August 24th, 2021 | 3 MIN READ

Ten Tips for Getting Started With Headless Commerce

Written by Brianne Cordima

Brianne is the Associate Director of Corporate, Brand, and Buzz Marketing at Elastic Path.

Headless Commerce decouples the customer facing frontend presentation layer of your eCommerce experience, from the backend commerce engine. This decoupling provides an unmatched level of flexibility that enables you to make changes as your business needs change quickly and easily. Getting started with a Headless Commerce Approach can feel daunting, here are 10 tips to get you started.

  1. Evaluate if Headless Commerce Is Right for Your Business
    Key areas to consider: are you looking to create differentiated commerce experiences or are you happy with out-of-the-box pre-build experiences? Are you looking to be agile and optimize on-demand? Do you have a dedicated technicalteam or are you open to working with a Systems Integrator?

  2. Educate Your Team on the Benefits of Headless Commerce
    For many in your organization, Headless Commerce may be a new concept or their perceptions may be different than your own. By aligning on what it is, and the benefits, you can positively impact the adoption.
     
  3. Assess the Cost of a Headless Commerce Solution and Determine Your Budget
    There’s the upfront cost of a solution and there are additional factors that can impact cost such as reference experiences/themes of a website, implementation support, transaction/credit card fees, third-party integrations, hosting, etc. Learn more about total cost of ownership.
     
  4. Understand the Architecture of Headless Commerce
    Traditional monolithic platforms provide an all-in-one approach which differs greatly froma modern solution where the frontend “Head” is connected to the backend commerce functionality, through commerce APIs. You can see these differences demonstrated in the diagram below.


     
  5. Appreciate the Difference Between Retrofitted Headless Solutions and Headless Microservices Solutions
    A retrofitted headless solution is an all-in-one platform that ripped off the frontend and connected it with bolted-on APIs. Headless microservices solutions are natively built with APIs to provide flexibility on both the frontend and backend.


     
  6. Evaluate Frontend Options
    There are three main frontend “head” option types: frontend-as-a-service, digital experience platform, and custom build. Based on the size of your business, skillset of your team, number of products/stores, you will be able to determine which frontend type is best for you. Learn more about these options in the Getting Started with Headless Commerce Guide.
     
  7. Decide How You Will Implement the Frontend
    Depending upon the skillset and experience of your team, you may decide to utilize your in-house team, partner with an agency, or partner with a systems integrator. Do you have a partner of record? What technologies are you planning to integrate? What is your budget?
     
  8. Evaluate Options to Make Headless Commerce Easier
    There are a number of Pre-Composed Solutions™, pre-integrated business-ready solutions, available on the Composable Commerce Hub that make adopting headless commerce easier than ever before.
     
  9. Understand the Process of Migrating From a Traditional Commerce Solution to a Headless Commerce Solution
    Migrating off any platform comes with it’s own set of challenges, we’ve put together a replatforming guide to help you learn the process and we’ve included case studies for your reference to learn from our customers who have successfully replatformed.
     
  10. Assemble the Right Team to Support Your Headless Commerce Solution
    Due to the decoupled nature of Headless Commerce, having a dedicated frontend and backend team will be important if you would like to manage the solution in-house.

For more information on how to get started with Headless Commerce, check out our comprehensive guide.

Share on