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3 Best Headless WordPress eCommerce Platforms

Discover the top 3 headless WordPress eCommerce platforms to boost your store's performance and effortlessly distribute content across channels. Plus, hear real stories from site owners about their headless WordPress experiences.

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In a recent post, we explored the ins and outs of headless WordPress and shared some interesting insights related to it. Today, we’d like to expand on that and take a look at the best headless WordPress eCommerce platforms. 

For many eCommerce businesses, WordPress is an ideal choice for content management thanks to its unmatched flexibility and ease of use. Taking it a step further with a headless eCommerce WordPress platform, you can elevate your online store to even greater heights. 

However, with a plethora of headless eCommerce solutions up for grabs, picking the right one can be daunting. Fear not! Leveraging our vast expertise in crafting headless WordPress solutions, we’ll walk you through the top 3 headless WordPress eCommerce platforms, showcasing their standout features and unique advantages. Plus, we’ll shine a light on some notable projects that run on headless WordPress.

Ready to level up your eCommerce game? Let’s dive right in!

What is Headless eCommerce?

Headless eCommerce is transforming the way businesses operate online by providing unmatched flexibility in delivering content across websites, mobile apps, social media, and more. 

So, what does “headless” mean? It refers to an architecture where the front end (the “head”) is decoupled from the back-end services such as WordPress. Instead of being tied to a specific layout or design, developers can create custom user interfaces tailored to any device or channel. This adaptability is crucial as consumers today engage with brands through various touchpoints, from smartphones to smart speakers.

Traditional eCommerce platforms often bind the front end and back end together, leading to limitations in design flexibility and scalability. For example, if you want to update your website’s layout, traditional systems may require back-end changes that can be time-consuming and complex. In contrast, headless eCommerce allows for greater creative freedom and performance optimization.

In a headless eCommerce setup, the presentation layer that users interact with is customizable using modern technologies like React or Vue.js. Meanwhile, the back end (WordPress or another CMS) handles all business logic, data management, and integrations. 

Communication between these layers is facilitated by powerful APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). These APIs enable the front-end to request and display data dynamically, ensuring that content delivery is consistent, interactive, and engaging across all touchpoints.

Key Benefits of Headless eCommerce Solutions

Headless eCommerce offers a multitude of advantages that can significantly enhance the performance and flexibility of online stores. Let’s examine the main benefits.

  • Flexibility and Customization:  Headless eCommerce enables businesses to design and customize their front-end interfaces using technologies like React, Vue.js, or Angular, ensuring unique user experiences across devices and channels.
  • Enhanced Performance:  Modern-day users tend to leave websites if they load in over 3 seconds, impacting conversion rates – a crucial factor for online stores. By decoupling the front end from the back end, headless eCommerce allows for independent front-end optimization, leading to faster load times and a more responsive experience.
  • Scalability:  As businesses grow, headless eCommerce makes it easier to scale operations. Front-end and back-end upgrades or modifications can be done separately, integrating new features and handling peak traffic seamlessly.
  • Omnichannel Experience:  Headless eCommerce facilitates consistent content delivery across websites, mobile apps, social media, and more. You can push product updates via API to ensure a cohesive customer experience across all your touchpoints.
  • Market Agility:  New features, campaigns, or storefronts can be developed and deployed quickly since front-end and back-end work can be done independently. This flexibility allows businesses to respond swiftly to market trends and customer demands, maintaining a competitive edge.
  • Future-Proofing: Headless eCommerce easily adapts to evolving technologies and consumer behaviors. Integrate AR, VR, or AI seamlessly into your ecosystem without disrupting operations, keeping your business innovative.
  • Improved Developer Experience: Developers enjoy flexibility and independence, working on front-end and back-end projects concurrently. This parallel workflow increases productivity and speeds up updates and feature implementations.
  • Seamless Integrations: Headless eCommerce easily connects with third-party tools like WordPress, Salesforce, and HubSpot, optimizing operations and enhancing customer engagement.

