Skip to Main Content

Jun 2, 2023 | 8 minute read

Best Headless Commerce Platforms in 2023

written by Kelsey Zapana

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on December 16, 2021 and was updated for relevancy on June 2, 2023.

Headless commerce is a major topic for merchandisers and leading brands. But choosing a headless commerce platform isn’t easy. Many legacy eCommerce platform vendors retrofitting their solutions to embrace a “headless” approach and countless new startups are rushing into the space. That makes it hard for eCommerce teams to decide which headless commerce vendor best meets their unique requirements. 

Learn more about headless commerce platforms, the difference between headless and Composable Commerce,  and how to determine which headless commerce platform is the best for your business.

What is a Headless Commerce Platform?

A headless commerce platform is when the front-end and back-end of an eCommerce experience are separated. Having a linked front-end and back-end in commerce is known as a monolithic solution.

Headless commerce platforms give merchandisers and brands the ability to customize an online storefront without changing backend infrastructure or capabilities.. With a headless architecture, your brand can create compelling commerce experiences by choosing your preferred content management system (CMS), digital experience platform DXP, and other technologies such as Angular or React front-end frameworks.

Headless commerce provides a flexible way for businesses to approach eCommerce. This approach can give your teams the freedom, flexibility and scalability to build custom B2B commerce experiences and future-proof your business. 

Are Headless Commerce and Composable Commerce the Same?

Headless commerce and Composable Commerce are related concepts, but are different. 

Headless commerce is a core architectural concept. Among modern commerce platform vendors, headless commerce is often found as a part of a MACH-based architecture along with microservices, API-first, and Cloud-native principles. 

Composable Commerce builds on the foundation of MACH-based architectural principles, but is business-centric. In addition to the underlying MACH-based architecture, Composable Commerce embraces the concept of an open ecosystem and mix-and-match vendor management. The holistic approach of Composable Commerce helps businesses translate their investments in modern MACH-based technologies to real, tangible business value.

Can All Commerce Platforms Support a “Headless” Approach?

This is a common question that has a nuanced answer. Some vendors are “native” headless commerce platforms, which means that the software created to be headless from the beginning. 

Native headless platforms have clear advantages, but are not the only way to go headless. Many, but not all, of the traditional commerce platforms , do now have a headless mode given the popularity of headless commerce. But not all of these vendors can support a truly headless approach. That’s because they employ a “retrofitted” headless solution, in which the front-end is customizable but still tied to the back-end. This means that adding new features may require an in-house development team.

Retrofitted headless solutions allow for design, flexibility, and positive UI experiences on the consumer-facing front-end.  

In contrast, headless microservices solutions use microservices to fully decouple the front-end and back-end. Application program interfaces (APIs) help the front-end and back-end communicate and reduce your development requirements on the back-end.

A great analogy to think about the difference between native headless architecture and retrofitted headless solutions is a car that was designed and manufactured to be a convertible, versus a sedan that is retrofitted in the aftermarket to be a convertible. Some of these retrofitted sedans will seem as if they were designed to be convertibles. Others won’t match the display and functionality of a convertible-from-the-start car.

Want to learn whether a headless commerce approach is right for you? Read our eCommerce platform buyer’s guide.

Need help evaluating eCommerce Solutions?

Connect with an Elastic Path expert to answer all of your questions, set up a demo, access a free trial, or discuss pricing options.

14 Top Headless Commerce Platforms

If you have decided that traditional monolithic platforms no longer satisfy your business requirement and would like to migrate to a headless solution, it's important to choose a platform that suits your team and business needs.

To help, here’s an overview of major headless commerce platforms in 2023:

1. Elastic Path

  • Headquarters: Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Number of Employees: 231
  • Website: 
  • Company Overview: Elastic Path develops commerce solutions for leading brands and merchandisers. There are two main Elastic Path solutions. The first is Elastic Path Commerce, popular for regulated goods brands.The second is Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, which powers complex, differentiated commerce experiences. Brands from various industries such as travel, gaming, and retail enjoy the benefits of a composable, API-first, microservices-based headless commerce solution.

2. Commerce Layer

  • Headquarters: Prato, Italy
  • Number of Employees: 34
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Commerce Layer is a headless commerce platform and order management system that lets brands add global shopping capabilities to any website, mobile app, chatbot, or IoT device.

