Headless and eCommerce - Too early?

HEADLESS - October 14, 2022

If i had a dollar for every time the word headless was brought up I'd be a millionaire! In the mid-enterprise space it's been a buzzword for the past 3 years.

Like most buzzwords there's a lot of talk and hype without understanding the pros and cons.

After chatting with a few other agency owners on the subject, I received multiple responses -- some surprised me.


  • Clients perception -- Their clients are mentioning how much faster and 'snappier' the site is.
  • Complete control over the final product -- You can create some amazing experiences that would be hard to implement on legacy monoliths.
  • Google PageSpeed Score 🚀 -- We all know how important metrics are (chase the 1%!)
  • Direct impact on conversions -- An increase in site speed can have a direct impact on conversions.


  • Tech debt -- If only you knew how much extra $$ goes into building a headless site.
  • Speed to marketing -- new way to do things. If you're not ready for it, it's going to bite you!
  • Plugin ecosystem -- What worked for your normal Shopify or BigCommerce store may no longer work with the headless solution. Custom integration means more $$ and potentially a 'hacky' integration.
  • Cost to implement -- double or triple your understanding of what it's going to cost. You're essentially building the wheel again -- in most cases.
  • Rollback -- I was surprised when I heard this. Some clients are walking down the garden path only to realise that they weren't set up for this new way of working and had to reimplement the previous monolithic store 😯 -- imagine spending 75K+ only to have to do it all again!

It's not all bad -- honestly. I might talk a lot of smack about headless but I'm a firm believer in the JAMstack methodology see here.

For anyone wondering, this site is built on Javascript and markdown! The difference is that we're developers at heart.

This means:

  • We can build out the components easily
  • We know our way around the ecosystem (Strengths and limitations)
  • Our workflow and tooling is setup for the JAMstack methodology

For those that have been working with legacy stacks (monoliths) it's a whole different kettle-of-fish.

  • You're going to do things different (the team and organisation needs to be on the same page when it comes to new features and expectations)
  • Do you have enough budget allocated towards this new way of doing things? -- What is it going to cost (resources/time).
  • What's the runway like to implement to a satisfactory level? -- six, 12, 24 months? Be prepared to crawl before you run.
  • Are you setup to do this properly? -- workflow, tooling, methodology.
  • Do I have the right team to manage and implement during and POST LAUNCH -- Do you need to hire or get someone in to get everyone up to speed. Cost of education $$.

Please don't take this post as a downer for headless -- we really like it! We want to make sure that you fully understand what it's going to take to wrangle the headless beast and get the most out of it! If you do decide to head down the headless path be prepared to face uncertainty, challenges and setbacks. It won't be by-any-means an easy path.

If you do manage to get past all the obstacles and challenges, you're in for a treat! Like c'mon, who doesn't like a faster site, more control over the final product and an increase in conversions.

The future is static!


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