In summary, by leveraging the benefits of headless eCommerce, businesses can create a dynamic, scalable, and future-proof online presence that not only meets but exceeds customer expectations.

3 Best Headless eCommerce Platforms for WordPress You Might Want to Explore 

Creating stunning front ends that perform well across multiple channels is crucial for delivering a seamless customer experience. However, having a robust back-end system for your headless setup is just as important. 

The right back end can make all the difference in ensuring smooth operations, scalability, and easy integrations. So, let’s dive into some of the best headless eCommerce platforms for WordPress that bring all this magic to life.

WooCommerce 

As a cornerstone of the WordPress ecosystem, WooCommerce has revolutionized the way businesses approach eCommerce. Traditionally, WooCommerce operates as a plugin that transforms a WordPress site into a fully functional online store. However, with the advent of headless architecture, WooCommerce stepped into a new era of flexibility and performance.

One of the major advantages of WooCommerce’s headless approach is its robust API-first design. WooCommerce offers comprehensive REST API endpoints that enable developers to access and manage eCommerce data including products, orders, and customer information programmatically. This API-centric model ensures that businesses can build fully bespoke storefronts while benefiting from WooCommerce’s powerful back-end capabilities.

WooCommerce’s headless solution also supports seamless integration with popular CMSs like WordPress, which is particularly advantageous as WooCommerce itself, as we’ve said, is a plugin for WordPress. 

This integration allows businesses to leverage WordPress’s extensive ecosystem of themes and plugins to enhance their eCommerce sites further. Additionally, WooCommerce is compatible with other CMS platforms and Digital Experience Platforms (DXP), enabling greater flexibility in content and experience management.

Real-time updates and automated workflows are supported through webhooks, which trigger actions based on specific events such as new order placements, inventory changes, or customer interactions. This ensures that various components of the eCommerce system remain synchronized and efficient.

The scalability of WooCommerce’s headless solution makes it suitable for businesses of all sizes, handling complex product catalogs and high traffic volumes effortlessly. This capability allows companies to manage multiple storefronts, brands, and customer segments from a centralized location, streamlining operations and enhancing the customer journey.

In addition to these features, WooCommerce offers extensive documentation and community support, providing developers with the resources needed to implement and optimize headless commerce solutions effectively.

While there are challenges to consider, such as no access to inherent WordPress SEO capabilities, the benefits of improved performance, flexibility, and the ability to deliver an omnichannel experience make headless WooCommerce a compelling option for forward-thinking businesses.

BigCommerce 

BigCommerce offers a robust headless commerce solution designed to empower developers and businesses with unparalleled flexibility and performance. It allows them to use various front-end frameworks such as Next.js, Gatsby, and Nuxt.js, enabling the creation of high-performance, dynamic user interfaces that can deliver an exceptional customer experience.

One of the standout features of BigCommerce’s headless offering is its API-first, not API-only, approach. The platform primarily relies on rich REST and GraphQL API endpoints to facilitate data access and manipulation. However, it also retains the full capabilities of its traditional eCommerce functionality, allowing businesses to mix and match their use of APIs with built-in features as needed. 

This hybrid approach provides the best of both worlds, offering extensive customization options through APIs while maintaining ease of use for standard eCommerce operations.

The platform provides comprehensive documentation and a composable reference architecture through Catalyst, which leverages React Server Components and the GraphQL storefront API. This setup allows developers to build custom, immersive customer experiences without the need to start from scratch.

BigCommerce’s headless solution is also designed to seamlessly integrate with popular CMSs like WordPress, Contentful, Prismic, and Contentstack, as well as Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) such as Uniform and Amplience. This flexibility ensures that businesses can use their preferred tools and platforms to create a cohesive and scalable eCommerce ecosystem.

Additionally, BigCommerce supports real-time updates and integrations through webhooks, enabling automation and synchronization across various systems. The platform’s ability to handle complex catalogs and high transaction volumes ensures that it can scale as your business grows, without compromising performance.

