The market for services related to sales via the Internet is constantly growing. During the pandemic and the related to it restrictions, the demand for remote sale of goods increased significantly. This also necessitated the rapid creation and development of online shops. Traditional Content Management Systems (CMS) tie all layers of the programme together. Headless e-commerce technology separates the layer visible to the user (front-end of the application) from the code dealing with logic and integration of server-side functions (back-end of the application) and the database containing information about the prices of the products offered in the shop, their images and descriptions. These layers are separated from each other, but have contact with each other through the Application Programming Interface (API). In this way, although externally the application looks homogeneous, it actually consists of three parts that interact with each other. This structure allows independence from the solution provider, as the vendor deals only with the front-end layer, visible to the customer, and does not have to interfere with the entire code.
The undoubted advantage of this solution is the separation of what the user sees from the code in the back-end, which is followed by many advantages such as scaling, omnichannel, developer-friendly interface, flexibility, better security, faster page load time, less risk of site-wide crashes, better customer personalization, time and money savings. The disadvantage of a headless e-commerce solution is that it’s a fairly new technology and is still not widespread, which is quite risky for the company. Another disadvantage is the costs resulting from the change of technology. However, it is worth the risk to change the technology, as specialists consider headless e-commerce to be the technology of the future.
More and more companies are choosing to create or convert their e-shops using headless e-commerce technology. Currently, it is mainly large companies such as Nike, Avon or Castorama that are switching to this technology. However, this is due to the costs of switching to newer technology, and larger companies can afford it. Smaller companies are also likely to move to headless e-commerce over time because of the greater sales and development potential of an online shop using this technology. However, due to the price of such changes, it must be taken into account that for the technology costs to pay off, the shop should function for a longer period of time. Therefore, if a shop is not going to operate for a longer period of time, traditional, cheaper CMS technologies will be a better solution. As time passes and the popularity of headless e-commerce technologies increases, the costs of this solution should decrease. It is worth mentioning that online shops selling diverse items are already starting to use it.
Headless e-commerce technology is a novelty on the market of IT services, worthy of interest for online shop owners, because it gives wide opportunities for business development and increasing profits from sales. However, it is an investment that needs to be carefully planned, especially in terms of costs.