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What is headless commerce?

Headless commerce is an ecommerce architecture where a brand’s frontend system is separated, or decoupled, from its backend system. In traditional ecommerce platform builds, the frontend and backend are tightly intertwined, making it difficult or impossible to edit certain pieces of code without interfering with user experiences. This limits opportunities for customization. In a headless site architecture, merchants can have full control over what they want to customize without sacrificing the customer experience.

Who should consider a headless site architecture?

Not every online retailer needs the customization, speed, and agility that a headless architecture offers. The headless commerce experience may not be ideal for small to midsize retailers who are just starting out, as its added complexity requires developers to implement and maintain it. However, as ecommerce brands scale and add complexity to their offerings, they may experience issues like slower page loading times due to that complexity. In these cases, the headless site architecture can improve page loading speeds, leading to a smoother and more seamless customer experience that can ultimately help increase average order value and conversion rates. 

Progressive web apps and headless commerce architecture

As ecommerce sites add complexity to their offerings, they can also experience issues with mobile conversions. With a headless architecture, a business can utilize PWAs, or progressive web applications, to solve for this. This type of web application software enables websites to act like apps. For example, if consumers see a product ad on social media, they can pull up your ecommerce store with a single click, then intuitively and quickly navigate through the checkout process without having to wait for pages to load with every click. This, too, increases conversion rates and average order value, improving customer experiences.