eCommerce has come a long way. The initial eCommerce platforms were created to cater primarily to a desktop audience.
Cut to the present day, where customers buy from all possible devices: smartphones, social media platforms, wearable technology, and even smart speakers.
And when customers interact with brands on multiple platforms, they purchase even more.
Thankfully with the evolution of headless architecture, it’s possible to offer an omnichannel shopping experience to consumers. But that’s not all that headless commerce has to offer.
Leading brands across the globe are using this technology and architecture in innovative ways, and we have 35 headless commerce examples to inspire you.
35 Brand Examples Using Headless Commerce (+Top Benefits)
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Nike wanted a mobile-first eCommerce website to gain more sales from their mobile-dominant consumer segment. This required them to optimize every element, including the visuals and the call to actions to suit smaller screen interaction. They implemented React SPA combined with Node.js backend for frontend (BFF) to be able to optimize experiences across all the pages.
Results: Gradually, Nike started capturing more market share than their competitor Adidas, turning them into a market leader.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Burrow wanted a template-free site to unleash unlimited creativity and offer customized experiences for its customers. Moreover, they didn’t want developer intervention to make simple changes and wanted to free up their team from unnecessary maintenance work to focus more on marketing, giving teams autonomous control over the experience that the site delivered.
Results: As a result of switching to headless, Burrow witnessed a 30% increase in their site’s conversion rate within 2 months of implementing this change. They also saw a 50% increase in site speed and performance.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Koala required a powerful backend platform to support their business’s expansion and work on the frontend and backend simultaneously all the while offering customized experiences and microservices to their customers. The brand built a progressive web app (PWA) that allowed it to offer the right customer experience at the right time on multiple channels.
Results: This gave them the ability to make rapid changes to the website without any downtime. They could also improve their site’s response time with a microservice approach by separating back-end functions away from the user and reducing slow interfaces and negative customer experiences. Koala started offering tailored experiences by using a different UX for desktop, mobile, and other devices.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Target was facing tough competition from Amazon and Walmart whose customers were easily switching from one brand to another. After conducting a thorough analysis, Target realized that almost 80% of their customers start their buyer journey on one device and finish it on another. The brand saw a huge potential for growth by bridging this gap between devices and approached headless commerce to unify their customer’s buyer journey across different devices.
Results: After adopting headless, Target witnessed an increase in their site’s conversion rate, as more and more users now found it easier to complete their purchase.
5. Feel Unique
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Europe’s leading beauty retailer Feel Unique was searching for a way to transform their customer’s on-site experience in order to increase their revenues. They switched to the React Progressive Web App to make the site reliable, fast, and engaging.
Results: As a result of the switch, the brand was able to make the customer’s shopping journey fast and more streamlined by improving the vital stages in their journey (like browsing experience, product searching, and purchasing). This resulted in a vastly improved user experience and increased customer satisfaction.
6. Pure Formulas
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Pure formulas, an online health and supplement brand, was riddled with high cart abandonment rates and low conversion rates. This motivated them to become the first in their industry to adopt headless commerce and end up implementing PWA into their business.
Results: On implementing PWA, Pure Formulas witnessed a significant improvement in its website performance, site speed, and responsiveness. Since most visitors end up using the website on their mobile, they now get an app-like experience even when shopping on their mobile phones. The brand saw a lower user abandonment, enhanced user experience, improved customer retention, which led to improved customer loyalty.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Venus, a leading retailer for women’s apparel was suffering from slow loading time with more than 80% of its site pages taking more than one second to load. To improve their conversion rate and site speed, Venus adopted Headless Commerce and converted their storefront into a React Progressive Web App, and changed their infrastructure into a BFF (Backend for Frontend).
Results: As a result of this change, Venus saw a radical improvement in its site’s speed with more than 70% of site pages now loading under a second. That’s a whopping increment of over 50%. As a consequence, the brand saw a 24% increase in conversion rate and markedly improved customer retention.
8. Annie Selke
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Annie Selke, a home decor brand, wanted a faster and more engaging experience on their eCommerce site. They turned to the Headless Commerce approach and adopted a combination of PWA & AMP technologies and server-side rendering.
