9 Best Headless Ecommerce Platforms In 2023
Are you looking for a headless eCommerce platform that will improve your eCommerce efforts and help you stand out from your competition?
In this article, I’ll take you through 9 of the best headless eCommerce platforms in 2023 and help you make the right choice.
As an eCommerce business owner, an essential part of your business goals is to remain relevant online through distributing quality content and delivering the best user experience possible.
Although several traditional eCommerce platforms exist, a headless commerce approach is your best bet at staying relevant and at the top of your game.
Headless ecommerce separates the front-end and back-end of an ecommerce application, offering you more freedom to build and manage your online web store while keeping your customers satisfied.
Thinking of the best headless eCommerce solutions for your business?
In this article, I have explained the nine best headless eCommerce platforms and the key features to look out for before selecting a headless solution.
Let’s get started.
Best Headless Ecommerce Platforms
Below are my top picks for the best headless eCommerce platforms in 2023.
- Adobe Commerce
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud
- Kentico Kontent
Best Overall Headless Ecommerce Platform.
Adobe Commerce is a secure and adaptable headless eCommerce platform for small and enterprise-level businesses looking to build and manage multiple eCommerce websites. It has a drag-and-drop interface and a sophisticated digital manager, Adobe Experience Manager, to help you create targeted promotions and provide personalized shopping experiences for your customers.
Adobe Commerce is a cloud-based headless eCommerce platform that offers optimized performance and helps you create a world-class commerce experience for your B2B and B2C customers across every channel and device.
Rooted from Adobe Experience Cloud, this headless commerce solution adopts a series of features, including abandoned cart recovery, campaign execution, SEO, and a cross-channel content management system (CMS) to boost your marketing strategies.
Alongside being a mobile-responsive solution, all touchpoints in Adobe Commerce use the same APIs and services to ensure a smooth and consistent customer experience across all channels and digital touchpoints.
Powerful User Experience
Easily create a fully responsive store and infuse your brand’s identity into your store’s designs, templates, and functionalities. You can also give your customers personalized experiences by displaying content and promotions based on location, wish lists, and order history.
Themes and Extensions
With access to over 3,700 themes and extensions, you can fully customize your store for any business purpose.
Improve your business’s capabilities by integrating your Adobe Commerce store with your existing third-party apps, enterprise software, and extensions.
With Adobe Commerce, you can build fully customizable dashboards from your store’s data and monitor your business. You can also limit access to these dashboards, automate report updates, and export data as .csv or .xlsx to your ecommerce teams and clients.
Adobe Commerce is PCI-certified as a Level 1 solution provider to help keep your customers’ information safe. There’s a security scanning feature that helps supervise your store activities, and you’ll also receive notifications about malware, illegal access, or any unusual activity with your store.
Adobe Commerce offers an all-in-one package for your business needs. To use the platform, you’ll have to request a free personalized demo.
Best Headless Ecommerce Platform With Fast Loading Times.
The.com is a valuable tool if you want to launch multiple websites at once. It has an easy (and high-speed) user interface, which makes building eCommerce sites for non-technical users seamless. However, more than a no-code tool, The.com puts the C in Community. Whatever your business needs are, The.com offers numerous community-created components you can customize to build your own eCommerce website.
The.com offers a fantastic combination of usability and flexibility for retail businesses looking to build and manage highly custom stores and launch multiple websites at once.
You can easily create, edit, and maintain your website and still own control as a developer.
Among The.com’s numerous functionalities, its blazing fast load times stand out most. You can easily create your business’s web pages in minutes.
This headless commerce also automates your workflow to streamline your work processes and focus on other important aspects of your business.
The.com’s intuitive editor blends actual HTML and CSS elements into an easy and accessible user interface.
Among the many headless commerce solutions available, webpages built on The.com are incredibly responsive, with loading times as fast as lightning.
