As the eCommerce industry continues to evolve, businesses are facing increasing competition in the online retail space. However, an emerging technology called headless commerce is changing the game by separating the front-end and back-end, allowing for seamless integration across all touchpoints through APIs.

This guide will delve into the concept, architecture, pros and cons, differences from traditional commerce, and some of the available headless commerce platforms. Let's begin exploring this topic. 

What is Headless Commerce?



Headless Commerce is an approach to eCommerce architecture where the Front-end presentation layer of a website or application is separated from the Back-end Commerce platform. This means that the website or application’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are built and managed separately from the commerce functionality, which includes things like product catalogs, inventory management, and payment processing.

In a Headless Commerce Architecture, the Front-end presentation layer can be built using any technology or framework, allowing for greater flexibility and customization in designing the user interface and user experience. This can result in faster page loading times, improved search engine optimization (SEO), and a more seamless and personalized customer experience across multiple devices and channels.

The Back-end Commerce Platform, on the other hand, remains responsible for handling all the commerce functionality, such as product information management, order management, and payment processing. By separating the Front-end presentation layer from the Back-end Commerce Platform, businesses can easily add new channels, adapt to changing customer needs, and experiment with new features without affecting the underlying commerce functionality.

How Does Headless Commerce Work?

Headless Commerce refers to an eCommerce structure that separates the Front-end presentation layer from the Back-end eCommerce engine. With this approach, businesses can customize and update the Front-end layer independently of the Back-end, which allows for more flexibility in creating unique user experiences. The Front-end can be developed using any technology and deployed on any platform, while the Back-end consists of APIs that facilitate communication between the Front-end and various Back-end services. By leveraging APIs, businesses can ensure consistent data and business logic across various channels. Ultimately, Headless Commerce can help businesses adapt quickly to changes in market demand and user behavior, while also providing greater agility, scalability, and efficiency in managing their eCommerce operations. 

Why do you need to go Headless for your website?

Going Headless in commerce means decoupling the Front-end presentation layer from the Back-end Commerce Platform. This allows developers to use different technologies and frameworks to build the Front-end experience, giving them greater flexibility and customization options to create a seamless and personalized customer experience across multiple devices and channels.

When a customer interacts with a Commerce Website, they expect a smooth and intuitive experience. They want to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily, and to be able to purchase products or services with minimal friction. Going Headless in commerce can help achieve this by providing faster page loading times, improved SEO, and the ability to easily integrate with other third-party services.

By separating the Front-end presentation layer from the Back-end Commerce Platform, businesses can take advantage of the latest web technologies and frameworks to build highly responsive and engaging user interfaces. This can help to increase customer engagement and loyalty, leading to higher conversion rates and increased sales.

Moreover, going Headless in commerce provides businesses with more control and agility over the customer experience. It allows businesses to quickly iterate and adapt to changing market conditions, and to experiment with new features and functionality without having to worry about impacting the underlying commerce platform. This can be especially valuable in today's fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, where businesses need to be able to respond quickly to customer needs and preferences.

For more information: How to Build Headless Commerce Website

The importance of Headless Commmerce

Headless Commerce has become increasingly important in recent years, particularly as more and more businesses seek to provide a seamless and personalized customer experience across multiple devices and channels.

One of the key advantages of Headless Commerce is the flexibility it provides in designing the Front-end user interface and user experience. By separating the Front-end presentation layer from the Back-end Commerce Platform, businesses can use any technology or framework to build the Front-end experience, allowing them to create a more engaging and responsive user interface that can be tailored to different audiences and use cases.

This can result in a more seamless and personalized customer experience, which in turn can help to increase customer engagement and loyalty, leading to higher conversion rates and increased sales. For example, businesses can use headless commerce to create more dynamic and interactive product pages, incorporate personalized recommendations and promotions, and provide a more intuitive and streamlined checkout process.

Another important benefit of Headless Commerce is the ability to easily integrate with other third-party services, such as marketing automation tools, social media platforms, and content management systems. By leveraging these tools and services, businesses can further enhance the customer experience, and better target and engage customers across multiple touchpoints.

