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Headless Commerce - The Future of B2C Commerce

The world of B2C e-commerce is booming! In 2024, it's a massive and ever-changing market with exciting possibilities and challenges. But with great opportunity, comes great responsibility… The responsibility to keep up with ever-evolving customer expectations and market realities. Traditional commerce platforms can feel clunky and inflexible, hindering your ability to deliver a truly exceptional online shopping experience. This is where headless commerce comes in as a game-changer. Let’s see why!

headless commerce for b2c process

Understanding the 2024 E-commerce Landscape

As we enter 2024, the world of global commerce faces significant challenges and changes. This year, the e-commerce scene is shaped by a range of factors, including the geopolitical ones, that change how people shop, difficulties in supply chains, and fluctuations in money values. Each of these aspects plays a crucial role in defining the current state and future of online shopping.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still visible in the commerce world. It led to a surge in online shopping in 2021, as people turned to the internet during lockdowns and when physical stores were closed. However, as life started to return to normal and stores reopened, there was a slight shift back towards in-store shopping. Despite this, the movement towards online shopping continues to grow, although at a more moderate pace, indicating a blend of online and in-store shopping preferences among consumers. Omnichannel readiness and coherent presence on various touch points like AR and VR are becoming more and more important.

Add constantly changing users’ expectations, the competition’s urge to offer surprisingly facile shopping experiences, or the need to streamline e-commerce teams’ efficiency and you’ll see it: B2C e-commerce requires technological and operational resilience. Especially when you want to grow and enter new markets or reach other audiences.

E-commerce business owners must navigate through the complexities by being adaptive, proactive, and ready for the change, also when it comes to the technologies they have at hand. They need more flexibility and scalability to respond better and quicker, at each level:

  • Modifying the website’s content and product information quicker

  • Ensuring their website(s) are ready for growing traffic

  • Integrating with dozens of third-party apps that support their operations and let them make more data-based decisions

  • Personalizing user experiences and journeys

  • Optimizing their workflows

Traditional commerce platforms often lack the flexibility and agility needed to thrive in this dynamic environment. Proofs? Salesforce discovered that companies with headless architecture are more likely to be rapidly expanding into new channels (77%) than non-headless companies (54%).


of companies that implemented headless architecture are more likely to expand into new sales channels

What is a B2C headless commerce?

B2C headless commerce is revolutionizing the way e-commerce businesses operate by offering unparalleled flexibility and efficiency. This approach separates the front end, which is the part of the website a customer interacts with, from the back end, where all the commerce operations happen.

This separation allows businesses to use the best components available. These could be:

  • Headless Content Management Systems (CMS)

  • Headless E-commerce Platforms

  • Payment Gateways

  • Onsite Search Engines

  • Inventory Management Systems (IMS)

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

  • Personalization Engines

  • Multi-language and Multi-currency Support

  • Shipping and Logistics Platforms

  • ERP Systems

  • Social Media and Marketplace Integrations

  • Marketing Automation Tools

  • Analytical Tools

  • and many others

The ultimate goal is to provide a seamless and engaging shopping experience for customers, making it easier for businesses to introduce changes, test new features, and update their presentation layer without impacting the back-end operations.

The integration of the Jamstack approach within headless commerce further amplifies these benefits. Jamstack, which stands for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup, leverages pre-rendering and decoupling to deliver faster, more secure, and scalable web applications. By adopting Jamstack, businesses can enhance their headless commerce solutions with:

  • faster load times

  • improved security

  • reduced complexity in scaling applications

  • fully personalized designs

All of them contribute to a better user experience and higher conversion rates.

Additionally, headless commerce is a cornerstone of composable commerce, which advocates for a modular approach to creating commerce solutions. Composable commerce utilizes best-of-breed services and technologies, piecing them together like building blocks to tailor fit the commerce platform to the specific needs and challenges of a business.

This strategy not only allows for the swift adaptation to market changes and consumer demands but also ensures that each component of the e-commerce platform is optimized for performance, leading to an agile, resilient, and highly personalized commerce ecosystem.

Through the synergy of headless commerce, the Jamstack approach, and composable commerce, businesses can unlock a new level of innovation and efficiency in e-commerce operations.

This trio empowers companies to swiftly navigate the evolving digital landscape, ensuring they can provide memorable shopping experiences that meet the dynamic needs of today’s consumers.

Headless vs Traditional Commerce

When deciding on the tech for your online store, it's crucial to know the differences between the newer, flexible headless approach and the traditional, more rigid setup. This table breaks down the main points, comparing how each system works when it comes to customization, growth, speed, security, and price. Whether you're looking for the freedom to create unique customer experiences or need a simple, all-in-one solution, these insights can help steer you in the right direction.

