Customer expectations are increasingly transforming how brands should communicate. Reaching your customers where they are, yields better scopes for selling opportunities. The railway ticket counter, coffee shop, gaming parlor, or a salon and anywhere could be your next-stop storefront to connect with your customers.

Headless commerce is one such most significant innovations in the SaaS-based e-commerce space, bringing you the agility to build a connected experience for your customers. The connectedness not only grabs eyeballs but also offers customers a rapid opportunity to buy what creates an emotional connection for them and makes conversions happen. So, we can easily say that a headless commerce storefront is a power behind successful CX.

If e-commerce is the future, headless commerce is synonymous with e-commerce flexibility, speed, and moving towards endless possibilities for scalability.

What should be your headless approach with Shopify if scaling in the unchartered territory interests you outside of the monolithic or traditional e-commerce ambiance?

Headless Shopify is the next-level customer interaction platform. Here, we’ll explore what it means to build a storefront without a head and definitely without so many headaches.

 

1. What is a headless Shopify store?

Just have a straightforward idea about headless commerce. It is about decoupling or separating the frontend or storefront from its backend. It is an API-first approach, which integrates two components 一 and all the selling interactions occur through a central location.commercetools brainstormed headless commerce; a few leading e-commerce solutions later followed.

Transitioning to headless with Shopify means you can leverage the powerful tools and functions of the Shopify backend and create a differentiated and highly personalized experience with the storefront.

Everything lies within the mechanism of your storefront as to how it interacts and draws users to its product offerings. Creating a headless Shopify store does not counteract your ability to use its dynamic tools. At certain times, however, when the existing and intuitive storefront becomes exhausted, the Shopify storefront application programming interface (API) alleviates your stress.

Shopify - Shopify - Image Banner

2. How does headless Shopify relate to Shopify storefront API?

Some custom requirements are the need for specific purposes. When you want to move beyond the limitations of your existing online store or POS, the Storefront API, bound with GraphQL, allows you to leverage extensible customization to transform the Shopify buying experience.

Merchants can work with third-party applications without losing control over Shopify’s features and functionalities. So, as you want to nurture Shopify headless e-commerce, the Storefront API is the bridge between your storefront and the backend.

Simultaneously, many other Shopify API tools give you control to use third-party applications outside of the headless commerce platform.

3. Can inbuilt CMS perform as a Shopify headless CMS or provide a rapid front-end experience?

Shopify headless CMS

Theme Engine and Editor are Shopify’s inbuilt CMS. They are integrated together. However, these two components can work independently using Shopify's Storefront API and enable merchants to reimagine them as a headless CMS solution.

With the built-in CMS into Shopify, you can publish or update content anywhere on the storefront. However, for a more rich customer experience, you can use Shopify Plus as your headless backend solution and use third-party CMS like WordPress, Contentful, and Squarespace as your frontend solutions rather than backend support.

The advantage is that you cannot limit your creativity within four sections of built-in Shopify CMS features or any particular third-party CMS. Instead, you can do more to build a personalized shopping experience.

headless commerce examples

Allbirds has set great headless commerce examples. Going headless with Shopify Plus gives their users a frictionless shopping experience with product search and buying decisions. Rich merchandising and high-quality product photos 一 each in a separate frame including videos and clean metafields product description, enable them to attract buyers twice more than earlier.


4. How can you take your e-commerce growth to the next level with headless Shopify?

Shopify headless commerce is a better approach to leveraging the power of modular architecture through MACH modern technologies. MACH, an acronym for Microservices, APIs, Cloud, Headless, relieves merchants from forcefully fitting their needs into rigid and inflexible technologies. There are unimaginable possibilities as you adapt to a headless approach with Shopify.

  • 1. Making rapid content change using an existing CMS

    The existing CMS can separate from the commerce platform with a headless Shopify store, enhancing authoring and customization capabilities.

    One use case could be that you can either use the existing CMS or get a third-party CMS for the extra layer of frontend customization, which is relatively static with traditional commerce.

    • Accelerate custom build: Without waiting for the entire engineering team to implement custom changes to multiple websites, one codebase solutions scale the process of pushing content to the various frontends. This is effective when you add content for an immediate, specific purpose like BFCM or any flash sale. The additional information reaches the target audience and boosts customer experience.
    • Invoke visual senses with rich assets: Give a richer customer experience with high-quality assets like GIFs, videos, images that can craft an engaging brand story for each of your merchandise.
  • 2. Increasing traffic with faster page loads

    Decoupling frontend from backend makes the page load faster. Given the headless approach, the backend does not need to load; only the frontend loads.

    So, the frontend loading is always faster for visitors and helps search engines improve their rank in search results. Also, headless Shopify reduces dependency on code-backed third-party apps, improving page performance. On the other hand, depending on progressive web apps or PWA, you can improve browser speed and enable rapid customer interactions on mobile devices.

  • 3. Creating a custom experience with best-in-breed technologies

    As you grow, your tech stack also grows in volume. GraphQL Shopify Storefront API gives you a composable experience with the existing tools.

    • Mold tech stacks into microservices: You can compose custom experiences with Shopify Plus's backend tools like SAP, Acumatica, Netsuite, quickbooks. So, one or more tech stacks can be coupled within microservices to build a custom frontend solution specific to business needs using the Shopify APIs..
    • Leverage efficiency and effectiveness: ERP, CRM, MIS, CMS 一 all these tech stacks can act together, but they could have a separate entity. So, if there is any bug or design requirement, you can take care of that part without impacting the performance of other tools in the microservices.

    For example, composable commerce makes it easier to connect with customers and dealers or distributors with similar kinds of information across each device or tool type without much effort.

