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Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Commerce: Which is Right for You?

Retailers are always looking for the next best advantage in the ongoing battle for consumer attention. As ecommerce evolves, there are more opportunities to create personalized shopping experiences and generate greater customer loyalty. The latest advancement in ecommerce platforms is going headless. Headless ecommerce refers to splitting the front and backend systems, compared to traditional ecommerce systems that tightly couple the backend with the frontend.

Understanding the advantages of headless commerce and traditional commerce will help determine which approach is right for your organization.

Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Commerce: Pro and Cons


Headless Commerce

Traditional Commerce


An ecommerce system in which the front-end and back-end systems run separately.

An ecommerce system where the entire platform is built together as a single, integrated system. 


High degree of flexibility

Easy to use

Greater customization options

Everything is integrated

Easily scalable

More affordable


Higher upfront costs

Limited flexibility

Requires technical expertise

Difficult to customize

Longer development times

Higher total cost of ownership


Now that we’ve laid out the basic distinctions of headless commerce vs. traditional commerce, the following sections discuss the implementation of both, who each system is best suited for, and the best practices to get yourself started.

Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Commerce: Making The Right Choice

There’s no universally correct choice between traditional or headless ecommerce systems. Different organizations will naturally gravitate towards one or the other based on various factors affecting their company, such as size & scale, audience, level of technical expertise, and budget.

The following subsections discuss common company types and identifies the typical best fit for their model:

Small Business - Traditional Commerce

Small businesses with a limited budget often find themselves in need of a comprehensive, one-stop shop that allows them to manage everything from a single interface. 

Similarly, because smaller companies typically have less extensive inventory, they rarely require the customization offered by headless commerce systems.

Large Enterprises - Headless Commerce

For larger companies with a greater budget to spend upfront and more complex inventory and personalization needs, the benefits offered by a headless commerce system is the best fit. These systems offer users a greater degree of flexibility when working between your company’s frontend and backend, making them ideal for companies seeking a more personalized experience. Further, the decoupled front and backend systems provide an additional layer of scalability and security to handle larger traffic volumes.

Businesses With Complex Integrations - Headless Commerce

Headless commerce allows for complex integrations with a variety of different platforms, like marketing automation tools or customer relationship management software. This makes it ideal for businesses that rely on a wide range of different tools and systems to manage their operations.


These examples are, of course, generalities. Because each company is different, the reality is that one or the other may be a better fit for your company, depending on your organization's specific goals, team composition, and legacy platforms.

What To Do Right Now

If either of these systems COULD work for your company, that makes it difficult to know where to go from here. As a result, we’ve included this section for readers who still aren’t sure where to go from here, identifying the steps involved in getting started with both headless commerce vs. traditional commerce.

Getting Started With Headless Commerce

When getting started with your headless commerce journey, keep these five steps in mind.

  1. Start by defining your goals and objectives for implementing a headless commerce journey. Identify the pain points in your current commerce setup, and determine how headless commerce can help you overcome those challenges. 

  2. Headless commerce requires a different technology stack than traditional ecommerce. Choose the right set of technologies and application programming interfaces (APIs) to help you create and manage the headless storefront, such as a CMS, a commerce engine, an API gateway, and other required tools.

  3. The next step is to design and build the storefront connecting to the commerce backend through APIs. A key advantage of headless commerce is the ability to create a customized storefront that offers a unique user experience.

  4. The storefront must be integrated with the commerce backend, which will include product catalog management, order management, inventory management, pricing, and other commerce-related functions.

  5. Once the headless commerce storefront is up and running, it is essential to continuously test and optimize its performance. Monitor metrics such as page load times, bounce rates, conversion rates, and revenue to identify areas for improvement. 

Creating The Best Ecommerce Experience With Concord

If you are still wrestling with the question of headless commerce vs. traditional commerce, it may be prudent to consider working with a specialty consultant that weighs both offers in correspondence to your unique circumstances. Concord’s expert team guides you through the retail experience, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and data science for marketing personalization and building loyal customers who come back for more.​ This allows your company to scale your operations between headless and traditional systems as you grow without the hassle of doing it yourself.

If you are looking for expert consultants to help guide you through your ecommerce journey providing professional assistance every step of the way, Concord is the perfect fit. 

Getting Started

Concord USA is a consultancy that combines technology and industry depth with a get-it-done culture to enable resiliency, efficiency, and innovation. Whether you are trying to improve customer satisfaction, data strategies, security, or other technological issues, Concord can help. 

Contact us today to learn more about headless commerce vs. traditional commerce, our Technology Integration Services, and how we can help your business thrive.

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