Furthermore, Headless Commerce can help businesses to future-proof their eCommerce architecture, by allowing them to easily add new channels and adapt to changing market conditions. For example, businesses can use Headless Commerce to quickly create new mobile apps, chatbots, or voice assistants, without having to worry about disrupting the underlying commerce functionality.

eCommerce Terms Relates to Headless Commerce

  • API-first Commerce: An approach to eCommerce development where the API (Application Programming Interface) is built first, allowing for more efficient integration with third-party applications and services. This is important in Headless Commerce because it allows for greater flexibility in creating a custom user experience that integrates with other services and applications.

  • Microservices: A software architecture that breaks down an application into smaller, modular services that can be developed and deployed independently. This is important in Headless Commerce because it allows for greater flexibility and scalability in managing different aspects of the eCommerce Platform.
  • Front-end Development: The development of the user-facing interface of an application or website. In Headless Commerce, Front-end Development is important because it allows for the creation of a unique and customizable user experience.

  • Back-end Development: The development of the server-side components of an application or website. In Headless Commerce, Back-end development is important for managing the business logic and data that supports the Front-end user interface.
  • Omnichannel Commerce: A multichannel approach to eCommerce that provides customers with a seamless shopping experience across all channels, including online, mobile, in-store, and social media. In Headless Commerce, omnichannel commerce is important for creating a unified shopping experience across all channels.

  • Digital Commerce: The buying and selling of goods and services online. In Headless Commerce, digital commerce is important because it allows for greater flexibility and customization in the online shopping experience.

  • eCommerce Platform: A software solution that enables businesses to sell products and services online. In Headless Commerce, the choice of eCommerce Platform is important because it can affect the flexibility and customization options available for the Front-end user interface.
  • Customer experience: The overall impression a customer has of a business based on their interactions with the company. In Headless Commerce, creating a unique and customizable customer experience is important for building brand loyalty and driving sales.

  • User interface: The visual and interactive elements of an application or website that allow users to interact with the platform. In Headless Commerce, creating a custom user interface is important for providing a unique and engaging shopping experience.

  • User experience: The overall impression a user has of an application or website based on their interactions with the platform. In Headless Commerce, creating a positive user experience is important for building brand loyalty and driving sales.

  • Single-page application: A web application that loads a single HTML page and dynamically updates the content as the user interacts with the application. In Headless Commerce, single-page applications can provide a faster and more responsive shopping experience for customers.

  • Progressive Web App: A web application that uses modern web technologies to provide an app-like experience for users, including offline access and push notifications. In Headless Commerce, progressive web apps can provide a seamless and engaging shopping experience across all devices.

  • Content Management System (CMS): A software platform for creating, managing, and publishing digital content. In Headless Commerce, a CMS can be used to manage content for the Front-end user interface and provide a customizable shopping experience for customers.

  • Application Programming Interface (API): A set of protocols and tools for building software applications. In Headless Commerce, APIs are important for connecting different services and applications and enabling custom integrations with third-party tools.

  • Decoupled Architecture: An architecture where the Front-end and Back-end of a platform are completely separated, allowing for even greater flexibility and customization. In Headless Commerce, decoupled architecture is important for providing a more scalable and future-proof eCommerce platform that can adapt to changing business needs.

  • Enterprise Commerce: eCommerce solutions designed for large and complex businesses with multiple departments, teams, and workflows. In Headless Commerce, enterprise commerce solutions are important for providing the scalability, flexibility, and customization needed to meet the unique needs of large and complex organizations.

  • Digital Transformation: The process of using digital technologies to transform business operations and improve customer experiences. In Headless Commerce, digital transformation is important for staying competitive in the rapidly evolving world of eCommerce and adapting to changing customer needs and expectations.

  • Cloud Commerce: eCommerce solutions that are hosted on cloud servers, allowing for greater scalability, flexibility, and reliability. In Headless Commerce, cloud commerce is important for providing a more agile and cost-effective eCommerce platform that can adapt to changing business needs.

