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5 best headless eCommerce platforms for 2022

GoCardless
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Last editedNov 20222 min read

eCommerce is estimated to make up around a quarter of all global retail shopping by 2025, and to compete in such a space, the platforms you use need to be able to adapt to changing trends and consumer needs. This is why we have seen such a rise in the adoption of headless eCommerce solutions in recent years.

Headless eCommerce refers to a system that separates the front and back end of an eCommerce platform, with the front end being what the customer sees and the back end being everything they don’t see. Whereas more traditional eCommerce solutions combine these two parts of the process for the sake of saving costs and convenience, headless solutions offer far greater flexibility.

This kind of flexibility can allow you to present a more customisable front end that can be changed without sacrificing the functionality of the back end. It also means you can use the same back end among several different front ends if you prefer to use different front ends for different delivery channels. It is the à la carte option of eCommerce systems.

But if you’re putting together your ideal headless eCommerce solution, what menu items are going to give your business the best shot at standing out from the competition and offering a seamless and unique customer experience? Here are the top 5 platforms that we believe can be used in any number of combinations to create the perfect headless eCommerce solution.

1. GoCardless

As a payment platform with instant bank pay options, GoCardless is an ideal back end to use in a headless system. It’s compatible with most payment methods including credit, debit and bank transfers, and works seamlessly with front end solutions such as Shopify.

2. Shopify Plus

Arguably the most visible headless eCommerce platform of them all, Shopify is an incredibly stable platform that expanded into headless territory when it launched Shopify Plus in 2014. This offers complete creative control of Shopify’s incredibly flexible front end while allowing you to use whatever back end you desire. The sheer number of apps alone makes Shopify a major contender, and it’s a very user-friendly option for beginners too.

3. Swell

A US company that specialises in customer experience, the idea behind Swell was to create a more straightforward headless eCommerce solution with an API-first approach to back end management. If you are looking for a back end that operates like a front end with no plugins or coding required, Swell could very well be the back end solution for you. Its customer service, however, is quite limited.

4. Adobe Commerce

Originally known as Magento, this heavily customisable platform allows developers to create custom applications for their back end solutions. It is a very advanced system that requires a lot of trial and error and knowledge of how inventory management and payments work. The inventory management system with this solution is highly revered, which means it’s a very popular system among merchants with large inventories. It’s also famous for analytics, with advanced data visualisation included as standard.

5. BigCommerce

Used by both the B2B and B2C sectors, the BigCommerce system was designed for scaling businesses that want to grow at their own pace. It boasts a clean and simple interface and integrations with everything from WordPress to Stripe and eBay. It also has 24/7 customer service and a range of apps so you can customise the experience further.

Whichever platform you choose, shop around and do your research before investing in a final choice. But the beauty of a headless solution is that if you want to try another solution, you can do so without compromising the other end of the process. So don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the headless eCommerce solution that’s perfect for your business.

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GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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