  • 4. Embracing the rapid market launch

    As you build a headless commerce Shopify store, you will have a satisfying experience 一 that does not tie your backend and frontend developers together. Your marketing team can create a great marketing strategy and implement them independently as and when they need it. With total control over the front end, you can add significant pieces to add customer experience and not to mention 一 boost your growth.

  • 5. Converting more with multiple selling channels

    multiple selling channels

    You can quickly satisfy your user experience with the ability to turn any digital device into a rapid checkout. Shopify headless e-commerce lets users interact, learn, and act faster on buying appliance.

    The custom experience you build upon headless Shopify API and other developer tools enables you to control the front end completely. At the same time, the backend operations are centrally located on Shopify Plus.

    Start with multiple digital devices that customers use to interact 一

    • Blog posts
    • Social media channels like Facebook’s Buy Button
    • Progressive Web Apps
    • Vending machines
    • POS
    • Mobile
    • IoT devices like a smartwatch or smart mirrors

    Headless Shopify store can be a rapid launch pad to transition out of monolithic commerce platform.

    With the existing template backed by headless solution partner Shopify Plus, you can create a quick custom storefront 一 both offline and online, revolutionizing the multichannel selling capabilities and omnichannel experience together.

Create a complete headless solution with Shopify.

5. What should you consider before going headless?

Headless commerce is rapidly gaining popularity with merchants. Popular brands like Netflix, Nike, Amazon Alexa, and many have already brought fantastic customer experiences by decoupling their frontend from the backend. Lots of merchants like KOTN, babylist, Deliveroo have chosen Shopify Plus as their headless architecture.

If you prefer going headless with Shopify, consider a few crucial things.

  • Prioritize your need: Determine if you need to take your whole website to headless or just a small selection of your website, like a particular landing page can help you meet your objectives.
  • Consider the cost of development: An enterprise project development is always high-priced, coupled with the ongoing maintenance costs and subscription fees of the SaaS-based headless solution.

However, building custom experiences with mobile apps or video solutions could be affordable.

  • Check third-party apps have APIs: Treating Shopify as your headless platform could mean inconsistent support from third-party apps. Besides backend apps, you are unlikely to use frontend applications. However, by implementing additional API integrations, they can communicate with Shopify Storefront API and give you control over the frontend user experience.
  • Go with limited theme customization: Shopify storefront cannot provide extended customization support with theme engine and rich text editor together. To enable them to work inside your headless architecture, you must integrate them with API or use a custom CMS.

Going through all these options can provide better insights into why you should go ahead with the headless Shopify store. And here’s the overview of the headless Shopify Store benefits:

  • Competitive edge over competitors
  • Improved storefront loading speed
  • Extended customization options
  • Flexible customer interaction with fast-loading PWA apps or custom Android or iOS apps
headless Shopify store

Want to know if headless Shopify store or solutions can work for you?

Get in touch

6. How to build a headless Shopify store?

When it comes to building your Shopify headless store, you can take advantage of several approaches to creating a differentiated customer experience.

  • 1. DIY approach

    When you take up your initiative, it gives you complete control over how you want to move along with your project on Shopify Plus. It is a huge responsibility for you, from UI design preference to backend interactions.

    If you have limited hands-on experience with the Shopify Storefront API, the whole project can become exhausted for you. Too many iterations and repetitive processes may break your project down.

  • 2. Make a perfect headless customer solution with an expert partner.

    We already discussed Shopify Storefront API is key to building a custom storefront for your headless store. An agency partner who has a deep understanding of GraphQL Storefront API or other Shopify APIs knows better the ins and outs of how specific frontend technologies can bring improved solutions to the custom storefront you want to build.

    • Choose your frontend technologies: Someone who better knows of headless solution development guides you better. You have a better idea about what could be your perfect UI technologies to work for the frontend customizations that are efficient in making API calls back to the backend and offer an elegant user experience.

    You can go with React Framework or Ember for the Shopify storefront solutions. One of the wonders of Shopify as a headless platform is that it allows you to build front-ends with Shopify Hydrogen. The newly announced React-based framework gives you more power to make in combination with JavaScript. Hydrogen-based apps can simplify the development of components like React. So, you can create a shopping cart or content gallery and load them at lightning speed on the Oxygen server powered by Shopify. Simultaneously, static site technologies like GatsbyJS or Next.js can offer content-rich product details pages without forcing traditional e-commerce design.

    The advantage of working with your partner agency is that they can suggest a better way to save money on front-end development from scratch. Instead, they can help you leverage the power of third-party CMS or frontend services like WordPress or Contentful to their most total capacity.

    • Solve pitfalls rapidly: A Shopify agency with experience in developing of headless commerce solutions can be a great resource to lead you in the right direction. In the pursuit of building a headless Shopify store, their well-versed team is the first one to identify issues with the backend integrations or implementations. They can suggest which features work fantastically with the frontend layout or troubleshoot if backend features do not align properly.

     

  • With a headless agency partner with the Shopify platform, you can launch and scale rapidly while successfully bringing out different conversions avenues.


7. How HulkApps can help you craft a custom customer experience with headless Shopify?

If you have learned about all the fascinating things about headless commerce, you might have understood that connecting and converting with a headless Shopify store is way easier than a monolithic e-commerce store.

A custom frontend that does not rely upon a heavy backend, however, talks through API layers can reduce massive development time and costs, turning your custom requirement into a reality with speed.

Gain a competitive edge with the decoupling of your backend from fronted with HulkApps Shopify development team. We are well versed with a variety of headless solutions technology that can align better with Shopify. Our integration capabilities, frontend customization, and CMS handling, including modern design and development, give you excellent visibility.

We take away massive development headaches from your project and build resilience into your final product.

Ready to go headless