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    BigCommerce Headless: Exploring Why It’s Required for eCommerce Businesses

    Last Updated | January 25, 2024

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    BigCommerce headless was introduced in 2019 as part of the company’s efforts to provide a more flexible and innovative e-commerce solution for its customers. 

    The headless architecture provides businesses with a separation between the front-end and back-end of their e-commerce websites, enabling them to build custom and personalized user experiences, as well as to integrate more easily with other tools and services. 

    In this blog, we are going to talk about the benefits, features, limitations, and requirements of BigCommerce Headless commerce.

    There are around 50 thousand live stores on BigCommerce, with an additional average of 1,000 active users quarterly.

    BigCommerce has around 32 thousand live stores in the USA only.

    36% of the sites on BigCommerce use Adsense as their main revenue.

    What is Headless eCommerce:

    In the rapidly evolving digital marketplace, “Headless eCommerce” has emerged as a groundbreaking approach, fundamentally transforming how online retail platforms operate. This innovative method involves a distinct separation between the front-end and the back-end of an e-commerce platform. The front-end, which is the customer-facing aspect, typically encompasses the website or application interface that consumers interact with. On the other hand, the back-end refers to the underlying infrastructure and systems that manage critical components such as product inventories, order processing, customer data, and other essential business operations. The decoupling of these two elements is a key feature of headless eCommerce. Instead of a tightly integrated system where changes to the back-end directly impact the front-end (and vice versa), in a headless architecture, these two parts communicate via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These APIs serve as a bridge, allowing seamless data exchange and interactions between the distinct layers of the platform. This separation grants businesses an unprecedented level of flexibility in terms of design and technology choices, enabling them to tailor the customer interface without altering the core functional systems.

    One of the primary benefits of headless eCommerce is the ability to provide a highly customized and scalable shopping experience. Companies can leverage various front-end technologies, such as React or Angular, to create unique, engaging, and responsive user interfaces. This adaptability is crucial in an era where consumer preferences and digital trends are constantly shifting. Businesses can swiftly adapt their online presence to align with new market demands, aesthetic trends, or technological advancements without overhauling their entire e-commerce system. Moreover, headless eCommerce facilitates easier integration with a wide range of technologies and third-party services. Whether it’s incorporating advanced analytics tools, integrating with social media platforms for enhanced marketing capabilities, or connecting with IoT devices for a more interactive shopping experience, the headless approach offers a versatile foundation to expand and enhance e-commerce functionalities.

    Additionally, this model can significantly enhance the online shopping experience by offering a more personalized approach to customers. By utilizing customer data more effectively and integrating sophisticated personalization algorithms, businesses can create a more engaging and individualized user experience, fostering stronger customer relationships and potentially increasing sales. Despite its advantages, headless eCommerce does present some challenges, including the need for skilled developers adept in both the selected front-end technologies and the intricacies of the e-commerce platform’s back-end. It may also involve higher initial setup costs and the complexity of managing and maintaining separate systems. However, for businesses looking to future-proof their e-commerce strategy and stay agile in a dynamic digital landscape, headless eCommerce offers a compelling, versatile solution.

    Who Needs BigCommerce Headless For Their Businesses

    As the e-commerce landscape evolves, certain business models stand to benefit significantly from adopting BigCommerce’s headless commerce architecture. This innovative approach separates the front-end design from the back-end e-commerce functionality, offering enhanced flexibility and control.

    Here’s a detailed look at the types of businesses that can leverage this technology to its fullest potential:

    1. Large Retailers

    For large-scale retailers juggling extensive inventories across multiple channels, BigCommerce headless is a game-changer. It simplifies the daunting task of inventory management across diverse platforms, from online marketplaces to brick-and-mortar stores. This capability not only streamlines operations but also levels the playing field, allowing large retailers to remain competitive in a market increasingly dominated by agile, smaller entities. The headless model’s scalability means it can grow with the business, adapting to new trends and expanding markets without the need for an overhaul of the entire system.

