts).


Benefits of headless commerce:

  • Moving faster with updating only necessary applications and shorter release cycle;

  • Can be cheaper through scaling on demand;

  • Any Customization and Personalization capabilities that are not limited by the chosen platform;

  • Using any Programming Language or Framework;

  • Development is faster by utilizing modern tools;

  • Website performance optimization possibilities;

  • No limitations in data consumers, so omnichannel is possible.

Traditional vs Headless

Traditional

Headless

Time to market without customizations

Fast

Initial development or boilerplate is needed

Time to market with customizations

Longer

Faster

Scalability

Limited by platform

Unlimited

Customization and Personalization capabilities

Limited by platform

Any integrations are possible

Content management capability

Limited by platform

CMS is needed

​Programming Language or Framework

Limited by platform

​Any suitable

Website performance

Limited by platform

A high range of optimization is available

Omnichannel

Limited by platform

Any channels are possible

So based on all the above which approach to choose for your online store?


Traditional commerce is more suitable if:

  • There are no special marketing and content management capabilities that the team wants to utilize;

  • You've found the commerce platform that provides all the necessary features;

  • There are not many visitors, enough order value, or other objective confirmation that the ROI of the headless approach is better;

  • There are no strict requirements for the website performance;

  • You are doing the market research.

Headless commerce is more suitable if:

  • You want to frequently release updates;

  • Flexible Scalability is needed;

  • There are special requirements in Marketing and Content management capabilities;

  • You want to keep the same technical stack within the company;

  • You need to implement a lot of custom functionality that no one platform can provide to you;

  • Website performance is important (see How Website Performance Affects SEO and Conversion Rate).

Conclusion

There is no silver bullet yet, your decision should be based on your business context and needs. Now, you are aware of the benefits of headless commerce and can decide if the approach is the best choice for you.

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