There are many opinions that headless commerce will become one of the critical trends in 2022. Is it true? And if you decide to go, should your business choose Shopify Plus headless solution?

In reality, headless commerce isn’t required for all e-commerce enterprises. However, headless can be a lifesaver for some organizations that demand greater customization and creative solutions that aren’t possible with traditional e-commerce software.

Besides, going headless with Shopify Plus allows a company to pull in content and components via APIs. The merchant will utilize a different front-end framework and their CMS of choice. This solution is made possible by Shopify Plus’s storefront API.

Let’s go into specifics below!

What You Can Get By Going With Headless Commerce

High-Performance Multilingual Stores

One major issue is that building multilingual storefronts on standard platforms is extremely difficult. If a large online retailer serves a regional, continental, or even worldwide market, they must have multilingual alternatives. Also, speed is vital for SEO since a speedier site gives you a higher Google ranking and more visitors.

Businesses may create up to 12 different back-ends on Shopify Plus, each with its language, but this requires additional work. Every change, modification, and update to a single e-commerce store must be replicated across all back-ends.

A Shopify Plus headless e-commerce store, on the other hand, employs a distinct CMS for translation purposes, one that is significantly more sophisticated than what is found on standard e-commerce platforms. Going headless enables online retailers to support multiple languages without affecting overall site speed. Headless e-commerce also quickly includes various currencies.

Shopify Plus headless

A More Flexible Customer Experience

The freedom of creativity afforded by headless allows developers and designers to create a more diversified and responsive experience for the end-user through many touchpoints.

Specifically, the front-end consumer experience can be built without the limits found in, say, a templated WordPress front-end. To provide a memorable client experience, developers can leverage next-generation picture formats and AR/3D models.

Ideally, major e-commerce systems such as Shopify Plus, Magento, and BigCommerce, have recognized the evolution of these technologies by making their platforms “open” through the usage of APIs.

The fundamental features of these “giant” platforms can be employed separately in this new structure. E-commerce companies are free to keep up with the quick release of new technologies. As buyers flock to the web through an expanding number of new channels: connected devices, Amazon dash buttons; smartwatches; interactive mirrors, etc.

In general, going Shopify Plus headless is a strategy to prepare for the future by integrating e-commerce with new technologies as they emerge.

Keeping Up With Digital Trends

The ever-changing nature of digital technology necessitates higher technical demands from the market, demands driven by shifts in digital trends. New website design and UX features become increasingly commonplace and stylish as technology advances. Companies that can stay up with these developments will benefit the most.

Thus, headless commerce allows a site to be at the cutting edge of digital discovery in two ways:

  • Design/UX adaptability: Using current and lightweight front-end frameworks will not guarantee a unique digital experience, but you may do worse than putting these technologies in the hands of the appropriate people.
  • Progressive Web Applications (PWAs): They are not just a product of the drive of mobile technology but also a foretaste of the future of e-commerce, with their app-like icons for mobile devices and offline capabilities. The technology that drives PWAs, on the other hand, is used to develop headless architecture on a Shopify store. Having a headless store will make the switch to a PWA easier.

SEO Performance

In today’s e-commerce market, SEO is vital to success, and headless architecture can significantly increase a site’s search engine position in various ways.

The first is the general speed of the site. A speedier site results in a higher Google ranking and more visitors to your website. As a result of more hits, your SEO improves. As previously stated, headless sites run on best-in-class performance frameworks, making them faster than the competitors.

Second, because headless sites are only accessible via a single Shopify Plus store, their URLs are constantly optimized for the best SEO results. In fact, creating multiple stores for different languages or currencies results in a subdomain structure that significantly impacts site traffic and search engine ranking. 

The Headless E-Commerce Architecture

In traditional e-commerce, the architecture that underpins the commerce solution includes both the front and back ends. The front-end client experience is segregated from the back-end technology infrastructure in headless, resulting in a mutually agreeable divorce.

This enables your business to make changes and updates without relying on the other party or interfering with each other’s work. In terms of running the e-commerce platform, this allows more flexibility and less co-dependence.

However, some features, such as a sound content management system and multi-language solutions, are missing from Shopify Plus. That is why we create Shopify Plus headless websites. Luckily, BSS Commerce can link the best solutions to the Shopify Plus backend using a headless architecture, such as a headless CMS. As a result, the enterprises keep all of the power. In fact, Shopify Plus offers a fantastic e-commerce shopping experience. While it also connects the best solutions where they are required, personalized to each customer.

BSS Commerce - Shopify Plus headless solution

As a Shopify Plus agency, BSS Commerce can provide all development and design for your store. Do you want to learn more about it? Then read this blog post, Shopify Plus Development: Common Service Types To Help Optimize The Store.

Why Is Shopify Plus The Best Headless Commerce Solution?