  • Cross-Platform Commerce: eCommerce solutions that are optimized for multiple platforms, including desktop, mobile, and tablet. In Headless Commerce, cross-platform commerce is important for providing a seamless and consistent shopping experience across all devices and platforms, regardless of the Front-end technology used.

Benefits of Headless Commerce 


Headless Commerce is a new approach to eCommerce that separates the Front-end user interface from the Back-end eCommerce Platform. In this model, the Back-end Platform provides all the necessary eCommerce functionalities like product catalog, inventory management, payment processing, and order management. At the same time, the Front-end is built using a separate content management system (CMS) or a custom-built user interface that can interact with the eCommerce platform through APIs. Here are some benefits of Headless Commerce:

  • Improved flexibility: Headless Commerce separates the Front-end from the Back-end, providing the flexibility to use different Front-end technologies like React, Angular, or Vue. This allows businesses to create unique and engaging user experiences that are not limited by the capabilities of the eCommerce platform.
  • Faster time-to: Since the Front-end and Back-end are decoupled, updates to the Front-end can be made without affecting the Back-end, and vice versa. This enables businesses to make changes faster and bring new products or services to market quickly.
  • Better scalability: Headless Commerce provides better scalability as businesses can scale the Front-end and Back-end independently. This is especially useful during peak periods such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday when traffic to an eCommerce site can increase significantly.
  • Enhanced customer experience: With Headless Commerce, businesses can deliver a personalized and seamless customer experience across multiple channels like mobile, web, and voice. This is because the Front-end can be customized to cater to the specific needs of each channel, while the Back-end handles all the eCommerce functionality.
  • Reduced costs: Headless Commerce reduces costs it eliminates the need to maintain a monolithic eCommerce Platform that includes both the Front-end and Back-end. Businesses can choose the best-of-breed solutions for each component, which can be less expensive than an all-in-one solution.

Different between Headless Commerce and Traditional Commerce Platform

When comparing Headless and Monolithic Platforms, a crucial aspect to consider is their level of decoupling. Headless solutions are designed in a way that their Back-end functionalities can be utilized by multiple Front-ends through the use of APIs. In contrast, Monolithic Commerce Platforms come with one Front-end, making it difficult to change the Front-end without affecting the Back-end layer. By leveraging the decoupling feature of Headless eCommerce platforms, businesses can ensure a consistent content experience for customers across various digital devices. This is made possible by allowing the Front-end to communicate with the Back-end via APIs, enabling the Back-end to process and display relevant information on the Front-end. In contrast, traditional platforms limit customers to shopping exclusively on a classic web store, thereby restricting their options for an optimal shopping experience. Understanding the key differences between headless and monolithic platforms can assist businesses in making informed decisions when choosing the right platform to implement.


See more: Traditional vs Headless Commerce

Headless Commerce Platforms


Shopify Plus

Shopify is one of the world's leading eCommerce platforms with over 1.7 million users. Shopify allows users to build eCommerce websites at affordable rates.


In which the Shopify plus version allows users to provide a multi-channel experience thanks to a headless solution. It is built on Ruby on Rails technology that allows for flexible store creation across devices. As a result, store owners can provide a seamless experience for their customers.

Some advantages of Shopify plus: the Back-end is considered to be quite efficient: high-speed performance, omnichannel selling, automated business processes, and scalability,... Allows turning any screen into a digital facade.

However, Shopify also has some disadvantages that sellers need to be aware of. Firstly, it is difficult to manage multiple stores. Compared to other platforms, Shopify plus is said to not have many features in supporting multi-store management. The second is about payment, Shopify plus lacks control in payment, which can cause data theft problems and reduce the reputation of businesses.

Adobe Commerce (Magento Enterprise)


Magento is known for being an open source that allows developers to build eCommerce websites. Not only the traditional model, Magento also allows developers to build eCommerce websites based on a Headless structure. Magento is considered the most customizable Headless Commerce Platform, allowing you to build customer experiences dynamically.

In addition, it also includes a cloud-hosted omnichannel solution that can help provide a comprehensive omnichannel experience to customers.