The.com takes templates to another level. There are numerous community-created remixable blocks that you can tweak to fit your business. You can also build out custom blocks and share them in The.com’s free marketplace.
Easily invite your team members to your build, send and share information, and keep up with their activities via an in-built chat system.
Connect your store with your existing email marketing tools, inventory management software, and other business apps.
The.com has a free plan that lets you build up to six draft sites.
Once you are ready to connect your domain or access other advanced features like unlimited sites and over 50GB of storage, you can upgrade to either the Starter, Member, and Automate pricing plans of The.com.
Flexible Headless Ecommerce Platform for B2B Ecommerce.
OroCommerce is a flexible B2B eCommerce solution with a comprehensive ecosystem for any business model. Through its centralized and customizable dashboard, you can control multiple platforms and oversee your business’s activities, such as catalogs, reports, and orders, from a single screen.
OroCommerce is a B2B open-source eCommerce platform offering you total control of your eCommerce store activities.
This headless commerce solution doesn't require any specific technical know-how to operate. It has robust features that are fully customizable and can meet the needs of businesses in the B2B, B2C, and even B2X (B2B2B, B2B2C) sectors.
Among OroCommerce's exciting features is an in-built CRM featuring multi-channel that offers customer and customer support interactions through live support, FAQs, email, phone, and training. You can also interact with the vibrant community of users and get answers to your questions.
Multiple Management Capabilities
Organize and manage numerous web stores across various countries, regions, currencies, and tax regulations from one central admin console.
OroCommerce, as a subsidiary of Oro Inc., offers you easy access to OroCRM, OroPlatform, and other services. You can also integrate your ecommerce website with your existing team communication tools, EPRs, and CRM systems.
ou can track your reports anytime via OroCommerce's advanced segmentation capabilities, reporting engine, and easily accessible dashboard to help you grow digital revenue and gain valuable insights into your business performance.
Improve your core web vitals and increase your conversion rate by optimizing your web pages for high-traffic keywords and defining SEO-related data, like URL slugs, meta-titles, and meta-descriptions.
OroCommerce allows you to customize your workflow and transaction processes to improve your customer's experience.
Access Controls and Permissions
Take complete control of your business by specifying roles and creating permission-based access for all team members to allow only the right users to access specific information.
OroCommerce has two pricing plans for its users; Community edition and Enterprise edition.
The Community edition is free to use and equipped with the standard features to sustain small businesses.
The Enterprise edition is OroCommerce's only paid plan and contains more advanced features like cloud hosting, incredible optimization, and multi-organization support.
You'll have to contact their sales team to use the Enterprise edition.
User-Friendly Headless Ecommerce Platform for High-Volume Enterprises.
If you are a high-volume enterprise looking to build scalability and reliability for your business, Shopify is an excellent platform for you. Irrespective of your technical expertise, you can easily create, edit, and launch your own eCommerce website with Shopify. With features like unlimited extensibility and integrations, customizable checkouts, and custom automation, your business can rely on Shopify to provide a one-stop-shop experience for your customers.
In the eCommerce world, Shopify has built a name for itself.
With features like numerous personalization options, targeted marketing for customers, and better omni-channel services, you can rely on this headless commerce solution to turn your ecommerce website store into a powerful sales engine.
Shopify offers a user-friendly interface and reliable IT workforce, which helps you scale your store effectively, and unlimited bandwidth to help you grow your business without limitations.
You’ll also get access to advanced security with SSL certificates and Level 1 PCI DSS compliance.
Shopify has over 60 professional themes for you to work with. Some templates are available in other languages, which are excellent for reaching customers in other regions.
If you encounter any issue while building your eCommerce store, this headless approach offers a dedicated launch manager and access to their experienced support team to resolve the issue.
You can automate every part of your workflow, from basic tasks to complex work processes, with “Shopify Flow,” Shopify’s built-in automation tool.
