I’m not a technician, what does headless commerce mean?
The first thing to do when we talk about headless is clarify what it means with a simple example.
Imagine you have to browse your website on an Apple Watch. What would you do? Would you shrink it to a miniature size that you need to zoom in to read anything? Or would you re-frame the content and define the priority of things to display on the screen of the watch, by cherry picking the bits of information to display and redesigning the user experience?
If you have a monolithic platform, that’s what are called the traditional platforms, you would have to accept the fact that you need to shrink your website to fit into a smart watch. If you have an headless platform you can choose to display on the watch just the essential information you need for example the name of the product the price and a % of discount.
Let’s imagine a use case: you product has a 50% off offer that expires with in 30 minutes and you want all your smart watch users to view it on their watch. All your customer need is to see that there is a notification of an offer from you > check the name and/or a picture of the product > the price and the discount > and finally a link to purchase of send to a device with a larger screen to continue the navigation.
They are different but some monolithic platforms offer the possibility to use some APIs to build an e-commerce application that is comparable to an headless platform. For example Shopify has APIs that web developers can use to build a custom front end. Also Salesforce Commerce Cloud, SAP and Adobe Commerce offer this option.
Yes, but also the monolithic platforms require additional software to work: Shopify has a marketplace of applications you can buy an install, Saleforce commerce cloud integrates with third party software through a system called “cartridges” and also Adobe commerce integrates with other applications.
There are 3 levels of difficulty: 1) Shopify is probably the easiest to develop if you use the pre-built templates and the applications available in the Shopify Marketplace 2) Headless platform like Commerce Layer, are simple to develop but they require basic programming skills 3) Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce are the most difficult and intensive platforms to develop and customise as they require high effort by programmers and specific technical knowledge of the platform, if you want to customise them.
The most common are:
Order Management System (OMS)
Content Management System (CMS)
Product Information Management (PIM) or Digital Asset Management System (DAM)
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Read more about e-commerce platforms integrations >>
Do you want to learn more about headless?
We recommend this article https://graphcms.com/blog/headless-commerce