Magento is considered one of the leading platforms in headless. However, you still have to be careful when you intend to build a headless website on Magento because it requires in-depth technical knowledge.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud


Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an eCommerce solution based on the SaaS model with high scalability. Created to eliminate expensive storage and infrastructure systems

This trading platform with high security allows you to build

As the name suggests this is a commercial cloud storage solution that allows you to remove the barrier of expensive hosting costs.

Besides, Salesforce Commerce Cloud also supports AI technology in optimizing the customer experience and supporting customer care. In addition, AI technology also suggests solutions for store optimization.



Considered the leading solution for headless structure, however, CommerceTools does not have enterprise-level packages. It is designed for both B2B and B2C with powerful commerce features such as shipment management, product management,

API-preferred approach, optimized API engine to allow you to connect your Back-end with different user interfaces as well as 3rd party applications to provide maximum omnichannel experience. However, focusing only on the API makes the Commerce tool face the problem that other features are not optimized and cared for.

BigCommerce Enterprise


Just like Shopify, Bigcommerce is also known as the leading eCommerce Platform. This platform incorporates leading commercial features that allow businesses to manage and operate their business with ease.

With a Headless model, Bigcommerce is committed to providing an absolute customer experience thanks to leading headless solutions such as frontend frameworks, CMS, DXP, ORM,... Especially it allows you to manage multiple stores daily on one dashboard.

Cmsmart NextCommerce


Delivering omnichannel experiences is now easy with Bigcommerce by using integrations and APIs for WordPress, eBay, Google, Stripe, Adobe Experience Manager, Drupal, Mailchimp, Amazon, etc. There’s also a popular BigCommerce WordPress plugin, making it more compatible with the world’s most popular CMS.

CMSmart is an eCommerce solution provider that offers a range of products and services, including a Headless eCommerce Platform. Their Headless eCommerce Platform is designed to provide businesses with a flexible and customizable Front-end solution that can be integrated with any Back-end system.

CMSmart's Headless eCommerce Platform offers a range of features, including custom product catalogs, shopping carts, checkout pages, and payment gateway integrations. The platform also provides businesses with tools for managing content, product information, and customer data.

One of the key advantages of CMSmart's Headless eCommerce Platform is its flexibility. The platform can be integrated with any Back-end system, including popular eCommerce platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify. This makes it easy for businesses to migrate to a headless architecture without having to overhaul their entire eCommerce infrastructure.

Challenges of Headless Commerce

While Headless Commerce brings many benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges that businesses need to be aware of. Here are some of the key challenges of Headless Commerce:

Technical complexity: Headless Commerce requires a higher level of technical expertise than traditional eCommerce architectures. This is because businesses need to manage multiple systems and integrations, and ensure that all the different components are working together seamlessly. This can be a challenge for businesses that do not have a dedicated technical team or the necessary technical expertise.

Increased development time and cost: Because Headless Commerce requires the development of both the Front-end presentation layer and the Back-end Commerce Platform, it can take longer and cost more to build than traditional eCommerce architectures. This can be a barrier for smaller businesses that have limited resources.

Integration challenges: One of the key benefits of Headless Commerce is the ability to easily integrate with other third-party services. However, this also means that businesses need to manage multiple integrations, which can be complex and time-consuming.

Content management: With Headless Commerce, businesses need to manage content separately from the commerce functionality. This can be a challenge, particularly for businesses that have a large amount of content or need to make updates to their content.

Security and compliance: Because Headless Commerce involves the use of multiple systems and integrations, there is a higher risk of security breaches and compliance issues. Businesses need to ensure that they have appropriate security measures in place to protect customer data and comply with relevant regulations.

Vendor lock-in: Depending on the Headless Commerce Platform or technology used, businesses may be locked into a specific vendor or technology stack, which can limit their flexibility and ability to adapt to changing market conditions.

Best practices for implementing Headless Commerce

Implementing Headless Commerce can be challenging, but there are best practices that businesses can follow to ensure a successful implementation. Here are some of the best practices for implementing Headless Commerce:

Clearly define the scope and goals of the project: Before starting the implementation, it's important to clearly define the scope and goals of the project. This includes identifying the channels and touchpoints that will be used, the features and functionality that will be included, and the expected outcomes.