By providing a headless commerce solution, BigCommerce allows businesses to create highly customized and modern front-end experiences across multiple storefront channels while maintaining centralized management through the BigCommerce control panel. Whether you are managing multiple brands, selling across different customer segments, or expanding into new regions, BigCommerce’s headless solution streamlines operations and enhances the customer journey.

Shopify

Shopify’s headless commerce solution offers businesses a powerful way to create unique and highly engaging online experiences by integrating various modern front-end frameworks like React, Vue.js, and Angular. The flexibility provided by Shopify’s headless approach ensures that businesses can craft tailored shopping journeys while maintaining robust and efficient eCommerce operations.

One of the key advantages of Shopify’s headless approach is its robust API-first strategy. Shopify offers a wide array of APIs, including the Storefront API and the Admin API, which enable developers to access and manipulate eCommerce data such as products, collections, customers, and orders programmatically. This API-first design ensures that businesses have the freedom to build fully customized storefronts while leveraging Shopify’s powerful back-end capabilities.

Shopify’s headless solution also seamlessly integrates with popular CMSs like WordPress, Contentful, and Sanity, as well as Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) such as Adobe Experience Manager and Sitecore. This integration flexibility allows businesses to use their preferred content and experience management tools to deliver a cohesive and scalable eCommerce experience.

Additionally, Shopify Plus supports real-time updates and workflows through webhooks, enabling automated responses to specific events such as order creation, inventory updates, and customer interactions. This ensures that all parts of the eCommerce ecosystem remain synchronized and function smoothly.

The platform’s ability to handle high volumes of traffic and complex catalogs makes it ideal for growing businesses and enterprises that require a scalable solution. With Shopify’s headless commerce, businesses can easily manage multiple storefronts, brands, and customer segments from a central location, streamlining operations while enhancing the overall customer journey.

Shopify Plus offers advanced features and dedicated support for enterprise-level merchants, ensuring that they have the resources and expertise needed to optimize their headless commerce implementations. 

To give you a bird’s eye view of the three systems, here’s a comparative table presenting their key features and advantages.

FeatureWooCommerceBigCommerceShopify
Front-End Framework Support React, Vue.js, AngularNext.js, Gatsby, Nuxt.jsReact, Vue.js, Angular
API Strategy API-first with comprehensive REST API endpointsAPI-first with robust REST and GraphQL APIsAPI-first with Storefront and Admin APIs
CMS Integration WordPress, compatible with other CMS     WordPress, Contentful, Prismic, Contentstack WordPress, Contentful, Sanity     
DXP Integration Compatible with various DXPsUniform, AmplienceAdobe Experience Manager, Sitecore 
WebhooksSupports real-time updates and automationSupports real-time updates and automationSupports real-time updates and automation
ScalabilitySuitable for all sizes; handles high trafficHandles complex catalogs and high transaction volumesHandles high traffic volumes and complex catalogs
Multi-Storefront ManagementCentralized management of multiple storefrontsCentralized management through the control panelManagement from a central location
Additional FeaturesWordPress ecosystem of themes and pluginsCatalyst reference architecture with React Server Components React, Vue.js, Angular

As you can see, the three platforms offer robust headless capabilities that are quite similar, while still providing distinct features and advantages. Which one you ultimately choose depends on your project goals and needs. For advice or assistance in setting up your preferred headless solution, feel free to contact our expert team. 

Now, let’s take a look at some notable headless WordPress eCommerce projects. By examining real-world examples, you can better understand how this platform is used to create cutting-edge online shopping experiences.

Examples of Headless WordPress eCommerce Solutions in Real Life

Cafely: Embracing Headless WordPress for Growth

Cafely, a dynamic eCommerce business dedicated to providing high-quality coffee products, recently embarked on a transformative journey to level up their online presence. Mimi Nguyen, the founder of Cafely, shared her experience of transitioning to a headless eCommerce setup.

“We recently went through a bit of a website transformation at Cafely,” Mimi begins. “We started out with the classic WordPress setup, you know, the workhorse of the internet. It did the trick for a while, but as we grew, we craved more freedom, especially on the design side. That’s when Headless WordPress came knocking.”