One of the most famous e-commerce platforms, Shopify Plus, also offers sophisticated headless commerce capabilities. Shopify Plus can integrate with a wide range of leading CMS and other front-end solutions, transforming any screen into a virtual storefront.

Brands can create fast, engaging storefronts for online, mobile, video games, and other platforms by utilizing the Shopify Plus Storefront API. It also interfaces seamlessly with business systems such as ERP, PIM, CRM, and CMS. Shopify Plus has a broad network of partners that can help you set up a headless shop quickly and easily.

This platform brings together the finest of both worlds in that it is simple to use with pre-built solutions and little development experience. Still, it can also be continuously customized with the help of a skilled developer. Overall, it is suitable for both mid-market and corporate enterprises.

Shopify Plus headless (Source: Shopify Plus)

Check out more Headless Commerce Shopify: Is It Worth Doing? [Ultimate Guide 2022]

There Are Also Some Imperfect Points Of Shopify Plus Headless

No More Shopify Theme Editor

You are forsaking the simplicity of the default Shopify theme editor by using headless. And you should be aware of the consequences:

  • There will be no WYSIWYG editing unless you utilize a front-end solution like Shogun Front End or Builder.
  • There is no theme previewing.
  • You’ll need to create default pages, such as customer account pages, generally available out-of-the-box in Shopify.
  • There is no access to the navigation link lists.
  • Unless you build it into your front-end, there is no “sections” feature.
  • Even though you might accomplish this by running numerous instances of your headless front-end, there is no version control via distinct themes.

No More One-Button Apps

If you use Shopify, perhaps you will be familiar with quickly adding new functionality to your store by installing Shopify Apps. Headless requires you to establish connections to the third-party services to connect them directly to your front-end. This is a significant undertaking that is dependent on the services you are using, presenting their high-quality API.

Others Trade-Offs

Whether on Shopify Plus or another platform, there are various factors to consider when going headless. They may differ in severity depending on the platform, but the list of considerations is consistent:

  • The requirement to keep numerous technologies and platforms up to date.
  • Hosting – prices, dependability, and security are factors that a headed build on Shopify Plus eliminates.
  • A greater reliance on developers, whether in-house or contracted.
  • Finally, and often the show-stopping negative, increased development costs. 

Shopify Plus headless

Read More: Shopify Plus Updates In 2022: Is Shopify Plus Worth Your Money?

Fortunately, the downsides have solutions found by leveraging initial development. If you are concerned about having to have coding knowledge or spend a lot of time learning, don’t worry, BSS Commerce is here to help you. 

As a Shopify Plus Partner, BSS helps large e-commerce brands boost their stores with a robust integrated solution. BSS’s staff can assist you in designing, maintaining, and optimizing the Shopify Plus store. Especially by integrating third-party systems, BSS can extend the potential of your Shopify Plus store. For instance, some systems are ERP, CRM, marketplaces, etc. Besides, always trying to provide a consistent and smooth e-commerce experience to add value to businesses and customers.

BSS Commerce - Shopify Plus partner

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Be Business, Not Developers: How Can BSS Commerce Help Your Website?

When you go Shopify Plus headless, you’re entering the world of website management. Engaging the correct partners or internal team to support your website is critical. As a result, your staff will be able to focus on the customer experience and product offering rather than managing a website. 

BSS Commerce can help you find the proper solution for the task, whether you’re developing a headless Shopify site or looking for methods to automate and improve your existing Shopify platform. With a team of developers specializing in scaling and growing e-commerce businesses by developing technology, you can get the best Shopify Plus headless store with an excellent customer experience!

BSS Commerce - Shopify Plus development agency

If you have any questions, please arrange a consultation, and we would be pleased to assist you.

Headless Commerce Examples that Expand What’s Possible 

Although there are still some limitations with Shopify Plus headless, we can not deny its outstanding performance. Nothing is perfect. The problem is that you need to know how to overcome and improve its shortcomings. These typical cases below can wholly prove the opinion.

Lancôme – Health and Beauty

Lancome - headless store example

Lancôme, one of the world’s most well-known and valuable brands, is a French supplier of luxury perfumes and cosmetics that recognized the need to adapt to a changing world.

The brand contemplated developing a native app but recognized that it would only be helpful for frequent shoppers. Instead, it aimed to build a quick and engaging native-app-like experience that would be available to all visitors.

As a result, when they launched a new site in 2017 (as a relatively early adopter of headless), the fragrance giant utilized a PWA to provide a speedy experience on the mobile web. This change resulted in a 17% boost in conversions, a 53% increase in iOS mobile sessions, and an 8% improvement in conversion rates on recovered carts via push notifications.

Nike – Fashion

Nike - using headless solution

You may have heard of Nike, a small shoe and athletic equipment retailer, but did you realize that this sports accessory behemoth has also gone headless with its website?