    2. B2B Businesses

    Business-to-business (B2B) enterprises, known for their complex operational requirements and customized commerce solutions, find a perfect ally in headless commerce. The architecture’s flexibility facilitates the integration of unique business processes and tools, essential for B2B transactions. It supports the intricate pricing models, bulk order handling, and personalized customer portals that are hallmarks of the B2B sector.

    3. Brands and Manufacturers

    Brands and manufacturers aiming to craft unique online experiences reflective of their brand identity will find headless commerce particularly advantageous. This approach enables the creation of bespoke e-commerce platforms that resonate with brand ethos, ensuring a consistent and immersive brand experience across all customer touchpoints. The ability to tailor the shopping journey to specific customer segments or product lines can significantly enhance brand loyalty and customer engagement.

    4. E-commerce Stores

    E-commerce stores, especially those keen on rapidly deploying advanced features and functionalities, stand to benefit from BigCommerce headless. This architecture allows e-commerce platforms to evolve quickly, introducing innovative features and customizations that enhance the shopping experience. It’s an ideal solution for stores that need to keep pace with fast-changing consumer preferences and technological advancements.

    5. Multi-channel Businesses

    Businesses operating across multiple sales channels find a robust solution in BigCommerce headless. Its ability to seamlessly integrate with various third-party applications and services streamlines workflows, significantly improving operational efficiency. This integration is crucial for businesses looking to provide a cohesive and unified customer experience across all channels, from online stores to social media platforms and physical outlets.

    The advantages of this BigCommerce integration services allow these companies to save time and money.

    6. Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Businesses

    D2C businesses, which prioritize direct engagement with their customer base, can leverage the personalized and efficient e-commerce experiences offered by headless commerce. This architecture is conducive to building fast-loading, highly customized online stores that cater to the unique preferences and behaviors of their customer base. By bypassing traditional retail channels, D2C businesses can maintain greater control over their brand narrative and customer relationships.

    Why Should You Opt For BigCommerce Headless

    BigCommerce Headless presents a suite of compelling advantages for businesses seeking to elevate their e-commerce operations.

    Let’s explore why opting for BigCommerce Headless could be a transformative decision for your online store:

    1. Improve User Experience by offering Increased Site Speed

    One of the most loaded elements of a CMS is a plugin which sometimes stores a tonne of data and slows down the website. However, BigCommerce headless nullifies this problem as the front end is totally separate from the back end. This results in low loading times and high-speed loading of some of the heavy data like pictures and videos on the website.

    Another thing affecting the overall speed of a website is the need for response time for order processing and order management. However, with BigCommerce headless, you can automate these processes and enjoy a super fast shopping experience. 

    Additionally, BigCommerce also allows the use of PWA, which stores the website as a static page on a network which ensures super-quick loading.

    2. Innovation

    The BigCommerce headless architecture is a boon for innovation. It allows for rapid updates and iterations on the front end without impacting the back-end systems. This agility is crucial for businesses looking to stay ahead in a fast-evolving digital marketplace, as it enables them to quickly adapt to new trends and customer preferences.

    3. Better Conversions

    Leveraging the speed and responsiveness of BigCommerce Headless can directly impact your site’s conversion rates. A smooth, lag-free shopping experience keeps customers engaged and reduces bounce rates. This environment is conducive to implementing targeted marketing strategies and personalized promotions, further enhancing the likelihood of conversions.

    4. Customized Shopping Experiences

    The theme engine that BigCommerce uses is called Stencil. It is very efficient and very adjustable. This allows you to create the shop so that it appears and feels a specific way. 

    Going headless, on the other hand, is essential if a web designer or developer would rather use a different collection of themes or if they have already constructed an existing one and would want to continue working on it. 

    With headless Bigcommerce App Development, you have the ability to choose from a wide variety of premium themes and templates, presentation platforms, and programming languages, allowing you the opportunity to develop a distinctive brand identity for your online shop. 

    You can also construct individualized user experiences by including on-page localization into your website.

    5. Enabling Commerce Functionalities for Content-Driven Sites

    For content-rich websites, integrating e-commerce functionality can be challenging due to the heavy reliance on plugins, which may impact site performance. BigCommerce Headless circumvents this issue by separating the content management from e-commerce functions. This separation means updates to content, plugins, or themes can be made without affecting the e-commerce backend, maintaining site stability and performance.