The move to headless wasn’t an overnight decision. It took two months of meticulous planning and rebuilding to separate the content management system (WordPress) from the front-end presentation. “Moving headless wasn’t a quick one-night stand. We basically had to rebuild our engine,” Mimi explains, emphasizing the steep learning curve their developers faced. These developers, accustomed to the traditional ways of WordPress, had to adapt to new paradigms and technologies.

But once everything clicked, the benefits became clear. “Was it worth the sweat? Absolutely,” Mimi affirms. The transition opened up a world of possibilities. With Headless WordPress, Cafely could now embrace any modern JavaScript framework to design their site, integrating smoothly with other tools and systems. This newfound flexibility allowed them to create a unique, engaging online experience that templated WordPress themes couldn’t offer.

However, this freedom came with its own set of challenges. Managing multiple environments and API requests introduced technical complexities. Mimi recalls, “Of course, there’s always a flip side. The big win is the design freedom, breaking free from those templated WordPress themes. But the downside is managing all these different environments and API requests – it can get technical.”

Despite these hurdles, the team at Cafely found the process rewarding. Migrating content and perfecting the front-end design took longer than anticipated, but it was a valuable learning experience. Mimi highlights a particularly challenging yet satisfying moment: “We definitely made some stumbles along the way. Like that time we spent ages optimizing our API requests for peak performance – a real puzzle, but super rewarding when we cracked it.”

Reflecting on their journey, Mimi offers advice to others considering a similar path. “Research hard, plan like crazy, and don’t be afraid to tap into the awesome Headless WordPress community. It’s a journey worth taking, and we’d be happy to share our war stories – successes and all.”

Cafely’s leap into headless eCommerce showcases the transformative potential of this approach, combining significant creative freedom with technical challenges. Their story is a testament to the power of innovation, adaptability, and community support in navigating the evolving landscape of online business.

Beachbody On Demand: A Unique Take on Headless eCommerce

When you think of eCommerce, selling physical products often comes to mind. But Beachbody On Demand offers a refreshing twist, focusing on delivering fitness classes instead. This platform is a prime example of how headless infrastructure can revolutionize even the most unconventional forms of online commerce.

Upon landing on the main page of Beachbody On Demand, visitors are greeted with high-resolution videos showcasing their fitness programs. It’s more than just a sales pitch; it’s an immersive experience designed to draw users in.

Complementing these visuals is an extensive blog packed with health tips, workout advice, and nutritious recipes, all aimed at enhancing the user’s fitness journey.

The seamless delivery of this rich content hinges on the power of headless architecture. By decoupling the front-end from the back-end, Beachbody On Demand ensures that visitors receive content swiftly and efficiently. 

This setup is crucial for serving high-quality images and videos, especially on mobile devices. Custom formats are applied automatically, negating the need for constant frontend adjustments and ensuring a smooth user experience across all endpoints.

One standout feature of Beachbody On Demand is its accompanying mobile app. Traditionally, adapting a website like this to mobile would require significant effort and tweaking, particularly with WordPress. However, thanks to their headless setup, shifting content to the mobile platform is straightforward and hassle-free. The decoupled nature of their system means the content flows seamlessly from the back-end to wherever it’s needed, whether that’s on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

Beachbody On Demand exemplifies the transformative potential of headless WordPress for reaching a broad audience. Users can access the site and its content on any device and expect top-tier performance every time. 

Petoi: Innovating with Headless WordPress

Petoi, a manufacturer of innovative robots, originally started with a traditional WordPress setup but soon turned to Headless WordPress to meet their growing need for flexibility and scalability. “The transition time varied based on website complexity,” Rongzhongt, the CEO and founder of Petoi, explains. Despite the initial challenges in setting up Headless WordPress, the move has proven beneficial.

One significant advantage of this transition is the ability to deliver dynamic user experiences while retaining the ease of WordPress content management. The decoupled architecture allows Petoi to innovate on the front end without being constrained by the limitations of traditional WordPress themes and structures. This flexibility is crucial for presenting their cutting-edge robotics products in an engaging and interactive manner.

