• headless commerce

The Retailer’s Guide to Headless Commerce

Retailers know that personalisation is a huge opportunity. Consumers are starting to demand personalised content, too:

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalised experiences. – Epsilon
  • 66% of consumers say encountering content that isn’t personalised would stop them from making a purchase. – CMO by Adobe

Yet today’s web infrastructure prevents retailers from taking full advantage. Most websites offer a very similar customer experience to every customer, supplemented by keyword search and filters. 

Headless commerce (or headless ecommerce) offers a platform to create more flexible, API-driven online experiences. It is part of a broader shift towards omnichannel ecommerce, where the consumer is in control. They expect to access content on any device, at any time, for any purpose. 

We are moving into an age of increased connectivity. Retailers can use headless commerce platforms to deliver adaptive content to suit each individual consumer’s context. 

What is headless commerce?

Headless commerce is a decoupled ecommerce architecture, where the front end and back end are separated.

The front end (or “head) is removed, meaning that content can be managed and delivered from the back end. The core functionality of the website or app resides in the back end, which is accessed using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Headless commerce Cadeera

Why is it so important today?

If we consider the current web architecture, form and function are inseparable. The user experience is dictated by the functional requirements and constraints of the website platform.

As a consequence, retailers drive traffic from social media, messaging apps, and connected devices towards the same ecommerce experience.

Using a headless commerce platform, retailers can deliver content through APIs to individual customer touch points. For example, a customer on WhatsApp can receive personalised content that renders within the messaging interface rather than clicking a link to the website. Other elements of the ecommerce journey, such as making a payment, can also be served programmatically to the app.

The website itself can also adapt to each user, as the back end functionality no longer constrains the content. Consider the various different customer segments that visit your website today and the opportunities missed by serving all of them the same content when they arrive. Headless commerce opens up new avenues to capture their intent and then adapt their individual journey.

The number of connected devices set to rise even further in future. Headless commerce means retailers will be able to deliver multimedia content across smartwatches, connected cars, and mobile screens.

Headless commerce


The benefits of headless commerce for retailers

  • Personalisation: Retailers can develop a much more flexible customer journey that takes each user’s preferences into account.
  • First-party data: As we enter an era of reduced third-party data, retailers need to have a first-party data strategy. Headless commerce leads to deeper engagement with users, creating valuable data that can be used for personalisation.
  • Omnichannel: The key idea with omnichannel ecommerce is that the consumer is in control. Wherever they are, they should be able to access a brand’s content. Headless commerce provides precisely this level of access. As new technologies emerge, retailers can adapt
  • Reduced friction: Retailers miss out on sales every day by not adapting to customer needs online. For example, 39% of consumers have ditched in-store purchases due to out-of-stocks. Headless commerce allows retailers to tailor their website, directing customers to the right inventory.
  • Marketing: Marketing teams can create brand new micro sites and apps much more quickly to serve campaigns.

The drawbacks of headless commerce for retailers

  • Design: There is an increased pressure on brands to create a web experience from scratch if they use a headless commerce platform. Today’s templates may lack flexibility, but they are consistent and easy to use.
  • Data management: Retailers need a data management strategy to capture, store, and then use the data created within their platforms.
  • Marketing access: Marketers can create and publish new content quickly on current websites. As it stands, headless commerce platforms require developer time to make updates. This friction will no doubt reduce over time, but it should be a consideration for retailers now.

How Cadeera can help retailers benefit 

Cadeera has created multimodal search technology for retailers, with the aim of embedding personalisation in the ecommerce customer journey. Our AI solution picks up on visual and text clues in customer searches. Next, we return results that go beyond keyword matching to inspire and delight users.

The development of headless commerce only increases the potential of our technology. Get in touch to request a demo today.


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