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Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Commerce

The eCommerce world is evolving fast, with more consumers getting used to buying their favorite products through different web-based channels and mobile apps. While many businesses adopt headless eCommerce, it is not an ideal solution for all businesses. Entrepreneurs must understand the difference between headless and traditional commerce and how to choose the right solution for their needs.

What are the Core Differences Between Traditional eCommerce and Headless eCommerce Solutions?

Knowing the differences between a traditional eCommerce and a headless eCommerce solution helps you understand the benefits of each. That way, you can easily choose the ideal system that meets your business needs. Here are the key differences you should know.

Headless eCommerce has no Limitations for Frontend Developers

Frontend developers using traditional eCommerce platforms are limited to the frontend process and design that the solution generates. When developers want to change the experience or data, they must modify the database, frontend, and code.

This process makes even the slightest change a considerable business risk. On the other hand, Headless eCommerce does not have a designated front end. As a result, it allows frontend developers to build a well-catered and exclusive user experience that meets your business needs without changing the database.


The testing stage boosts the progress of eCommerce businesses because the buyers experience fewer errors and bugs. Headless eCommerce leverages a modular structure, reducing the testing time.

For example, previously, a b2b eCommerce site used the back transfer option only as of the preferred payment method. Introducing various changes in the business model resulted in the establishment of other subscription methods.

Business owners using headless eCommerce can make such changes fast. Implementing advanced payment systems in traditional eCommerce, you may want to modify the framework. In this case, the subscription module can be time-consuming, prolonging the testing time.


Headless eCommerce focuses on the challenges that businesses with existing systems face. It also caters to startup entrepreneurs looking for enterprise-level capabilities. A headless architecture with solid APIs can easily coordinate with current systems, giving entrepreneurs the liberty to choose their ideal technology stack.

Developers using traditional eCommerce must develop them from scratch. The APIs should be custom-built by an internal team of skilled developers or a reliable firm. Traditional eCommerce lacks APIs in the initial setup. As a result, the choice of architecture and technology depends on various factors.

Headless eCommerce Boosts Time to Value

Regardless of your preferred eCommerce platform, functionality, back-end business rationale, and capabilities comprise more than 80% of a software development procedure. Using a headless eCommerce platform means you are beginning from the point of completion, allowing you to concentrate on the user experience and dispatch a practical solution with less effort, time, and cost.

How to Choose Between Headless eCommerce and Traditional eCommerce

Headless eCommerce needs advanced technical knowledge. If a store has a few systems that should plug into the front end, traditional eCommerce could be the better option. Here are factors to help you make the right choice.

How they Compare for Frontend Development

Configuring traditional eCommerce is easier when it comes to the front end. When using any of the numerous eCommerce platforms, you will only need to choose a relevant theme and add your products and content. However, customizing all moving aspects on the platform can be difficult.

Business owners using headless eCommerce should develop the front end from scratch. As a result, setting up a web store that meets your needs can be a long process. Unlike traditional eCommerce methods, headless eCommerce systems give you more design flexibility and customization opportunities.

Further, you can develop the flexibility that matches your business needs. Still, having development knowledge ensures things function properly. Traditional eCommerce has engineering and design limitations. However, creating and launching it is easier. In contrast, headless eCommerce offers more flexibility for frontend development, but implementation takes a longer time.

Which is the Most Flexible Option?

Headless eCommerce offers more flexibility in building the front end. What then happens to the commerce and back-end functionality? Business owners using traditional eCommerce work with a template that directly links to the back end.

While the template eases development, it limits what you can do. For example, it is a simple procedure of selling various prime products on your site. However, scaling and marketing your business with more solutions becomes more difficult as your business grows.

On the other hand, headless eCommerce solutions are customizable, making them flexible in back and front end development. Further, business owners can create personalized experiences for various target markets. Headless eCommerce is more flexible than traditional eCommerce solutions.


Business owners should understand that some businesses do not need the latter when choosing between traditional eCommerce and headless eCommerce solutions. Traditional eCommerce is a simple solution that works for many companies.

Setting it up is easy but modifying it is hard. The headless eCommerce model is not ideal for all businesses. However, it comes with more benefits than traditional solutions. Apart from easy adaptation to mobile technology, it offers limitless customization.

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