Results: As a result of adopting headless commerce, Annie Selke could successfully improve its site’s performance with its average first page load time reduced to a mere 0.74 seconds across all channels. The brand also witnessed a sudden influx of customers with 40.41% leads coming from organic traffic. Overall, the brand could provide a faster and more engaging experience thanks to the Headless approach.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Lancôme, the French luxury perfumes and cosmetics house and one of the world’s most valuable brands realized the potential in Headless Commerce for providing their customer with a much more enhancing user experience The brand went ahead and switched to Progressive Web Applications.
Results: Lancôme saw a 17% increase in their conversion rate ever since they adopted the headless approach. It made it much easier for their target audience to make purchases even on-the-go.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Debenhams, a British multinational retailer, was searching for a solution for their ongoing battle with consumer bouncing rate. When they conducted an in-depth analysis, they discovered that their mobile customers tend to drop off at different places in their shopping journey, which was ultimately hurting their business. The brand decided to undergo a sudden infrastructure change by choosing to go headless with React PWA.
Results: After adopting the progressive web app, Debenhams’s online growth catapulted as more and more customers now spent more time on the site. The brand saw a 40% increase in mobile revenue and another 20% increase in their conversion rate.
11. Lilly Pulitzer
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Lilly Pulitzer, an apparel retailer brand, decided to grow their business by adopting Headless Commerce early on in their journey. Though small in size at the time of adoption, the brand realized the potential of headless in its nascent stages. Since the majority of their visitors were mobile users, they decided to optimize their site to create a unified experience between desktop and mobile users, and relaunched their site to PWA.
Results: Lilly Pulitzer success with Headless Commerce turned out to be noteworthy. The brand started witnessing outstanding results: their mobile traffic increased by 80% and in turn the revenue generated by mobile was up by 33%.
12. Boll & Branch
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Boll & Branch, an organic bedding company wanted to introduce flexibility in its website design. They decided to adopt headless architecture to achieve this goal.
Results: The brand achieved an improved user experience after implementing headless. It also allowed the brand to experiment with a different style of product display. For example, the “Shop the Look” section of the website allows customers to browse products visible in lifestyle photos used throughout the product category page. Making it easier for them to visualize their purchase as well as increase their cart value.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Recess is well known for its relaxing animations that move along as visitors scroll down the page. The animations are what enables a more immersive shopping experience on their website as compared to their competitors. This is possible due to their adoption of headless commerce.
Results: After going the headless route, the brand is able to provide a beauty and immersive experience on their website, all thanks to the bespoke functionalities made possible by this technology.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Seedlip, world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit brand, loves innovation in their products. To portray the same in their website as well, they became an early adopter of headless eCommerce structure to offer a more sophisticated storefront experience to their target audience.
Results: The headless implementation allowed Seedlip to create a sophisticated and suave website design. It also enables attractive transitions like the animated bumblebee on the homepage and the subtle moving foliage in the background. This gives customers an unforgettable user experience.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Staples, a UK-based office supplies giant, had a huge product catalog that needed frequent updating and mostly in silos, depending upon the product inventory and the promotions plan. As a result, the brand went headless to remove dependency between the various categories.
Results: The brand was able to quickly and easily update its product catalog. Moreover, the headless architecture allowed them to optimize their website for different functions and include functionality like register/login, order by item number, or reorder previously purchased items.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Rachio, a sustainable water solutions brand wanted to provide a seamless shopping experience across all digital touchpoints. This took the brand towards adopting headless commerce to align their sales channels for a seamless experience.
Results: After adopting headless, the brand’s website and mobile application aligned innovatively and provided customers with a consistent brand experience. This helped the brand improve their conversion rate, and at the same time also boost brand recall.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Chilly’s wanted to turn their website into an unforgettable experience for its customers, making it as revolutionary as its products. They wanted to build a dynamic site that combines form and function. To achieve this the brand decided to go headless early on in its journey.
Results: After adopting headless, the brand adorned a bespoke homepage design that brought a wow factor to its user experience. They also expanded to international audiences and easily implemented localization to speedily switch its URL structure when selling in different countries.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Bamford, an ethically minded clothing, body care, and homeware brand needed certain aspects of its website regularly updated, like online classes, workshops, and seasonal events. They went headless to bring speed and flexibility to their site’s ongoing development.
Results: As a result, Bamford witnessed a smooth web experience and was able to update its site frequently and easily - especially when it came to sharing information around workshops and events.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Blume wanted to introduce a lot of dynamic features on its website while creating an unforgettable site experience, something that’s only possible with headless commerce to keep things running in tandem and smoothly.