There are thousands of professionally built apps to improve your business reach, available exclusively at the Shopify Plus store. You can also use Shopify Plus API to connect your digital commerce store with your existing IT solution, content management systems, and business tools.
Reporting and Analytics
Easily access key metrics via their built-in reports tool and gain valuable insight into your customer’s behavior and overall business growth across channels, regions, and segments.
Pricing on Shopify Plus begins at a fixed rate. However, the price can vary depending on your business size and needs. To get detailed pricing, you’ll have to contact their Sales team.
Best Headless Ecommerce Platform for Seamless WordPress Integration.
BigCommerce provides extreme scalability for eCommerce business owners. It has the most in-built sales tools on this list, offers you seamless integration with WordPress, and allows you to sell an unlimited number of physical and digital goods with its free plan. Irrespective of your business industry, there are several customizable templates to help you design your headless solution, and you can choose to tweak the CSS and HTML of your store to customize it further.
BigCommerce is an API-first, flexible headless commerce platform offering a wide range of built-in functionality, such as unlimited products, file storage, and bandwidth for building and maintaining your online shopfront.
Unlike any traditional commerce platform, BigCommerce doesn't throttle API calls to the platforms. There's also a pre-built plugin for online businesses looking to connect their WordPress web hosting service to their eCommerce business.
One of BigCommerce's remarkable features is its reliable shipping capabilities. It is one of the few cloud solutions that offer businesses in the eCommerce industry deep integration with ShipperHQ – an advanced shipping rate calculator and rules engine.
BigCommerce is a powerful commerce engine with a built-in drag-and-drop editor to help you customize every aspect of your online store. You can further customize your store's checkout experience with BigCommerce's server-to-server API and SDK.
BigCommerce allows you to manage multiple storefronts, sell across different regions, and streamline your operations from a single dashboard.
Reports and Analytics
You can access the analytics dashboard and get detailed information about your customers and your product-level performance.
BigCommerce offers you customizable, SEO-friendly URLs and metadata editing to help you improve your core web vitals, get more traffic, and increase your organic exposure.
To operate on BigCommerce, you'll have to request pricing from their sales department.
Best Headless Approach for an Agile Workforce.
Contentful is a cloud-native SaaS platform that helps you manage, integrate, and deliver content across every digital channel.
Unlike some headless commerce systems on this list, Contentful is context-agnostic. You can use Contentful with any platform that displays data, such as websites, web apps, native mobile apps, and billboards.
Whatever your business's needs are – creating content, building landing pages and tailored product descriptions, and tweaking forms – Contentful offers a web app that’s easy for developers and editors to operate.
Contentful also offers role-based permissions and separate workspaces to limit team members' access to content.
Customizable User Interface
Contentful has a straightforward and completely customizable UI that you can use to author any content, including rich text, collections, locations, and entry references. You can also preview your drafts without worrying about service disruption and publish in multiple time zones and languages.
Customized Content Modeling
There are no pre-defined content models on Contentful. You can take any content form and create unique experiences around it to fit your business needs.
Contentful has an in-built markup editor and an embedded media library that allows you to update your files on different channels without breaking public links.
Extend the basic functionality of your web by integrating it with Contentful's in-built applications, inventory management tools, and other third-party apps and software.
Contentful has three pricing plans—Community, Teams, and Enterprise.
The Community plan is free to use and allows only five users in a single space.
However, you can access more advanced features such as customizable roles and technical support on the paid plans – Team and Enterprise plans.
Best Headless Ecommerce Platform to Scale Up Customer Experience.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an excellent headless commerce solution that helps you drive success with its unique customer-first approach for every business industry.
With its simple drag-and-drop interface, you can easily streamline your work processes and web functionalities while incorporating multiple departments.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers unique features, such as account portals and loyalty programs that help you build sustainable relationships with your customers.
You can also increase your business reach by creating great customer experiences with targeted content and products for customers across different geographical locations.
