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Headless eCommerce

Headless eCommerce

  • Headless eCommerce

Headless Commerce is an approach to building modern microservice based eCommerce solutions which allows separation of the front-end and the back-end allowing highly agile and flexible experiences. This approach gives retailers the freedom to customize their web storefront to better support their customers on their online buying journey, without impacting or needing to make changes to the back end

Traditional eCommerce Platforms

Traditional eCommerce Platforms

Traditional systems like ATG, Websphere Commerce, Hybris, Demandware were characterized with multiple issues:

  • Tightly coupled front-end and backend code which translated into a very large code base and was relatively harder to manage
  • Solution components are tightly coupled, and this makes it very expensive to leverage a better or more advanced technology, language, or framework
  • With ARC, you can easily scale Horizontally. Horizontal scaling means that you scale by adding more machines into your pool of resources whereas Vertical scaling means that you scale by adding more power (CPU, RAM) to an existing machine. Vertical scaling is often limited to the capacity of a single machine, scaling beyond that capacity often involves downtime and comes with an upper limit. Horizontal scaling affords the ability to scale wider to deal with traffic
  • Developers have to work with the entire solution within their IDEs and bloated size slows down the speed and increases cost of development
  • A Production release becomes a mammoth activity involving all sub-systems as all parts of the ecosystem have to be tested. Due to this iterative development with faster Go-To-Market strategies cannot be adopted

Headless eCommerce Platforms

Headless eCommerce Platforms

With the above illustrated architecture, the front-end and the backend of the eCommerce solution could be separated giving the front-end to leverage potentially endless options. With the API layer now sharing data between the front-end and the back-end, the API carries most of the workload, making it simple for organizations to manage changes and improvements to their web store UI


  • Creative Freedom – since the backend no longer dictates any restrictions on the front-end, UX teams have the flexibility to fully leverage their creative freedom and made decisions. UI teams have the flexibility to choose the UI framework that they are comfortable with (React, Vue, Angular, Express, or any other) to implement the UX design. This can be further extended to provide a consistent experience across all existing and future brands
  • Better support for Omni channel – supports omnichannel strategies as it enables businesses to push products and content and customize user experiences for different channels and platforms that emerge, without the need for costly major back-end customizations
  • Competitive edge – businesses should be able to rapidly react to external – for ex, the Covid pandemic required marketeers to launch new initiatives, businesses to launch new business rules, new delivery and pickup options, new or modified services. When a company's customer base preferences change overnight, only a headless commerce platform is flexible enough to change with them

Considerations for Headless Commerce

While there are multiple benefits, such as creative freedom for front-end designers and engineers, improved independence of development teams, there are a few challenges involved

  • Headless sites typically leverage JavaScript technologies to provide fantastic user experiences, however these technologies involve challenges which need to be specifically solved. For ex; SEO
  • Orchestrating data between the front-end and backend layers seamlessly is a more complex integration effort. In addition, it introduces multiple new technologies that need to be supported by the client IT team

In our view, these challenges can be managed by engaging the services of a capable partner, the advantages far outweigh the challenges. It is the combination of a scalable backend with the ability to integrate with the modern frontend technologies that enable innovation and limitless business opportunities

How can AIE Help?

AI Enterprise Inc. is a Delaware Corporation helping organizations redefine engaging customer experiences and delivering frictionless commercial and consumer commerce solutions for retailers and manufacturers. Our Solutionists bring over two decades of expertise in leading Commerce and Content platforms to help our clients blend cloud and on-premise solutions, mature their DevOps, enhance engagement with machine intelligence and embrace modern architectures in a strategic and adaptable fashion

If you are interested in developing Headless solutions, then contact us for a free consultation and quote