Results: Blume’s headless website runs a quiz for its visitors to help them build their perfect routine. Their reward program’s design features a full screen background video completed with imagery that gives visitors a feel-good holiday vibe.
20. Naked Labs
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Naked Labs, creator of the world’s first 3D home body scanner, needed its website to be as innovative as its product. The website needed to have a flexible design and functionality that can only be offered by a headless architecture.
Results: As a result of switching to headless technology, the brand’s site provided an engaging customer experience with homepage videos and images that became alive as the user scrolled through the site. Moreover, headless allowed them to bring all their digital touchpoints, from app to website and even the 3D scanner, in sync.
21. Frank Body
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Frank Body wanted to create a fun and energetic aesthetic on their website that aligned with their copywriting style and overall branding. This required some design elements and modules to be dynamic in nature without breaking the remaining site infrastructure.
Results: On adopting headless technology, the site was able to transform from a standard template to a much more interesting experience. It combined static images, GIFs and dynamic buttons along with a horizontal display front-end to give that unique experience to their visitors.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Rothy’s went ahead with a headless structure for their site to attempt a different approach to the standard site structure. They wanted enhanced functionalities and all the flexibility that a headless structure can afford them.
Results: The headless architecture made it easier for the brand to add expansion stores in international regions. It also provided them the flexibility to re-use backend data like product catalog and content and use it to configure the front-ends for each region. Going headless allowed them to practice dynamic pricing, display in various languages and facilitated international sales.
23. Kinsley Armelle
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Kinsley Armelle, a brand that sells bohemian jewellery, wanted more functionalities on their website without compromising the beautiful design that’s integral for selling jewellery. They decided to go the headless approach to harness PWA (progressive web application) technologies to achieve this.
Results: Adopting the headless approach allowed the brand to decouple the front end from the back end and gave them the much needed functionality. Their website also started giving them all benefits of an app, like enabling push notifications and improving customer engagement.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Clare, a New York based paint brand, wanted to completely reinvent the paint shopping experience. They wanted to help their store visitors make informed purchases by enabling custom modules like being able to view the finish of the palettes available on the storefront. Thankfully, headless commerce helped them achieve that.
Results: The company was able to create a fresh and engaging site experience. They also noticed a higher customer satisfaction rate, owing to a positive shopping experience that led shoppers to the ‘right’ purchase.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Inkbox wanted their website experience to reflect the services they provided: trending and freshness, and at the same time help their target audience really experience the tattoos. To be able to do this, they required the dynamic architecture offered by headless commerce.
Results: Upon implementation, Inkbox’s website started providing better functionalities, all the while keeping its aesthetic intact. Customers could easily upload their own tattoo designs and even get AI generated curated ones, making for a tailored user experience. Moreover, the website design now includes features like auto-play videos and ‘Shop the look’ section to seamlessly tie all channels together.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Just as their products, Plenaire’s eCommerce website design boils down to an exact science. From dynamic modules to an on-site cursor that nudges you to explore sections by interacting with them, the brand was able to enable various engaging elements on their storefront.
Results: As a result of adopting headless, the brand’s site contains dynamic pages that transition as the user scrolls down the page. Their on-page section scrolls also don’t require a visitor to keep clicking ‘next’, and interact in a more natural manner by dragging the cursor. This makes the entire experience light and airy, completely aligning with their branding.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Kirkland, a home decor company, like most retail giants faced the issue of site speed. As they expanded their sitemap and functionalities offered on each of the pages, the site speed further slowed down. They decided to resolve this by switching to the Headless approach to eCommerce.
Results: Thanks to the switch, the brand is now one of the fastest retail websites and runs a variety of unique and experimental features like thumbprint checkout, one-click login etc.
28. K2 Sports
Benefit of Headless Commerce: With their previous website, the K2 brand felt limited with what they can do. Their store lacked a cutting edge shopping experience and they were facing huge development and maintenance costs. These factors were an impediment to their plans to expand further into international markets. Therefore, they were looking for a more cost-effective, marketing friendly and feature rich solution.
They chose to switch to a headless configuration, which in turn improved their API performance and delivered the innovative shopping experience they wanted. Whereas, on the frontend, they leveraged Contentstack to create content-rich experiences that made their site resonate with their desired audience.
