Headless Commerce

The What, Why and How of Headless

Ecommerce or the electronic commerce platform is one of the most lucrative business models in this present era which can be established in four different ways between a business and a customer, business to business, business to customer, customer to the business and customer to customer.

These four ways of eCommerce platforms have helped many businesses and the end-users to establish a rhythm in buying and selling products of different kinds, be it electronics, fashion, health products, appliances, and so on.

There are two major types of eCommerce platform – the traditional and the headless eCommerce system. Today, in the 21st era, the traditional model has become almost obsolete, the reason being its outdated features and business methods. The headless e-commerce model is the new rising one, thanks to its new and interactive features which are making the transactions hassle-free for everyone from customer to the back-end development team.


The idea of headless eCommerce has been conceived recently. In summary, it works like this: An electronic commercial platform consists of both the backend and frontend. The frontend specifies the use of themes and templates for the designing of the visual screen which the customers use. The backend, on the other hand, specifies the use of various APIs and other technical standards to perform the internal business transactions on the online platform.

For example, when you search for something to buy on Amazon, the screen you see forms the frontend part of the business. When you wish to buy something, the application fetches your address automatically. This action is monitored by the backend developers. Now, in the headless business model, this frontend visual platform has been cut off from the backend technical part, the result of which is the independent operation of the frontend.

These are certain request calls that are made in a way to establish a communication channel between two systems, acting as a third-party interface, built within the entire infrastructure itself passing requests and responses to and from the systems involved.

The headless commerce system uses APIs. When the frontend framework identifies an action from the user end, it immediately fires an API request call. This request is sent to the application layer where the backend processes the request and sends the appropriate response API call to the frontend.

What are the benefits of the headless eCommerce system?

The headless system is becoming the future of the entire eCommerce business all around the world. Here are just a few of the benefits:

• Increased platform speed: with the separation of the frontend and the backend, eCommerce platforms are fast! APIs requests and responses work quite faster and hence, can establish the channel between the framework and the application within seconds. The only time when the APIs will take longer to establish the communication is when the server will be down or bounced.

• Faster deployment of changes to the application and the framework: earlier, whenever one had to deploy a change to either the frontend or the backend, the entire system had to be shut down temporarily till the deployment was over. This is used to reduce the productivity of the business. However, with the headless system, businesses have overcome this redundancy. Now, since the frontend and the backend have been separated, changes can be easily deployed to either one of them without delaying the work of the other part.

• Personalisation and customisation easier: with the introduction of the headless system, many businesses have been able to personalise and customise the framework as per the demand of the market. For example, one can now include virtual reality technology without having to make any changes at the backend. Similarly, templates are easily changeable as per the business demand without much hassle.

• A more integrated system for businesses: in the headless system, every single part has been separated. Even though they work in a coordinated manner, each has a separate function whilst forming an integrated system. So, in the future, if you want to change or update a particular functionality, you can do it easily without hampering the entire landscape.

• Enhances user-experience: one of the major advantages of using the headless system is that it can enhance the user experience of a business. User-end customers have been found to be more satisfied with its functionalities, and other features, from response time, loading time, framework themes and templates, and so on.

Are there any drawbacks to the headless eCommerce system?

Even though the headless system has proven to be quite beneficial for reasons above, they are not without their challenges too.

• High setup costs: one of the major disadvantages of implementing the headless system into an eCommerce business is its high setup cost. With new technology, a business needs to spend more to integrate the APIs and other technical features in both the backend and the frontend. Small to medium sized businesses can get round steep upfront development costs through a partnership arrangement with a specialised eCommerce agency such as Diginius who employ a full time team of in-house specialist developers.

• Less control over the business flow: another disadvantage of the headless system is that it offers less control over the entire workflow. For example, you cannot store the data in the application directly. You will have to integrate a third-party database for the storage of the data, which will act as a constraint on your independence.

• Needs more technical management: the entire management process of a headless eCommerce platform is more complicated. With multiple technical layers, it’s very hard to manage all of them at once. Businesses need to implement more resources for the management process.


The headless system is paving a way for the implementation of IoT technology in eCommerce businesses, which is making it possible for establishing business transactions without the involvement of humans. As a result, this business model is overcoming the challenges posed by the traditional CMS system.

The Diginius team has used their years of experience and expertise in PPC management to develop websites, insight software and automated bidding engines to help clients maximise the value and return generated from their PPC activity.

So, to find out how we can help you do the same, get in touch today.

Chester Yang is the Microsoft Program Manager at Diginius with a background in economics and quantitative research.  

At Diginius, Chester focuses on nurturing partnerships with PPC agencies and integrating marketing and sales solutions.