Create, design, and launch your web pages with no technical support via several templates, developer tools, and its designated page designer feature.
Reliable Payment Methods
Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers many payment methods, like credit cards, mobile wallets, and even non-card options like SEPA. An algorithm function also helps you detect fraud patterns and strengthens your website's security threshold.
Boost your business by integrating your business with Salesforce platforms, social channels, and other third-party CRM software tools.
Einstein Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Salesforce Commerce Cloud has a unique AI feature that boosts your online web store performance. This Einstein AI helps in product recommendations, personalizes your customer's shopping experiences, and automates everyday manual tasks.
Easily create websites for different countries, currencies, languages, and regions, and manage your business properties from a unified framework.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud has different pricing plans for businesses in B2B Commerce, B2C Commerce, and B2B2C Commerce.
Best Headless Ecommerce Platform for Web Content Management.
Kentico Kontent is a cloud-based SaaS platform that helps you plan, create, and publish your content in a single repository and deliver a smooth shopping experience.
As with other headless eCommerce tools, Kentico Kontent allows you to expand your business reach by connecting with your favorite third-party tools.
You can also access its simultaneous editing feature that allows faster updates and streamline your work processes so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
Easily update your content right on your webpage. Multiple editors can also work on the same content without worrying about overwriting each other's changes.
Unlimited Content Types
Irrespective of your business types or needs, there's no limitation to your content needs on Kentico Kontent. You can create any kind of content across a wide range of departments, initiatives, and regions.
Organize and access your asset in Kontent Kentico's in-built library. You can also secure your assets via API key and include critical information to govern team members' activities.
Collaborate with your team members in a central workspace and take advantage of functions like “comments” and “suggestions” to communicate in real-time. You can also grant permission-based access to control the actions your team members can perform in your online store.
You can create personalized messages and reach your audience across multiple channels and devices.
Kentico Kontent allows you to build for free with its Developer Plan.
However, you can access only one project and two active users on this plan.
If you want to access over 20 active users and operate three projects simultaneously, you'll have to purchase its paid plans—Scale and Enterprise plans.
Best Headless Ecommerce Platform With a Flexible API for Any Business Model.
Commercetools is an API-driven headless commerce platform that helps build customers' experience that fits your B2B, B2C, and D2C business needs.
Unlike most legacy eCommerce platforms, this headless architecture operates on the MACH (Microservice-based, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless) principles for eCommerce business which helps you build custom services and develop solutions that meet your exact business needs.
You can easily streamline back-end processes, create consistent cart and order behavior across multiple stores, and transfer data to the front-end presentation layer via API.
Commercetools also provide end-to-end solutions designed for progressive web apps (PWAs) and extend outreach through the Internet of Things (IoT), such as smart home appliances and connected car sensors.
Commercetools allows you to set up different stores and manage your business activities, such as pricing, shipping, subscriptions, and discounts, from a single dashboard.
Easily manage your product order and fulfillment, store customer data, and create detailed customer profiles, all from a centralized dashboard. You can also design smart workflows to help route orders to convenient fulfillment points.
Commercetools offers a machine learning technology that can help you automate your daily tasks, deliver product recommendations and on-demand offers to your customers, and optimize your data quality.
Commercetools doesn’t offer a digital experience platform or an in-built content management system. It only runs a commerce layer, so you’ll have to connect your Commercetools ecosystem with other third-party applications to increase your business growth.
Commercetools offers powerful search functions, such as multiple filters, image search, and custom fields for easy navigation. You can also offer personalized suggestions according to your customers' profiles.
Commercetools offers a 60-day free trial with full functional access to every feature on the platform. Once your free trial expires, you'll have to subscribe to continue using the platform.
Key Features of Headless Commerce Platforms
Running a successful online commerce business means that you must remain relevant in your industry. One way to achieve this relevance is by choosing the right headless platforms that meet your business needs.
However, irrespective of your online business needs, any headless eCommerce platform you choose must have the following features.
