Headless eCommerce vs Decoupled eCommerce

Decoupled and Headless eCommerce solutions to grow your business
Two Varieties of the Same Concept

Discover the Difference Between Headless & Decoupled eCommerce

Headless eCommerce and decoupled eCommerce are two different varieties of the same concept. This is why we'd like to take the time to explain just what the differences are between the two varieties. We also want to cover the pros and cons of headless eCommerce versus the decoupled eCommerce.

Unopinionated Set of Functionalities

Understanding Headless eCommerce Platforms

In general, headless eCommerce as a concept is all about eCommerce functionality and exposing those APIs that can be used without NTA or any user interface being defined. You can think of it as a very unopinionated set of functionalities. What this means is that it has the capability to do some functions, but it doesn't rely on any particular user interface in order to utilize its functions.

Some people will use the headless eCommerce to add different forms of user interfaces. For example, oil and gas industry website might want to use different imagery, button types, and interfaces for their needs. This could be far different from how someone else might use headless architecture. An oil and gas industry company might, for example, use images like pipes for input boxes or gas station pumps for input buttons.

Now let's say you're in the fashion industry using headless eCommerce. You might have a very specific design in mind, one that's elegant and perhaps has a focus on certain styles and moods. This can easily be customizede accomplished with headless eCommerce solutions.

Discover What Headless Architecture Can Do

Understanding decoupled and headless eCommerce platforms can increase the rate at which your business grows. It can also prevent problems in the future. We're ready to show you what we've done for other customers.

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A humorous image showing headless eCommerce being built
Developing Tailored Front-End Experiences

General Idea Behind Headless eCommerce

What is headless eCommerce? It's a common question we get a lot. The overall general idea behind headless eCommerce is to remove some of the user interface, especially those layers that get in the way of talented and capable front-end developers. Headless enables them to develop a specific front-end experience as well as UI and UX customization, allowing them to tie that to back-end functionality.

Development revolves around value and focus on implementing specific business logic, as well as the user experience. That's the end goal with headless eCommerce. The functionality that headless eCommerce provides is typically commoditized and readily available. It really doesn't make sense to pay for creating commoditized functionality when it is already available through headless architecture. It's already been done, which means there's no real reason to create it again when it's already available and been proven to work with headless eCommerce.

Understanding Decoupled eCommerce

General Idea Behind Decoupled eCommerce

Decoupled eCommerce is one step beyond headless eCommerce. Decoupled eCommerce offers all of the benefits of Headless eCommerce However, it also allows and provides for a default user interface or user experience. Decoupled eCommerce doesn't physically require that you have a specific user interface, but it is available. Basically, decoupled eCommerce combines the best of both worlds.

What Makes These Systems Unique?

Headless eCommerce vs Traditional eCommerce

Typically, you can compare headless eCommerce with the more traditional eCommerce, where the functionality is heavily integrated into the user experience. Decoupled eCommerce is the best of both worlds and can even allow working with mobile applications.

For example, inventory management can use a rudimentary user interface and incorporate the headless eCommerce API end points for the internal-facing portion of the inventory management system. However, you might want to use the kind of incorporated user interface that's found with decoupled eCommerce; this is easily possible and you can end up with a very nice “off-the-shelf” turnkey solution. It enables you to change the branding, colors, logos, and other simple styling. It essentially provides you with a default that is instructional, because you're provided with examples on how to implement the user experience with the API, APIs that are making up the headless portion of the decoupled eCommerce. Essentially you can think of decoupled eCommerce as Headless with the availability of a head or user interface.

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Which is Right For You?

Every business is different, and the need for headless and decoupled eCommerce can change from industry to industry. Clarity can walk you through the steps to help find the solutions your business needs.

Headless Terminology

So What Is Headless eCommerce?

The terminology “headless” come from the visual way of explaining the concept. The idea of the head itself is essentially the user interface. When it comes to decoupled eCommerce, it essentially means that you don't have to have the “head” if you don't want it. However, it is there if you decide to use it. So that's the basic concept when it come to headless eCommerce vs decoupled eCommerce.

Deciding Which System is Right for Your Business

Headless and Decoupled eCommerce Both Offer Strong Capabilities

The benefits of decoupled eCommerce are that you get all the benefits of a headless eCommerce along with gaining access to additional benefits from decoupled eCommerce. One such extra benefit is that, with decoupled eCommerce, you get access to a good instructional layer — especially when it comes to integrating headless eCommerce APIs along with implementation. Decoupled eCommerce generally has more to offer.

There can, however, be some technical issues. If you are using a decoupled eCommerce platform, you might want to use what's already there instead of using the capabilities of the system to create something that leans more towards what you really need for your market. This is why we encourage you to review all of the options and capabilities between decoupled and headless eCommerce solutionsIn the end, it will be decoupled eCommerce that's going to offer you the most options and capabilities to do more.

In general, both headless and decoupled offer a lot of capabilities because of their architecture. They both tend to be well made and are built around the concept of making it easier for the end-user. it's also designed to make life easier on the front-end developer to utilize the API end points, and to be able to intelligently design those API end points so that the data can handle anything that might happen on the end-user side.

When you're looking at headless eCommerce, it's very important that you not only look at the capabilities. It's also vital to look at what the actual performance and security are like. When you are taking a closer look at the detailed facets and configurations of the headless eCommerce and the decoupled eCommerce systems, we highly recommend that you make sure that the system meets all of your criteria for the industry that you're in.

How Can Clarity Help

Decoupled eCommerce vs Headless eCommerce

Generally speaking, decoupled eCommerce is going to provide you with additional capabilities that you aren't required  to use; they are just there in case you decide to use them. We typically recommend this over a headless eCommerce platform for those who may want the ability later to add more features to their user and front-end developers experiences.

We certainly welcome any opportunity to review the differences between Headless eCommerce and decoupled eCommerce to see which system might work best for you. Feel free to take the opportunity to reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable team if you have questions about specific needs, such as Shopify headless eCommerce, headless BigCommerce, headless Salesforce, or headless WordPress.

We'd be happy to provide you with a complementary discussion and resources about the topics of headless eCommerce and decoupled eCommerce. You are also more than welcome to review the resources provide below in this section.