Nike went headless because it wanted a mobile-first strategy to capitalize on the younger market segment increasingly shopping on their phones. Nike may now optimize not only on mobile but also on all pages, thanks to the new configuration – as Shopify Plus headless. Furthermore, Nike has gradually gained its market share over competitor Adidas since its inception.

Blue Diamond – Food & Beverage

Blue Diamond

Blue Diamond sells everything related to almonds, both in-store and online. With over a century of history, the company has a lot of information to fit into its website.

Nevertheless, they required an organized, purposeful online store that could service all of its various clients’ needs after more than ten years of operation. It desired a brand website that felt coherent while yet retaining distinct identities for different product lines.

As a result, Blue Diamond collaborated with an agency to construct their website using Shopify Plus headless and Contentful as the CMS. This solution provided great freedom in displaying all of the various pages and content types.

In addition, Blue Diamond used the Shopify API to seamlessly integrate the rest of the website. The website’s organic traffic has increased by 85%, while the bounce rate has decreased by 15%.

Burrow – Home Furnishings

Burrow - headless store

Burrow offers slick, modern modular furniture that the user can customize and readily construct to fit in with any home or taste.

When looking for an e-commerce platform to launch its site, Burrow discovered that out-of-the-box platforms were not matching its demands. Specifically, the company required a unique checkout experience, including the option to delay items and require a signature on delivery. Additional customizations were also needed for the company to provide the shopping experience that its customers expected.

Therefore, Burrow created its site using a headless solution on the back end and a custom CMS on the front end. Because the content is simple to update and maintain, the company can launch items more quickly and give the desired consumer experience.

LEGO – Entertainment

LEGO, like Nike before, is a brand that needs no introduction, as these bright toy bricks are a staple for young builders all around the world.

In 2017, the legendary toy brand began experiencing issues with its e-commerce website. It was based on a classic monolithic e-commerce system that could not scale to meet client demand. LEGO had started to invest in React on the front end but soon found that its back end infrastructure was the bottleneck.

Fortunately, the site is significantly more reliable and provides a better client experience after launching a new site in 2019. Moving headless has also offered LEGO’s teams more latitude to make upgrades, resulting in speedier product rollouts.

LEGO - headless store example

In case you want to know more about Top Successful Shopify Plus Stores That You Can Learn From [Updated 2022]

FAQs: Shopify Plus Headless

How Long Would It Take To Create A Shopify Plus Headless Solution?

Going Shopify Plus headless necessitates a complete overhaul of your website. While you may be able to use some design elements from your Shopify Plus store, everything else is being developed from scratch.

Regarding a schedule, there are numerous aspects to consider. However, it can take anywhere from 2 to 5 months, depending on your existing assets. You could be closer to the 2-month end of the range if you have all of your products DataWell-structured in Shopify, a well-defined creative process for generating photos and content, and an organization excited to make a move.

Moreover, it will take longer if your data, procedures, and imagery are dispersed. 

TIPs: There are sure to be some problems with a brand-new website. Consider providing “early access” to some of your most valuable consumers to obtain feedback and test things out in the real world. This way can assist you in getting a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) launch out there and in the wild so that when you do launch the entire new site, everything goes off smoothly.

How Much Does It Cost To Establish A Shopify Plus Headless Site?

It needs professional agency, project managers, and developers to build a performant site using modern web technologies that incorporates development best practices and is simple for internal users to maintain. We would estimate a budget of $200k-$600k for a 2-5 month engagement. 

There will also be continuing maintenance and update fees. You should consider hiring someone in-house to conduct the support ($100k-$150k total cost per year) or maintaining an agency on retainer for – typically +$10k per month. Although it is not a cheap investment, it will catapult your company to new heights.

Otherwise, you can locate cheaper agencies, but the result is not guaranteed, and it is unlikely that it has kept up with the latest technology. 

Suppose you are standing in the middle of a difficult decision when one side is budgeted, and the other is effective, too difficult to choose? That’s when you don’t know about BSS Commerce, one of Vietnam’s leading Shopify Plus development agencies. That means you have just got the support from a team of professional and skilled developers but at a highly affordable price (the price of Vietnamese agencies is lower than in countries like the US, UK, etc.) cloud). See more here.

Shopify Plus headless

Conclusion

Is it necessary for your e-commerce firm to go headless? The answer is: perhaps.

The goal is not to think of the headless as an excellent new item that can transform your business. Instead, analyze the issues you’re now dealing with. Can they be resolved with your current system? And if not, would diversifying your tech stack be beneficial?

On the other hand, there are numerous platforms for headless commerce. Your decision must ultimately be based on business requirements and the goals you want to achieve.

In most cases, we believe the benefits of a Shopify Plus headless outweigh the drawbacks, although it depends on your business’s size and whether you’re ready to move on to the next stage of your e-commerce Shopify site.

Even with the above limitation of Shopify Plus headless, this post also provided a solution to fix it, and it has been of great help to your business!