3. Commercetools

  • Headquarters: Munich, Germany
  • Number of Employees: 648
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Commercetools is a platform for B2C and B2B commerce. Commercetools has offices across the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific, with headquarters in Germany. Since its founding in 2006, Commercetools software has been implemented by Fortune 500 companies across industries.

4. Core DNA

  • Headquarters: Boston, MA, USA
  • Number of Employees: 27
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Commercetools is a platform for B2C and B2B commerce. Commercetools has offices across the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific, with headquarters in Germany. Since its founding in 2006, Commercetools software has been implemented by Fortune 500 companies across industries.

5. Fabric

  • Headquarters: Seattle, WA, USA
  • Number of Employees: 414
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Fabric is a headless commerce platform with anopen and modular design. Fabric focuses on helping retailers grow digital revenue.

6. Nacelle

  • Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Number of Employees: 80
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Nacelle helps brands compose best-of-breed solutions. FTD, Something Navy, Boll & Branch and Barefoot Dreams have chosen Nacelle’s headless solution. Nacelle is backed by Tiger Global, Inovia Capital, Index Ventures, Accomplice, Lerer Hippeau, High Alpha and Silas Capital.

7. Skava

  • Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Number of Employees: 504
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Infosys Equinox is a human-centric commerce and marketing platform that supports rich, hyper-personalized experiences across any channel and touchpoint.

8. Spryker

  • Headquarters: Berlin, Germany
  • Number of Employees: 616
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Spryker enables companies to create winning commerce experiences in B2B, B2C, and marketplaces. Spryker aims to help brands extend sales reach and grow revenue. Spryker is trusted by brands such as Toyota, Hilti, Lekkerland, Hero, Rose Bikes, and Prym.

9. Swell

  • Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Number of Employees: 47
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Swell is a customizable headless ecommerce platform that supports unique business models and customer experiences. Swell’s customizable approach serves to make eCommerce available to all brands.

10. VTEX

  • Headquarters: London, UK
  • Number of Employees: 1,727
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: VTEX is an enterprise digital commerce platform for brands and retailers looking to build a future-proof digital commerce strategy. VTEX is generally used by larger, enterprise-level companies.

If a retrofitted headless approach will work for your business, you can consider these headless commerce platforms:

11. Adobe Commerce (aka Magento)

  • Headquarters: San Jose, CA, USA
  • Number of Employees: 603
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Magento, an Adobe Company, is a leading provider of cloud commerce innovation. In addition to its flagship digital commerce platform, Magento Commerce boasts a strong portfolio of cloud-based omnichannel solutions that empower merchants to successfully integrate digital and physical shopping experiences. Magento Commerce is supported by a vast global network of solution and technology partners, a highly active global developer community, and the largest eCommerce marketplace for extensions is available for download on the Magento Marketplace.

12. BigCommerce

  • Headquarters: Austin, Texas, USA
  • Number of Employees: 1,267
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: BigCommerce combines enterprise functionality, an open architecture, and an app ecosystem to power B2B and B2C ecommerce for small, medium, and Fortune 1000-sized companies. Industry-leading brands using BigCommerce include Assurant, Ben & Jerry’s, and Gibson. BigCommerce’s mission is to help merchants sell more at every stage of business growth.

13. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (aka Demandware for B2C and/or CloudCraze for B2B)

  • Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Number of Employees: 292
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Salesforce Commerce Cloud, formerly Demandware, powers enterprise cloud commerce for large brands, enabling unified, one-to-one experiences across all points of commerce, including web, mobile, social and store.

14. Shopify

  • Headquarters: Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Number of Employees: 17,319
  • Website:
  • Company Overview: Shopify is a leading global commerce company, providing tools to small and medium-sized businesses with clear, simple commerce requirements.

Choosing the Right Headless Commerce Platform Can Boost Your Business 

Choosing a headless commerce platform takes consideration and a strong understanding of your business goals and needs.

At Elastic Path, we work to help brands unlock commerce solutions that give their customers exceptional commerce experiences. We’d love to talk about what that looks like for your business and whether one of our solutions will help.Get in touch with one of our expertsso we can learn about your commerce needs and demo how we can help you deliver the best commerce experiences possible.

Subscribe to our blog

Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date with the latest commerce industry insights, tips & tricks, merchandising and development best practices, and more!

Loading Form...