Is ‘Headless’ the Right Approach for my Shopify Store?

14 Oct, 2020 ,

‘Experience’. It’s the most important word in sales today, and it’s shaping the way that every online seller engages with their customers. Whether you’re striving to create a good shopping cart experience, a good customer service experience, or anything else, experience is everything. And that’s exactly why e-commerce development is evolving to place even more importance on the customer experience.

Introducing headless commerce

One of the biggest Shopify developments over recent years has been the introduction of headless commerce. It’s emerging as one of the most effective ways to enhance the customer experience.

Shopify designers are using headless commerce to separate the front end of their stores – the overall customer-facing design – from the back end functionality, which includes everything from catalogue management to payment processing. It removes the ‘head’ from the ‘body’. This allows retailers to generate content through a more flexible dedicated content management system (CMS), without impacting the backend processes handled by Shopify. Essentially, it enables retailers to use their own preferred tools to create their front end, with APIs helping each tool to communicate with Shopify.

Why should I be interested?

In case you haven’t noticed, selling online is more complex than ever before. Some retailers are finding that all-in-one solutions like Shopify aren’t meeting every single one of their needs. No one can deny that Shopify is a global leader in the technical backend processes that support and facilitate sales. However, it was never designed to compete with dedicated content management systems, which can offer many more opportunities for personalisation in design.

The reason that some retailers are going headless is simple. It allows them to keep using the parts of Shopify that are truly fantastic, while using other tools to bridge the platform’s personalisation gap.

The biggest benefit of this is conversion optimisation. Using a CMS independent of Shopify makes it easy to push content across a huge number of channels. Retailers can create personalised experiences for customers, no matter where they are, generating high-quality leads, boosting engagement, and increasing conversions.

Do I need to take a headless approach?

This is a tricky question to answer. If you’re satisfied with the experience your Shopify store is providing your customers, then shifting to headless right now doesn’t need to be a priority. Headless commerce architecture is notoriously complex – and those in charge of developing the front end need to create everything from scratch, as the customer-facing interaction functionalities of Shopify are lost.

However, headless is the future. Customers are expected to use many more channels for shopping in the future – everything from smartwatches to virtual assistants to refrigerator screens. So the ability to push content across all these channels is what’s going to keep retailers in the lead. If you’re looking to gain more control over the customer experience, and if you want to retain a competitive edge in the future, this approach can give you a head(less) start in a world where customers expect more.

Traditional or headless?

Because catering to evolving customer demands and developing seamless experiences across every channel are essential, headless commerce is becoming an increasingly important consideration. However, it also challenges the one thing that attracts many retailers to Shopify – its simplicity.

Headless will undoubtedly become a strategic necessity in the future. It’s also a big leap to take. It’s worth discussing your needs with experienced Shopify support experts like us to find out if headless is right for you. Get in touch with us at You can also sign up for our newsletter for more information about the future of e-commerce, and regular updates about the headless revolution.

By Mladen Gorchev

Article image by Alexander Jawfox on Unsplash

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