Choose the right technology stack: Headless commerce requires a different technology stack than traditional e-commerce platforms. It's important to choose a technology stack that is flexible, scalable, and can integrate with the necessary channels and touchpoints.

Develop a content strategy: With headless commerce, the front-end and back-end are decoupled, which means content management becomes more complex. It's important to develop a content strategy that ensures consistency across all channels and touchpoints.

Invest in testing and QA: With multiple channels and touchpoints, testing becomes more complex. It's important to invest in testing and QA to ensure that the customer experience is consistent across all channels and touchpoints and that there are no technical issues.

Prioritize security: Headless commerce requires businesses to manage multiple channels and touchpoints, which can increase security risks. It's important to prioritize security and invest in technologies that protect customer data and prevent fraud.

Train employees: With headless commerce, employees will need to use different tools and technologies than they are used to. It's important to provide training and support to ensure that employees are comfortable with the new tools and can use them effectively.

Monitor and optimize: With multiple channels and touchpoints, it's important to monitor and optimize the customer experience to ensure that it is consistent and effective. This includes analyzing customer data, identifying areas for improvement, and making changes as necessary.

Future trends of Headless Commerce


Headless Commerce is an emerging trend in the eCommerce industry that separates the Front-end of an eCommerce website from the Back-end. It allows businesses to have more flexibility and control over the customer experience by enabling them to use different Front-end technologies, such as mobile apps, voice assistants, and virtual reality, to interact with the same Back-end eCommerce Platform. Here are some of the future trends of Headless Commerce:

1. Increased adoption of Headless Commerce: As more businesses realize the potential benefits of Headless Commerce, such as improved flexibility, scalability, and better customer experiences, the adoption of this approach is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

2. Expansion of eCommerce channels: Headless Commerce enables businesses to easily expand their eCommerce channels and reach customers on new platforms. This trend is expected to continue as businesses look for new ways to engage with customers and increase their sales.

3. Personalization: Headless Commerce allows businesses to personalize the customer experience by tailoring content, recommendations, and promotions based on customer data. This trend is expected to continue as businesses look for ways to stand out in a crowded market and provide a more personalized experience for their customers.

4. Integration with AI and Machine Learning: As businesses collect more customer data, they can use AI and Machine Learning to analyze that data and provide recommendations and insights that improve the customer experience. This trend is expected to continue as businesses look for ways to leverage technology to gain a competitive advantage.

5. Increased focus on security: Headless Commerce requires businesses to manage multiple channels and touchpoints, which can increase security risks. As a result, businesses are expected to focus more on security and invest in technologies that protect customer data and prevent fraud.


Is Headless CMS the same as Headless Commerce?

No, Headless CMS (Content Management System) and Headless Commerce are not the same thing, although they share some similarities.

Headless CMS refers to a content management system where the content or data is separated from the presentation layer or Front-end. This allows developers more flexibility in designing and building the Front-end experience by consuming the content or data through an API.

Headless Commerce, on the other hand, refers to an eCommerce Platform that is decoupled from the Front-end presentation layer. The Back-end commerce functionality is separated from the presentation layer, allowing businesses to have more control over the Front-end experience and customize it to fit their specific needs.

While both Headless CMS and Headless Commerce are based on separating the Back-end from the Front-end, they are different concepts that are used for different purposes. Headless CMS is primarily focused on managing content, whereas Headless Commerce is focused on managing eCommerce functionality. 

Does every eCommerce Store need Headless Commerce?

No, not every eCommerce store needs Headless Commerce. Headless Commerce is a solution that decouples the Front-end and Back-end of an eCommerce Platform, allowing for more flexibility and customization in the presentation layer. This can be beneficial for large enterprises with complex omnichannel strategies, or for businesses with specific design or functionality requirements. 

However, smaller eCommerce stores may not need the level of flexibility or customization that Headless Commerce provides. A traditional eCommerce Platform with an integrated Front-end may be sufficient for their needs. Ultimately, the decision to implement Headless Commerce should depend on the specific goals and needs of the business. 