Results: K2 has been able to successfully alleviate development dependencies and were able to increase their content publishing to match their brand needs and goals. They are able to create sites 75% faster, publish content 90% faster, and have witnessed a boost in productivity of their terams by 50%.
29. West Elm
Benefit of Headless Commerce: On account of customers’ changing shopping habits, furniture brand West Elm decided to upgrade their brand’s online experience to ensure a smooth shopping journey across all digital touchpoints. Typically, shoppers would go to the site for ideas and inspiration and then check out the product in the physical store before completing their purchase on mobile.
Results: By switching to headless approach, the brand used PWAs to increase the site speed and smoothen the mobile site’s flow. The results were encouraging as the faster and more intuitive navigation increased the average time spent on the site by 15% and resulted in a revenue increase of 9%.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: When looking for an ecommerce platform, LARQ knew they wanted a platform that could not only empower them to scale up their growth but also facilitate flexible customization. They wanted advanced features for enabling functions like shopping using multicurrency, especially as they were targeting international customers. The brand decided to go headless, which gave them complete control over their content and customer experience.
Results: Since switching to headless, Larq has seen a 400% increase in revenue year-over-year and an 80% increase in conversion rate over three months. They have also been able to quickly expand internationally.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Carluccio’s, an Italian fine dining restaurant chain, was looking to upgrade their website so that they can bring multiple services together by connecting them autonomously and provide an enhanced customer experience. They wanted the new design to be able to mimic the luxurious dining experience customers get at Carluccio’s restaurants. The brand wanted online visitors to experience all processes like booking a table, browsing menus and online delivery of products just the way they would do so when in the restaurant. To achieve this, Carluccio’s implemented a headless commerce solution.
Results: Thanks to Headless, the brand’s website became fully responsive and easily customizable. The design reflected the branding and provided a smoother user experience. This allowed the customer to have the same unforgettable experience: whether on-site or in a restaurant.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Kubota, a popular Polish fashion brand, faced a huge challenge when they were trying to expand its reach to a younger audience who used mobile devices for making any purchase.
Results: Switching to a headless commerce platform addressed the challenge of catering to the newer audience. Kubota witnessed a mammoth growth in daily traffic with daily visitors rising by 192% and improved loading time by over 30%.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Like many ecommerce brands, Nomad’s major concern was site speed. Nomad explored various options to improve site efficiency and add functionality. The brand decided to adopt headless commerce through progressive web apps (PWAs).
Results: With headless commerce, the site boosted their page speed and load times, improved their store performance and created better customer experiences. The team was able to build pages faster and had more merchandising control over its growing catalog.
With quicker page builds and custom landing pages, Nomad could create attractive marketing campaigns. As a result, the conversion rate for the site rose up by a staggering 50%.
Benefit of Headless Commerce: KOTN, a Canada based apparel brand, is an excellent example of a brand that has utilized headless API to merge two stores into one. The brand had wanted to be able to change their storefront experience based on their growth strategies, without breaking the site experience for current visitors.
Results: Adopting a Headless architecture has given the brand complete control over the management of their storefront, and delivers a personalized out-of-the-box experience to their customers. They can change their storefront within seconds, and handle high traffic without affecting the site’s speed.
35. Canvas 1839
Benefit of Headless Commerce: Canvas 1839 wanted a quicker and more efficient development cycle for their developers and marketers. Owing to this, they adopted the headless model and launched their website using a progressive web app (PWA) built on Gatsby, giving them the benefits of a CBD-supportive SaaS ecommerce platform as well as the flexibility to innovate their frontend.
Results: In addition to providing an engaging frontend experience, going headless allowed marketers to create content heavy pages with ease. This made things efficient for both developers and marketers.
Is Headless Commerce Right for You?
There’s no doubt that headless commerce offers more flexibility both in terms of how you manage the website storefront, and the experience you offer to site visitors. But at the same time, it requires understanding the site architecture and how each module works in tandem with one another, along with best practices on using the same.
Look into your existing customer base, the audience you’d want to acquire and your existing competitors. Try to derive insights on the experience your potential customers expect from your brand, and whether headless commerce can truly add value to that expectation.
Moving to headless commerce is not a mandate. Do your research on the experience you want to deliver and your market expansion plans before you make the switch!