The tide of headless commerce is rising. Everyone is pivoting towards it. This change in the market can make you feel like Indiana Jones discovering the ancient monolith solution in your own server room.
Modern headless eCommerce platforms can probably outperform it in a couple of ways. Even if you feel comfortable with it, it might be high time to jump aboard the headless train.
Here’s a set of four very different headless eCommerce platforms recommended by our developers at Divante. Each of them has its own characteristics and answers to different business needs. You don’t have to just trust me about how good they are. Simply check them out for yourself.
If you’re new to the concept of headless eCommerce, I recommend our previous post on What is headless eCommerce? It’s a complex guide that will introduce you to this concept and show you how to start working with these new technologies in eCommerce.
This article is based on our 130-page long in-depth review of the 14 top headless eCommerce platforms. If you want to explore this topic further, that’d be the perfect place to start.
commercetools: A complex omnichannel platform
commercetools isn’t about eCommerce. It’s about commerce.
It’s a platform that connects all the dots in omnichannel and allows your company to contact your client through any touchpoints. You can use channels like:
- Various online storefronts
- Mobile apps
- Internet of things (IoT)
- Voice assistants
- Augmented reality (AR) applications
- Virtual reality (VR) applications
It embraces the MACH stack, which means that it’s microservices, API-first and cloud-based, and has a headless architecture. It creates an excellent technical blend for a scalable and flexible platform.
“The mission of commercetools is to free businesses from being restrained by monolithic legacy suites, such as Magento, Hybris, and SalesForce.”
Bartosz Picho, eCommerce Solution Architect at Divante
When you talk about a software solution, it might be interesting to check and see who has already adapted it. commercetools has been chosen by a number of Fortune Global 500 enterprises. You’ll find notable names on the list, like Audi, Danone, Yamaha Motor, Volkswagen, Swarovski Optik, John Lewis & Partners, and Geberit.
commercetools supports its modern microservice-based and event-driven architecture with a rapidly growing marketplace. It offers over 300 API endpoints and decoupled services. You can use them to manage product information, carts, orders, inventory, customer history, recommendations, payments, marketing, and a lot more.
You can easily compose the system by picking the features from a plethora of modules. From what I’ve heard from our developers, it comes with very good documentation and SDK in a few programming languages. In short, commercetools is a flexible solution that can take care of all the aspects of your commerce.
Shopware 6: Modern and easy to work with
Shopware, on the other hand, is designed for small and midsize companies. Still, there are a couple of cases where it was successfully scaled beyond that to build a global business. It’s modern, easy to work with, and intuitive.
One of its top functions are very quick rollouts. You can create an elaborate multisite structure with the main shop in the center and sub-shops built around it. You can go live with new sites every week if you want.
There’s also a Shopping Experiences module that helps create landing pages, product detail pages, listings, and so on. It unifies the customer experience across all channels. It can help you refine your online shops and deliver a better service than your competitors.
You can also use it for direct order management.
“The order manager is simple but quite powerful. It gives you the possibility to add and edit orders manually, and allows you to sell and manage orders even without enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration.”
Damian Kłaptocz, Business Analyst at Divante
Shopware is also good for international business. It gives you flexible and easy-to-manage tax rates, a built-in rule builder for payments and shipments, and comes with a clear and intuitive product management module. To sum up, it’s modern, quick, and a pleasure to work with.
Spryker: Wide customization possibilities
“Spryker takes into account that each project is different, and each shop has its own processes and infrastructure and requires an individual approach.”
Bartosz Picho, eCommerce Solution Architect at Divante
You can use this modularity and flexibility to reflect your business processes. You simply choose the right blocks and compose the features you need. It has great documentation and a wide range of features.
Flexible headless structure
Spryker’s core is a pair of applications. The first is called Yves, which is a quick and scalable progressive web app (PWA) front end. The second is a solid back end called Zed. You can build around them by connecting third-party extensions and custom add-ons.
If you are a small merchant, an off-the-shelf application will probably cover your needs. However, if you look further into the future or have developed processes that constitute your competitive advantage, Spryker will be flexible enough not only to preserve them but to also give them a boost. To sum up, Spryker gives you a headless platform designed to build custom solutions that will be truly yours.
Shopify Plus: Smart automation possibilities
Shopify is a name you can’t miss in eCommerce. Shopify Plus is an enterprise version of this popular headless eCommerce platform that gives you the opportunity to customize the user experience.
It supports over 10,000 active online stores. These include billion-dollar online brands, such as Fashionnova, Gymshark, KKW Beauty, Rebecca Minkoff, Morphe, and Allbirds.
Some of its biggest pros are a fast implementation time and no technical knowledge required to operate the platform. You can develop your store using pre-built solutions available in the Shopify App Store, but a skilled developer can help you extend its features far beyond that with additional integrations and customizations.
It embraces the composable eCommerce idea. That means you can use it in a microservices-based architecture to extend your eCommerce with dozens of external tools.
Custom shopping experiences
What really catches the eye in Shopify Plus is the eCommerce automation.
You can adjust it to custom business models and build custom solutions on top of it. For example, you can use Shopify Flow to convert thousands of repetitive tasks into an automated process.
“Shopify is all about automation, and this is undoubtedly borne out by the Shopify Flow app. It’s designed to convert the processes found in your business into automation that run according to a designed workflow.”
Piotr Znamirowski, Head of Shopify Development at Divante
Flow is just one of many tools to streamline the processes. Another is Shopify Scripts, which helps you create discount rules and personalized discount codes. Finally, there’s Launchpad, which manages individual sales events. They give you many opportunities to approach your customers with different discount and promotion policies to save you hours of manual work.
Picking the right tool for your eCommerce
Every business is different. It’s not an easy task to find a solution that will suit your needs.
If you need a hand with that, feel free to reach out to our team at Divante. Or, if you prefer to explore the possibilities on your own, check out our extensive eBook on headless eCommerce platforms. It’s an in-depth analysis of the most important solutions available on the market.
Some additional resources on headless technology
Headless is an exciting new chapter in eCommerce that speeds up and increases the agility of your online shop. If you want to learn more about it, take a look at some of the resources we’ve created here at Divante:
This massive article covers the basics and answers the most important questions on monolith to headless transition.
A new take on what’s happening in the modern eCommerce world and what’s coming next.
This post is a part of our series on headless eCommerce. Sign up for our newsletter to regularly receive fresh insights and market data directly to your inbox.
Published June 24, 2021