Is Headless Commerce the future of eCommerce?

Headless Commerce is one of the latest trends in eCommerce and has a lot of potential for the future. It can provide numerous benefits to businesses, including increased speed, enhanced flexibility, and better scalability. 

Headless Commerce separates the Front-end (presentation layer) from the Back-end (commerce engine) of an eCommerce Website. As a result, businesses have the freedom to use any Front-end technology they prefer, add features, and make updates more easily. It also allows for easier integration with other systems, such as mobile applications and third-party services.

However, it is important to note that Headless Commerce is still a relatively new concept and there are still some limitations and challenges that businesses need to consider before adopting it. These include the need for technical expertise, potential issues with, and the ongoing maintenance required for different Front-end technologies.

Why is Headless Commerce trending?

The demands of marketing have always been a challenge for technology teams to keep up with. Marketing is constantly testing new strategies, searching for opportunities, and optimizing processes, serving customers in multiple channels while trying to keep everything streamlined. The technology teams they partner with, however, value stability, security, and a steady pace of development. There is a conflict of interest between the two groups. 

Thanks to Headless Commerce, marketing departments can take more ownership of the technology build. This allows marketers to iterate more quickly, perform increased testing, and claim ownership over projects without relying solely on developers. Moreover, the headless architecture enables all channels and customer experiences to be served from a single platform. 

Will the customer or end user notice anything different?

To clarify, the end user or customer of your website or application should not experience any differences compared to a traditional eCommerce setup. In fact, they may even notice certain advantages such as faster page load times and increased accessibility. 

Our Headless Commerce Development service

In CMSmart - Headless eCommerce Development is an integrated part of your core business! Our experienced team of developers specializes in creating custom Headless eCommerce solutions that are tailored to your business needs.

With CMSmart, you'll get a fully scalable and flexible Headless eCommerce Platform that provides a superior user experience and drives maximum conversions. We use the latest cutting-edge technologies and frameworks to ensure that your eCommerce Platform is optimized for speed, security, and performance.

We have been transforming a part of CMSMART platform which is customly developed by Joomla Tech 12 years ago into Headless Commerce portal. Most of our clients can enjoy the new Cmsmart Dashboard with is developed by ReAct Front-end. It loads faster and we did moving all the 10 years of ticket database and clients from Joomla to Strapi to act as a API Back-end.

For Front-end we did not convert all the content and landing pages sections to Headless API as they are working well. In stead, we just move the Cmsmart Services to API data approach and call to Front-end which is still developed by PHP. This is a type of hybrid Headless eCommerce Development which help to keep the current part of your eCommerce that are working well while switching gradually news sections to headless approach.

Other more, we develop a completly new Headless Commerce Platform for our Best Seller products - Online Designer and Web2Print Solution, that is Princart and it is warmly welcomed by over 1500 user in 2022. 

In our mother company, Netbase, the applying of Headless eCommerce is popular for all outsourcing projects. In 2023 we also release the Cloodo - a Digital WorkPlace which is applying latest technologies of Headless Platform.

Our team of developers has extensive experience in developing custom Headless eCommerce solutions for businesses of all sizes and industries. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique business needs and create a solution that meets their exact requirements.

At CMSmart, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional customer service and support. We are always available to answer your questions, provide guidance, and help you navigate the complex world of Headless eCommerce Development.

Whether you're looking to create a new Headless eCommerce Platform from scratch or migrate an existing platform to a headless architecture, CMSmart is the perfect partner for your project. With our expertise and experience, we'll help you achieve your eCommerce goals and take your business to the next level.

Don't wait any longer to start your Headless eCommerce project. Contact CMSmart today to learn more about our services and how we can help you transform your eCommerce platform into a powerful, flexible, and scalable headless solution!

Above, we have analyzed very clearly Headless Commerce as well as Headless Front-end. It has helped you to understand this model well. With its many benefits, many businesses have been planning to build eCommerce websites based on the headless model. If you're confused because you don't know how to start, Contact us. You will get great solutions and dedicated support because we have more than 10 years of experience in offering design website services.