Rongzhong reflects positively on the decision to switch to a headless setup. “Overall, we’re satisfied with the decision,” he notes. The new infrastructure not only supports Petoi’s current needs but also scales efficiently as the company continues to grow and expand its product line.

Hoopis Pickleball: Elevating SEO with Headless WordPress

Discover the top 3 headless WordPress eCommerce platforms to boost your store's performance and effortlessly distribute content across channels. Plus, hear real stories from site owners about their headless WordPress experiences.

Peter Hoopis, the President and Owner of Hoopis Pickleball, leads an eCommerce platform dedicated to pickleball enthusiasts. He shares his insights on the transformative impact of adopting Headless WordPress for their website.

Transitioning to a headless setup has provided significant SEO advantages for Hoopis Pickleball. “It’s hard to ignore the fact that using Headless WordPress has a big SEO advantage,” Peter explains. By decoupling the front-end from the back-end, they’ve been able to optimize their content more effectively for search engines. This includes customizing meta tags and image descriptions, enhancing search engine understanding of their content, and ultimately improving their rankings.

One major benefit of this approach is the ability to deliver fully optimized content to search engine crawlers. This results in faster page load times and better performance in search results. Peter emphasizes, “We use special code to make sure our product pages and blog posts look great in search results, making people more likely to click on our site.” This meticulous optimization boosts organic traffic and drives more conversions for their products.

Overall, Hoopis Pickleball’s adoption of Headless WordPress showcases how modern web technologies can significantly enhance SEO performance. By optimizing content delivery and improving search result aesthetics, they’ve seen a tangible impact on their visibility and user engagement, ultimately leading to increased traffic and sales.

To Wrap Up 

Headless WordPress eCommerce solutions are definitely a big step forward compared to traditional setups. This modern approach offers numerous benefits, such as unparalleled design flexibility, improved performance, and the ability to integrate seamlessly with the latest technologies, empowering businesses to create unique and engaging digital experiences.

One of the most important decisions you need to make when moving to a headless setup is choosing the right platform. We’ve looked at three headless systems in this post, each offering robust eCommmerce capabilities.

However, even if you find the perfect platform that fits your needs like a glove, headless solutions can be complex to implement on your own. That’s where professional expertise becomes invaluable.

If you’re searching for a development partner to bring your vision to life, look no further than GetDevDone. We offer a comprehensive range of headless WordPress development services tailored to your needs:

  • Migration to Headless WordPress: Ready to make the switch but unsure where to start? We’ll guide you through the transition smoothly, ensuring your data and content are moved over without a hitch.
  • Custom Headless WordPress Development: Have specific needs or a unique vision? Our team specializes in crafting custom solutions that fit your project perfectly.
  • Headless WordPress eCommerce Development: Looking to build a powerful and flexible online store? We create headless eCommerce solutions that deliver exceptional shopping experiences.
  • Headless WordPress Website Maintenance: Keep your site running smoothly. From updates to optimizations, we handle the technical details so you can focus on your business.
  • WordPress API Integrations: Want to connect your headless WordPress site with other tools and platforms like payment gateways or analytics solutions? We have the expertise to integrate seamlessly, enhancing your site’s functionality and user experience.

Why choose us? At GetDevDone, we’re not just developers. We’re creators, thinkers, and problem-solvers committed to delivering excellence. Our team uses the latest technologies to build websites that are visually stunning, fast, responsive, and optimized for search engines.

With over 19 years of experience in WordPress, we’ve assisted numerous clients in adopting the headless approach, transforming their online presence, and creating new opportunities for growth and innovation. Reach out to discuss how we can turn your vision into reality. 

Volodymyr Shpak

Introducing our Chief Marketing Officer Volodymyr Shpak, a passionate book enthusiast with an insatiable curiosity for all things marketing. With a keen eye for strategy and a love for the written word, he brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity to our team, driving GetDevDone to new heights.

For more professional insights from Volodymyr, connect with him on LinkedIn.