    6. Custom Integrations

    The flexibility of BigCommerce Headless extends to its capacity for custom integrations. Businesses can tailor their e-commerce platform to specific needs by integrating a variety of systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and diverse marketing tools, provided they support API integration. This capability ensures that businesses can create an e-commerce ecosystem that aligns seamlessly with their operational workflows and customer engagement strategies.

    Features of BigCommerce Headless

    BigCommerce’s headless commerce solution offers a wide array of features designed to enhance the flexibility and efficiency of e-commerce platforms. These features cater to a diverse range of needs, from seamless integration capabilities to advanced analytics.

    Below, we delve into some of the key features that make BigCommerce Headless a standout choice:

    1. Seamless Integration with Existing Websites and Apps

    One of the standout features of BigCommerce Headless is its ability to integrate effortlessly with pre-existing websites and applications. This integration capability is crucial for businesses looking to maintain a consistent brand identity across various platforms. By using APIs, BigCommerce Headless allows for the synchronization of data and systems, ensuring a cohesive and uninterrupted user experience. This seamless integration extends to various CRM systems, marketing tools, and other essential business applications, facilitating a unified approach to e-commerce.

    2. Content Delivery Network (CDN) Support for Faster Page Loads

    In today’s fast-paced digital environment, speed is of the essence. BigCommerce Headless addresses this need by providing support for Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). CDNs enhance the speed and reliability of content delivery across the web, ensuring that web pages and applications load swiftly. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses targeting a global audience, as it optimizes website performance irrespective of the user’s geographic location. Faster page loads not only improve the user experience but also contribute positively to search engine rankings, a crucial factor in online visibility.

    3. Real-Time Analytics and Reporting

    Data is the lifeblood of strategic decision-making in e-commerce. BigCommerce Headless offers comprehensive real-time analytics and reporting tools, allowing businesses to gain immediate insights into their performance metrics. These analytics cover various aspects, including customer behavior, sales trends, and website traffic, enabling businesses to make informed decisions rapidly. The ability to monitor customer engagement and business performance in real-time is a significant advantage, allowing for agile responses to market changes and customer needs.

    4. Customizable Checkout and Payment Process

    The checkout and payment process is a critical component of the customer journey. BigCommerce Headless provides extensive customization options for these processes, allowing businesses to tailor them to their specific needs and preferences. This customization can range from the layout and design of the checkout page to the integration of various payment gateways and options. By optimizing the checkout experience, businesses can reduce cart abandonment rates and enhance customer satisfaction, leading to increased sales and loyalty.

    Additionally, BigCommerce Headless users can personalize their storefronts with a selection of pre-designed themes. These themes are not only aesthetically pleasing but also optimized for performance and user experience. The flexibility to choose and customize themes means that businesses can align their online presence with their brand identity and customer expectations.

    Limitations of BigCommerce Headless

    BigCommerce Headless also has its limitations:

    1. Technical Skills Required

    Implementing a headless architecture requires technical skills, particularly in the area of front-end development. Businesses may need to hire additional resources or partners to build and maintain their headless solution.

    2. Increased Complexity

    With headless architecture, there are more components to manage and integrate, which can increase the complexity of the e-commerce solution.

    3. BigCommerce Domain For Checkout

    BigCommerce Headless provides its own custom BigCommerce domain for checkout due to various security reasons. When you buy a BigCommerce subscription, it takes responsibility for maintaining and hosting the security and checkout with respect to PCI (Payment Card Industry).

    This limits your control to brand your website as the checkout will have a BigCommerce domain name. Moreover, the checkout doesn’t have any option to autosave, which means every time customer has to enter all the details.

    The difficulty of the Integration: It can be difficult and time-consuming to combine a headless solution’s front- and backend components. It is possible that businesses will need to devote extra man-hours and materials to the integration process.

    4. High Initial Cost

    The cost of creating a BigCommerce Headless Integration is extremely high as it requires a personal server to host the backend. Moreover, if we take a look at all the costs included in BigCommerce development services, then at the start, you have to hire BigCommerce developers.

