Headless Commerce: How and why the best devs build composable eCommerce stores

LAST READ: FEB 23 2024 | Author: ALISON

The concept of headless commerce has been around for several years, but it's difficult to pinpoint a specific date for developing the first headless commerce tech.


One of the earliest examples of headless commerce is the introduction of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for ecommerce platforms. APIs have been available for many years, allowing developers to interact with the ecommerce platform's backend without relying on the platform's frontend.


However, the term "headless commerce" wasn't widely used until a few years ago when companies started to promote the benefits of decoupling the frontend and backend of ecommerce platforms. The rise of mobile devices and the need for more personalized and engaging customer experiences also contributed to the popularity of headless commerce.


In recent years, many ecommerce platforms have started to offer headless commerce solutions or APIs that allow developers to build custom storefronts using their preferred frontend technology. Some leading ecommerce platforms offering headless commerce solutions include Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.


Overall, while it's difficult to identify a specific date for the development of the first headless commerce tech, the concept has been around for several years and has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the benefits it offers for building flexible, customizable, and scalable ecommerce solutions.


Headless Commerce

Why the best developers enjoy building composable tech stacks

Now that you have the question “What is headless commerce?” answered, let’s explore why devs love building composable commerce stores. The best developers enjoy building composable tech stacks because it gives them greater control and flexibility over the technology used in a project. Composable tech stacks are built using modular, independent components that can be combined to create a custom solution for a specific project. This approach allows developers to choose the best tools for each project component rather than being limited to a specific technology stack.

  1. Greater control: Composable tech stacks give developers greater control over the technology used in a project. This allows them to choose the best tools for each project component, rather than being limited to a specific technology stack. This level of control can help developers create more efficient and effective solutions.
  2. Flexibility: Composable tech stacks are highly flexible, as they can be customized to meet the specific needs of a project. This allows developers to choose the best tools for each task rather than being forced to use a one-size-fits-all approach.
  3. Scalability: Composable tech stacks are highly scalable, allowing developers to add or remove components as needed. This makes adjusting the tech stack to meet changing business requirements easier.
  4. Reusability: Composable tech stacks are built using modular components, which can be reused across multiple projects. This can save developers time and effort; they don't have to reinvent the wheel when starting a new project.
  5. Collaboration: Composable tech stacks can be shared and collaborated on by teams of developers, as each component is independent and can be developed separately. This can lead to more efficient development processes and higher-quality results.


Overall, the best developers enjoy building composable tech stacks because they can create custom solutions using the best tools for each project component. This level of control, flexibility, scalability, reusability, and collaboration can lead to more efficient development processes and higher-quality results.


How do devs build a headless tech stack?

Developers build headless commerce by decoupling the frontend and backend of an ecommerce platform. Here are the general steps involved in building a headless commerce platform:


  1. Define the frontend architecture: The first step in building a headless commerce platform is defining the architecture. This involves choosing a frontend framework, such as React, Vue.js, or Angular, and designing the user interface. The frontend architecture should be designed to interact with the ecommerce backend via APIs.
  2. Build the backend: The next step is to build the backend of the ecommerce platform. The backend should be designed to handle business logic, data management, and integrations with third-party services. A microservices architecture is often used for the backend, which involves breaking down the ecommerce platform into small, independent services that can be developed and deployed separately.
  3. Implement APIs: Once the frontend and backend architectures are defined, the next step is implementing APIs allowing the frontend to communicate with the backend. APIs should be designed to provide the frontend with access to the data and functionality needed to build the ecommerce store's user interface.
  4. Configure integrations: Headless commerce platforms often require integrations with third-party services, such as payment gateways, shipping providers, or marketing automation tools. Integrations should be configured using APIs or webhooks, allowing the ecommerce platform to interact with other services seamlessly.
  5. Test and deploy: After the ecommerce platform is developed, it should be thoroughly tested to ensure it functions correctly. This involves testing the user interface, business logic, data management, and integrations with third-party services. Once testing is complete, the ecommerce platform can be deployed to a production environment.
  6. Maintain and iterate: As with any ecommerce platform, maintenance and iteration are essential to ensure the platform remains functional and up-to-date. Developers should continue to monitor the ecommerce platform, make updates as needed, and iterate on the user interface and functionality to keep up with changing business requirements.


Building a headless commerce platform involves decoupling the front and backend, implementing APIs, and configuring integrations with third-party services. By following these steps, developers can create a flexible, scalable, and customizable ecommerce platform that meets the needs of modern businesses.


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