1. API-First Approach
Traditional eCommerce platforms take directions directly from the front-end presentation layer, making front-end development time-consuming and tiring for developers.
However, in headless commerce, front-end developers are free from these hurdles because every action from the front-end passes through an API call to the back-end. This API-driven action makes the whole onboarding process quick and straightforward.
2. Omni-Channel Capability
A great headless commerce solution won’t require you to restructure your eCommerce store to suit different channels.
You’ll be able to drive sales and traffic and spread your content efficiently across multiple channels, including progressive web apps, social media, mobile apps, billboards, and the Internet of Things, such as smart home security systems and smart shelf technologies.
Personalization helps to drive repeat engagement and loyalty over time. With the front-end and back-end separated in headless commerce platforms, you can effortlessly create unique experiences from scratch.
The independent back-end systems linked to numerous channels and devices will help online businesses tailor recommendations based on their purchases, preferences, transaction history, and subscriptions on other platforms, resulting in a more personalized customer experience.
4. Seamless Integration
Integration is an essential feature for headless eCommerce solutions. Once you start your online store, integrations will help you add functionalities that are lacking in your eCommerce store and expand your opportunities for customer outreach.
5. Full Customization
Great headless commerce platforms will offer you complete control of your eCommerce platform’s look and feel and endless customization options, thus enabling you to create an enhanced experience for various customers.
6. In-Built Reporting Tool
As a business owner, you must keep track of all your business data regularly so that you can make informed decisions that will improve your business performance.
A great headless commerce solution will provide a dedicated dashboard for you to track and manage all your business activities and provide permission-based data visibility to relevant team members.
Headless Commerce Platform FAQs
Headless eCommerce is an updated eCommerce architecture where the “head,” the front-end presentation layer of an eCommerce site or app, is separated from the back-end.
Instead of attaching the site to a permanent front-end, i.e., the visible elements of your ecommerce website users interact with, headless eCommerce uses Application Programming Interface (API) functions to allow the back-end to interact with various applications and platforms.
Unlike traditional commerce platforms where the front-end and back-end are a single, monolithic application, headless eCommerce offers exceptional flexibility for online businesses.
With headless eCommerce, organizations can gain heightened control over their site's architecture and deliver API-driven experiences to customers quickly and with no limitations.
Companies can also plug in advanced commerce functionality in their eCommerce site and adapt their offerings for every type of web device.
A headless content management system (CMS) is almost synonymous with a headless commerce solution; however, they are not the same.
Headless CMS has built-in robust content capabilities that help businesses create exceptional front-end experiences for their customers, just like headless commerce, but lacks other functionalities that headless commerce possesses to sustain an online business.
Although a headless commerce platform can fulfill your content needs, most companies integrate the best headless CMS in their headless architecture to scale up their huge content management needs and meet evolving customer demands.
What Are the Best Headless Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses?
Unlike traditional commerce platforms, headless commerce platforms offer more hope for the eCommerce industry.
There’s room for scalability, complete ownership of your site’s architecture, and improved customer shopping experiences. Headless commerce solutions also have advanced technologies that help create websites and minimize the risk of breaking down digital commerce stores during technical changes.
In this article, I have reviewed the nine best headless eCommerce platforms in 2023 and the key features to note when choosing a flexible eCommerce platform to facilitate your headless architecture.
However, before choosing the best headless eCommerce platform for your business, you must also consider your business needs.
What specific needs are you looking to meet with a headless eCommerce Platform?
Once you have figured that out, you can now compare them with this detailed article.
Surely, you’ll be able to select a platform that ticks all your boxes.
That said, here are my top headless eCommerce platforms.
If you need more reviews and guides to help you build an eCommerce business, check out these resources below:
- Online Store Builders
- Best Ecommerce Website Builders
- Best Ecommerce Platforms
- Shopify Review
- BigCommerce vs Shopify