What Is Headless Architecture?

Headless architecture helps you adapt to the ever-changing eCommerce landscape, meet customers’ needs, and outperform your competitors.

But what is headless architecture, and what makes it unique?

And why is it a better option than traditional eCommerce solutions?

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about headless architecture, including how it’s related to microservices, its benefits, and the difference between headless and monolithic architecture.

We’ll also explore when you should use headless architecture and an excellent headless commerce solution for your eCommerce business.

This Article Contains

What Is Headless Architecture?

Headless architecture is a system that separates the front-end and back-end parts of an eCommerce store.

The front end (the “head”) is the part of an eCommerce site that customers see and interact with. For instance, this could be the theme of a Shopify eCommerce store.

Meanwhile, the back end (the “body”) is the part that supports the front end. It comprises APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), the server, the database, and more.

The back end provides all the information required by the front end (such as product lists and pricing).

The front-end and back-end components communicate through APIs.

But why is it worth separating the front-end and back-end parts of your eCommerce store?

Because this headless approach comes with tons of benefits that we’ll explore later.

First, let’s learn about microservices in headless architecture and why they’re important.

What Are Microservices and How Do They Relate to Headless Architecture?

Microservices are a software architecture that couples a collection of software components (or services) so they can be deployed and scaled independently of each other. 

For example, you can have a microservice for inventory management and one for order management on your eCommerce store. In this case, you can pick a different tech provider for each microservice. 

This way, if you want to tweak one specific component on your site (such as inventory management), you don’t need to change the entire system.

And how does all this relate to headless architecture? 

Headless architecture is a specialization of microservices that specifically focuses on decoupling the front end from the back-end components.

With headless architecture, you can tweak certain parts on the front-end layer without changing the entire system on the back end.   

Let’s now check out why it’s worth using headless architecture on your online store. 

The 5 Incredible Benefits of Headless Architecture

The benefits of using headless architecture are:

  1. Omnichannel Capabilities
  2. Seamless Customer Experiences
  3. Ease of Integration
  4. Flexibility and Scalability
  5. Time and Cost Savings

1. Omnichannel Capabilities

With the omnichannel approach, you provide seamless shopping experiences across in-store and online channels (such as social media) and through any digital device.

Headless architecture allows you to integrate your back end with multiple channels, helping you establish an omnichannel presence.

If your omnichannel strategies aren’t working out, you can easily make changes to your front end without altering the back end. For example, you could quickly introduce surveys that’d help you personalize the customer experience across all channels.

2. Seamless Customer Experiences

Customers want to reach you through channels and devices of their choice. They also want a site customized to their preferences.

With headless architecture, you can provide customers with a consistent, personalized experience across various channels and devices.

And because headless solutions are usually powered by PWA (progressive web application) technologies, they deliver fast-loading pages — even in areas with poor connections. 

3. Ease of Integration

The APIs on a headless platform make it easy for you to integrate your store with various channels and tools. 

The best part about headless architecture is that it has no vendor lock-in issues. This means if it doesn’t let you integrate certain technologies, you can switch your front end anytime.

4. Flexibility and Scalability

The APIs on headless architecture allow you to customize your online store the way you want. The system requires minimal effort on the back end — allowing you to implement new technologies and scale up your eCommerce store easily.

This means you can speed up your time to market and keep up with the forever-evolving consumer trends.

Headless architecture also allows you to run various tests and optimization cycles. This can help you understand your customers better and find ways to beat your competitors.

5. Time and Cost Savings

With headless architecture, you don’t have to rely on a long development process when tweaking your front end. 

And if you don’t want to build your front end from scratch, you can always opt for a composable front-end layer. Simply put, a composable front end allows you to assemble and customize the best-of-breed solutions.

Wondering how to get started with composable commerce? 

Check out the composable front-end layer from Pack — a Front-end-as-a-Service (FaaS) provider.

Let’s now check out how headless architecture differs from traditional eCommerce architecture.

Headless Architecture vs Monolithic Architecture

In the monolithic (traditional) eCommerce architecture, the back-end and front-end parts are tightly coupled. This means you have to tweak the back end whenever you want to make changes to the front end.

Also, it’s often hard to integrate a traditional eCommerce store with the latest technologies. Additionally, monolithic eCommerce architecture usually comes with vendor lock-in issues.

What does all this mean for you?

Monolithic architecture makes it hard for you to grow your online store and keep up with the forever-evolving consumer trends.

Meanwhile, headless architecture lets you customize your eCommerce store to your liking. For example, thanks to APIs, you can integrate technologies and make any change to your store without worrying about the back end.

But when is it the right time to use headless architecture?

When Should You Consider Using Headless Architecture?

Use headless architecture if:

  • You want to boost your omnichannel capabilities and reach customers through any digital device or channel.
  • You want to integrate various technologies into your eCommerce store.
  • You want to build an online store that you can easily customize and scale up.
  • You have a team of developers and want the flexibility to use your tech stack.
  • You want to merge your existing online store with your CMS (content management system). 

If building your front end from scratch sounds complicated, then you could consider the composable front-end approach. This solution would be suitable for you if:

  • You don’t want to build your infrastructure and workflow from the ground up.
  • You want a solution you can implement with little to no coding skills.
  • You need a solution that’ll allow you to make changes to your front end easily.

Let’s now check out a headless commerce solution that can help you scale up and grow your business.

Pack: The Best Headless Solution for Your eCommerce Business

Using headless architecture for your eCommerce store can be worth it. However, building your front end from scratch is usually challenging. 

Also, let’s not forget that managing and growing your headless eCommerce platform comes with its fair share of challenges.

What’s an easy way out then?

Explore the composable commerce solution from Pack

But why pick a composable front-end solution?

Simply because you won’t need to build your front-end infrastructure from scratch!

But that’s not all.

Here are the other benefits of using Pack’s composable front-end solution:

  • Quick workflow scalability and enhanced developer experience
  • Ease of integration for various technologies
  • More control for content management, landing page building, and component reusability
  • Complete control over custom design experiences
  • The ability to build complex features more efficiently with React!

Pack’s composable front-end also offers:

  • Product grouping for complex catalogs
  • Knowledge sharing documentation
  • Product bundling for bundle management
  • Pre-integrated Shopify checkout, accounts, third parties, and more

Ready to get started?

Make the Most of Headless Architecture With Pack!

Customer expectations, market trends, and business needs keep changing rapidly. This means you need to keep your eCommerce store relevant and responsive to change.

An easy way out is to switch from traditional to headless architecture. This approach has many benefits, such as omnichannel capabilities and seamless customer experiences.

But don’t forget that building your headless commerce platform from the ground up can be a hassle. That’s why it’s worth exploring a composable front-end solution that’s optimized for your business. 

Ready to build a scalable eCommerce business?

Contact Pack today and start your composable commerce journey!

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