    From the hardware side, it will require one to three servers to be built. You also have to opt for a BigCommerce web design company for the custom theme for your website. Other than the development cost there will be the cost for BigCommerce support and maintenance services as well.

    This cost will lead to heavy invoices for the company. However, if you are a business that wants to invest in providing a one-of-a-kind experience to its visitors, then it is a perfect solution for you. 

    5. Performance Challenges

    Decoupled architecture can lead to additional latency and performance challenges, particularly for complex applications.

    6. No Accessibility to BigCommerce Analytics

    Once you shift your BigCommerce site to a customized headless solution, then BigCommerce analytics will stop working. Now without analytics, there will be no use in having such a big and expensive eCommerce store. Hence, you can opt for third-party analytics tools like Google or Chargebee’s analytics tool.

    How to get the BigCommerce Headless store to customize?

    Now you know everything about the BigCommerce headless integration and the reasons it could be highly beneficial for your business. We have also provided you with enough information regarding its features to create a decision for your business.

    Folio3 has the expertise in BigCommerce Headless to help you succeed. With a focus on open communication, a commitment to excellence, and a track record of delivering results for our clients, Folio3 is the perfect partner for your next tech project. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business grow with technology.

    Moreover, if you need any customization or are looking for BigCommerce migration, then simply contact us on our contact page, and we will be available to you right on time!


    1. What is BigCommerce Headless?

    Answer: BigCommerce Headless refers to the separation of the frontend presentation layer of a website from the backend e-commerce functionality, provided by BigCommerce. This approach allows for more flexibility and customization in designing the user interface.

    2. Why is BigCommerce Headless required?

    Answer: BigCommerce Headless is required for businesses that need a highly customizable, scalable, and flexible e-commerce solution. It allows for unique branding experiences, faster site performance, and the ability to integrate with various front-end technologies.

    3. How does Headless Commerce improve website performance?

    Answer: Headless commerce improves website performance by allowing developers to use modern front-end frameworks that are optimized for speed and efficiency. This leads to faster page loads and a smoother user experience.

    4. Can I use my existing website design with BigCommerce Headless?

    Answer: Yes, you can integrate your existing website design with BigCommerce Headless. It provides the flexibility to retain your site’s look and feel while leveraging the robust e-commerce capabilities of BigCommerce.

    5. Is BigCommerce Headless suitable for small businesses?

    Answer: While BigCommerce Headless is particularly beneficial for businesses with specific customization needs, it can be overkill for small businesses with simpler requirements. The cost and complexity might not justify the benefits for smaller operations.

    6. What front-end technologies work best with BigCommerce Headless?

    Answer: BigCommerce Headless is compatible with a range of front-end technologies, including React, Vue.js, and Angular. This flexibility allows developers to choose the best technology for their specific needs.

    7. Does BigCommerce Headless support mobile and responsive design?

    Answer: Yes, BigCommerce Headless fully supports mobile and responsive design. You can create a seamless shopping experience across all devices.

    8. How secure is a headless approach with BigCommerce?

    Answer: BigCommerce Headless maintains a high level of security. While the frontend and backend are separated, both parts include robust security measures to protect against threats.

    9. Can I integrate third-party applications with a headless BigCommerce setup?

    Answer: Absolutely, one of the advantages of BigCommerce Headless is its ability to integrate seamlessly with various third-party applications, enhancing your e-commerce ecosystem.

    10. What are the main challenges of implementing BigCommerce Headless?

    Answer: The main challenges include the need for skilled developers familiar with both BigCommerce and chosen front-end technologies, potential higher costs, and the complexity of managing separate systems for the frontend and backend.


    Hey there I am a Senior Software Engineer at Folio3 having 5+ years of experience and strong expertise in SaaS-based eCommerce solutions, particularly in Bigcommerce. I am passionate about building and customizing user-friendly and high-quality online stores for customers. As part of my experience, I have customized checkout processes, integrated payment gateways, developed custom apps, and provided technical support to clients.