FeatureHeadless CommerceTraditional Commerce
Backend & FrontendDecoupled (independent)Coupled (integrated)
FlexibilityHighly customizableLimited customization
ScalabilityEasy to scaleDifficult to scale
SecurityEnhanced security (back-end breaches don't affect the front end)Vulnerable to traditional web server attacks
CostPotentially higher (separate CMS, developer, infrastructure costs)Lower (all-in-one platform)

Companies of all sizes experienced these differences:

  • 72% of companies already using headless say the most important reason for migrating from traditional to headless architecture was reducing friction between marketing/sales and development/IT teams

  • IT teams working at companies that already implemented headless architecture state that the most important benefits of doing so were:

    • 56%: More flexible design

    • 55%: Increased speed of publishing content

    • 53%: Ease of use

  • 83% of companies using headless CMS reported that switching to a headless CMS improved time, budget, productivity, meeting their KPIs, and revenue/growth

Pros and cons of headless commerce

As businesses strive for a greater online impact, headless commerce emerges as a game-changing approach. It offers a host of benefits like enhanced flexibility and performance but also comes with its own set of complexities. Before diving into this innovative e-commerce model, it’s essential to understand what it entails fully. 

The following table lays out the key pros and cons of going headless, offering a clear view of what businesses can expect when they adopt this modern framework for their online stores.

Flexibility: Build your online store with any design, framework, CMS, and third-party tool you choose, at any time.Complex Templates: Requires developers to build custom designs and structures.
Content First: Focus on creating amazing content without worrying about front-end display.More Difficult Development: Developers need expertise in multiple codebases to understand the communication between various microservices.
Speed, Performance & Scalability: Enhance site responsiveness and handle growing traffic effortlessly with scalable architecture that separates content delivery from content management.Dependency on External Resources: Often necessitates reliance on third-party systems and external developers for specialized services, increasing dependency and potential bottlenecks.
Less Reliance on the IT Teams: Potentially lower development engagement with less reliance on specialists when it comes to minor website changes or maintaining integrations.Fragmented Tech Stack Management: Managing and maintaining a diverse set of technologies can lead to complications in integration and consistent performance.
More Control for Marketing Teams: Marketing teams gain direct control over content and campaigns, enabling faster adjustments and autonomy from IT dependencies.Initial Costs: Potentially more expensive due to separate costs for CMS, development, and infrastructure.
Enhanced Security: Back-end security issues don't impact the front end.High Level of Cooperativeness of the Departments Needed: Requires increased coordination between business, marketing, IT, and sales departments to ensure seamless deployment and operations.
Omnichannel Management: Orchestrate seamless user experiences across all touchpoints.
Lower Maintenance: Simplify system upkeep with separate front-end and back-end elements, reducing the complexity and frequency of maintenance tasks.
Faster Website Updates: Accelerate the deployment of new site features and updates without backend complexities, minimizing downtime and disruption.
Easier Multi-Site Management: Manage multiple sites from a single backend, facilitating uniform updates and consistent branding across all platforms.
Streamlined Operations: Integrate seamlessly with CRM, PIM, and other business tools, enhancing efficiency and providing a unified operational view.
Enhanced User Experience: Allows for the creation of unique, innovative shopping experiences across various devices, driving better customer engagement and satisfaction.
Improved SEO Performance: With faster load times and more control over content delivery, headless commerce can lead to improved search engine rankings.
Greater Innovation Potential: Frees brands to experiment with the latest web technologies like progressive web apps (PWAs) and augmented reality (AR) without backend limitations.

When you take a look at the above comparison, it’s no wonder that 86% of marketers at large enterprises have grown frustrated with traditional CMS-es. However, entering headless commerce isn’t a silly task. It requires a strategic approach and thoughtful preparation.


Want to learn more and get insights into headless commerce solutions?

Check out our article and discover the benefits of going headless in online stores!

Implementing B2C Headless Commerce: A Step-by-Step Guide

The rise of B2C headless commerce empowers businesses to deliver exceptional customer experiences and gain a competitive edge. However, navigating its implementation can seem complex. Here's a structured guide to help you seamlessly transition to a headless B2C environment:

1. Define Your Headless Commerce Goals

Start by establishing clear objectives for your headless commerce strategy. Do you aim to:

  • Enhance User Experience: Prioritize intuitive navigation, faster loading times, and personalized product recommendations.

  • Boost Conversions: Streamline the checkout process, optimize product pages for conversions, and implement targeted marketing campaigns.

  • Reduce Maintenance Costs: Minimize dependence on vendor lock-in, streamline system updates, and achieve greater scalability.

Identifying these goals will become the guiding principle for your headless commerce roadmap.

2. Evaluate Your Existing Technology Stack

Before embarking on a headless journey, meticulously assess your current technology infrastructure. This step involves understanding:

  • Current Systems and Features: Identify the various platforms and functionalities you utilize.

  • Optimization Potential: Explore opportunities to improve or integrate existing systems.

  • Redundant Features: Pinpoint components that no longer serve a purpose and can be eliminated.

If you currently have a monolithic system, consider if a headless front end can be integrated without complete re-platforming. Platforms like SAP Commerce Cloud, Elastic Path, BigCommerce, and Shopify offer headless compatibility, allowing you to modernize your eCommerce engine while minimizing disruption.

