Headless eCommerce

Capabilities of Headless eCommerce for Mobile

Updated  |  6 min read
Key Takeaways
  • A headless system for mobile eCommerce allows you to turn on advanced capabilties and optimize performance.
  • Headless eCommerce systems work great for omnichannel websites and applications, allowing you to reach more customers and increase enagement.
  • It's important to optimize the headless system for mobile devices, which means making the application as lightweight as possible.
  • Headless eCommerce can be great for making lightweight applications because of the flexability it offers in the user interface and how data is synced.
  • Keeping data secure and in an optimal position for loading or caching is vital to performance.
  • A good headless mobile application can leverage the capabilities of the mobile device itself to align with user expectations and create the best possible user experience.

Why Should You Develop a Headless eCommerce Mobile Application?

Headless eCommerce for mobile applications is an optimal way to turn on eCommerce functionality within a mobile application. Headless eCommerce enables robust eCommerce capabilities without requiring a certain user interface layer. Mobile application development is inherently focused around a very seamless, robust user interface, while making the technical functionality as lightweight as possible for a faster, smoother, and less battery- and storage-intensive experience.

The way mobile applications usually take advantage of advanced functionality is by leveraging servers and APIs (application programming interfaces) to handle the heavy lifting of:

  • Processing
  • Cataloging calls to get a list of products or services
  • Filtering and advanced caching on a server
  • Leveraging the cloud in order to pull in data
  • Processing payments and completing checkouts
  • Storing underlying and persistent data outside of the mobile application
Headless mobile application.

As a result, headless eCommerce is a excellent option for mobile developers who are seeking to take advantage and execute consistently available, up-to-date, and optimized code that's continuously managed. Developers are able to specifically focus on delivering a very high-quality user experience within the mobile application, which helps convert visitors into customers for the business as it provides the most value for the users.

This makes headless eCommerce a strong ally for mobile developers and anyone who is leveraging a mobile application to complete transactions. By using a headless eCommerce system for mobile eCommerce, companies can benefit from the underlying data, functionality, and variety of options for user interfaces that can pair with the back-end system. Busineses can also benefit from the omnichannel capability this brings along with it, which greatly enhances the user experience and opportunities for conversion.

In the end, headless eCommerce for mobile allows organizations to apply a consistent set of functionalities and behaviors across platforms, including a mobile application, corportate website, and in-store point-of-sale system (for those with physical store locations). This also means organizations can optimize resources and reduce them down to a core set that's available within that headless eCommerce system.

Choosing the Most Suitable Headless eCommerce Solution for Mobile

Whenever you're evaluating partners who provide headless eCommerce for mobile, ask these key questions:

  • How does that headless system interact with the mobile application itself?
  • Does the system try to inject a user interface of any kind, or is it a truly headless eCommerce system?
  • Does it leverage best practices for optimizing the calls and data for mobile?

One of the biggest challenges with mobile application development is optimizing the actual payloads going back and forth between the device itself and the server. If there's a huge amount of data going back and forth just to process very basic eCommerce transactions, then that's going to inhibit using the app because it will be very slow and memory-intensive. Most users won't want to wait more than a few seconds for something to load, and if it takes too long, they will simply exit the app and may shop elsewhere.

In many cases, it's possible that the users' devices won't even physically be able to process the large amounts of data. Connectivity in many disparate regions can make it particularly challenging, as can the processing capabilities of older devices. Ultimately, it's vital to consider the performance and optimization of the headless system in a mobile usage scenario.

Mobile application cloud syncing.

Optimizing Data Storage and Security

It’s important to make sure the security of the headless eCommerce system is truly optimized for mobile. There's a lot of capability within a mobile application to store data locally in a very secure way. But if you're not careful, you might unintentionally store some highly sensitive data that could be more at risk on a user's device than if it were encrypted in a cloud data storage.

In a similar vein, it's paramount to examine local data storage for performance; if the mobile application can intelligently cache data from the server and then not be required to continuously pull it down, the performance would be superior. Freshly pulling the same, unchanged data every single time is redundant and hurts performance.

There are a lot of considerations and best practices to be taken into account when choosing a headless eCommerce system for mobile. It's critical to ensure that you're factoring those in to guide your selection of the best suited solution.

Headless eCommerce Features and Functionality for Mobile

Functional headless mobile app.

Another major component for mobile eCommerce is the actual functional capability and how it ties to a mobile app itself. A lot of mobile apps have the ability to get location information or leverage data about a scan (like a QR code). It's also possible for them to take pictures and have exit data, or detailed location and image data that's built into the images. Most users have come to expect mobile devices to be intelligent. They provide permission for those devices to use their location or to leverage the camera and be able to use it upon user approval.

By Incorporating headless eCommerce into a mobile application, it’s imperative to consider what a user is accustomed to and expects as baseline behavior. The available headless eCommerce systems should be evaluated to confirm they actually offer those options and can meet user expectations.

The Clarity Headless eCommerce system for mobile applications certainly has that valuable capability, as default mobile data can be enabled to come into the headless eCommerce application. The data can provide useful information, like locations nearby or product information upon scanning or searching. For example, if somebody's in your store looking at a product, they could easily scan it to see more information.

Another application area is in augmented reality. A myriad of possibilities exist within this advanced mobile capability, as long as your headless eCommerce system interacts with devices in a way that utilizes these functionalities in a seamless way.

Work with Headless ERP Integration Experts

If you’d like to chat with the Clarity team and discuss your headless eCommerce needs for mobile, we'll be happy to provide you with industry best practices and resources for your upcoming project. Click the button below to request a free, no-pressure demo.



You should consider using a headless system for your eCommerce platform when:

  • You need a highly customized or unique user interface.
  • You find that your (non-headless) tied-in user interface is becoming restrictive and you'd like more flexibility in choosing the best tools and front-end technologies.
  • Your busines anticipates significant growth and incresed user traffic, since a headless eCommerce platform allows for independent scaling of the front-end and back-end.
  • Your business operates on multiple channels (web, mobile, IoT), as a headless approach enables you to deliver a consistent and optimized experience across these channels.
  • Your business needs quick development cycles and the ability to rapidly adapt to market changes.
  • You want a mobile app that works on both iOS and Android platforms.
  • Your eCommerce platform needs to be able to integrate with third-party services and applications.

Headless commerce allows you to customize everything you need to with the ability to integrate various technologies and tools. Headless eCommerce is certainly worth it if you need the functionality it offers. It may not be necessary if you want to prioritize simplicity and speed of development over extensive customization.


The notion of headless eCommerce is gaining traction, and for certain use cases and businesses, it represents a significant step forward. However, whether it is the definitive future of eCommerce for all scenarios is a nuanced question.

Factors contributing to the rise of headless eCommerce include:

  • Flexibility and customization
  • Multi-channel presence
  • Rapid innovation
  • Scalability
  • Adaptability to new technologies

Considerations and challenges for headless eCommerce include:

  • Complexity of implementing and managing a headless commerce system
  • Development and maintenance costs
  • Your specific use case; whether or not your eCommerce site would benefit from a headless system.

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Autumn Spriggle is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures who stays up to date on the latest trends in eCommerce, software development, and related topics to provide readers with the latest and greatest. She strives to help people like you realize the full potential for their eCommerce business.