3. Partner with an Experienced Agency

Implementing a headless architecture can be intricate. Partnering with a skilled company can significantly streamline this process. These web development and e-commerce agencies specialize in:

  • Creating and Maintaining Headless Stacks: They build and manage customized headless environments tailored to your specific needs.

  • Smoother Transition: They ensure a seamless shift from your existing infrastructure to a headless B2C environment.

  • Tech Stack Optimization: They optimize your overall technology stack for improved performance and efficiency.

  • Managing the Project: They take it all – from UX audits and design creation to solution recommendations and development up to maintenance and post-launch support – and ensure each step is well-taken and leads to an overall positive outcome.

This partnership offers valuable expertise and minimizes the in-house resources required for a successful headless migration.


Want to check out more information about headless architecture and its benefits?

We covered this topic in depth in one of our articles!

4. Selecting the Right Vendors

Choosing the right technology partners is crucial. Look for headless commerce solutions that align with your business goals. Here are some key considerations:

  • Headless Commerce Platforms: Select an e-commerce platform that caters to B2C needs, offering features like product catalogs, shopping carts, and order management functionalities through an API solution.

  • Headless CMS: Evaluate best headless Content Management Systems to manage your content efficiently and deliver rich product information.

  • Third-Party Services: Integrate essential services like payment gateways, review platforms, and search solutions for a robust B2C experience.

Prioritize vendors with proven B2C headless deployments and strong API ecosystems for seamless integration with your chosen solution.

Note: you don’t need to resolve this all by yourself. A good web development consultancy company is there to back you up with every choice.

5. Develop a Migration Plan

When laying out your migration plan, consider whether to opt for:

  • Full Replatforming: This involves a complete overhaul of your eCommerce platform, offering the highest level of customization but potentially requiring significant resources and downtime.

  • Gradual, Frontend-First Approach: This strategy prioritizes replacing the customer-facing frontend first, typically entailing less resource consumption and offering a faster return on investment.

The optimal approach depends on your existing infrastructure, business needs, and risk tolerance.

6. Optimize and Test Continuously

Following implementation, ongoing optimization and testing are essential for maximizing the benefits of your headless architecture.

  • API-First Design: Leverage the inherent flexibility of headless APIs to easily update and replace microservices, continuously fine-tuning performance and functionality.

  • Data Analytics: Integrate data analytics tools to gain insights into customer behavior and continuously refine the user experience.

  • A/B Testing: Implement A/B testing to compare different user interface elements and content variations, ensuring the best possible experience for your customers.

b2b headless commerce graphic

Did you know headless solutions are perfect for B2B commerce as well?

Check out our article and discover the advantages of going headless in e-commerce!

By adhering to this structured approach, you can successfully navigate the implementation of B2C headless commerce and unlock its potential for exceptional customer experiences and business growth.

Why Companies Replatform to Headless Commerce?

There are multiple reasons why B2C companies decide to switch to headless commerce. You’ll find some examples below.

  • Integrating new systems into an already established infrastructure is complex and disruptive.

  • Struggling to efficiently manage multi-language and multi-currency support as brands expand into new global markets.

  • Needing a platform that can efficiently scale during peak periods like sales events and holidays to handle high traffic volumes without compromising site performance.

  • Desiring a faster shopping experience for customers, with enhanced control over factors that influence performance and site speed.

  • Seeking to develop distinctive and innovative designs that current themes or templates do not support.

  • Feeling outpaced by competitors who are able to update their front-end and back-end systems more dynamically.

  • Leveraging data for shopping experience personalization is not met by traditional platforms.

  • Facing challenges in delivering a seamless experience across various channels, including online, in-store, and third-party marketplaces, with conventional e-commerce solutions.

  • Encountering difficulties in adapting to diverse regulatory requirements such as data protection standards and regional sales taxes during international expansion.

  • Experiencing difficulties in making e-commerce platforms accessible according to global standards (e.g., WCAG, EAA 2025), which limits service to a broader audience and poses compliance risks.

  • Struggling with the complexity of managing extensive product variants such as sizes, colors, and materials on conventional platforms, which can slow down product updates and customization.

Ready to Take Your E-commerce to the Next Level with Headless Commerce?

If you recognize your company faces the challenges listed above, we’re here for you. Our team of experienced professionals can guide you through every step of the process, from defining your goals to selecting the right technology partners and ensuring a smooth migration.

Here's what we can offer:

  • Headless Commerce Strategy: We'll work with you to understand your unique business needs and develop a customized headless commerce roadmap.

  • Technology Expertise: We possess deep knowledge of leading headless commerce solutions and can help you select the best fit for your e-commerce platform.

  • Seamless Integration: We'll ensure your headless architecture integrates seamlessly with existing systems and third-party services.

  • Ongoing Support: We'll continue to support you after implementation, helping you optimize your headless environment and maximize its benefits.

Contact us today for a consultation and discover how headless commerce can transform your e-commerce business.

Together, we can create an exceptional online shopping experience that drives customer satisfaction, boosts conversions, and propels your business to the forefront of the e-commerce revolution.

Let's talk about B2C online store solutions and headless e-commerce!

Contact us and we'll warmly introduce you to the vast world of composable & headless development!