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What is monolithic commerce vs headless commerce?

Sam Van Hees • 14 June 2022

Monolithic commerce provided an all-in-one solution for selling products and managing and publishing content to the web. Examples of monolithic commerce solutions are Shopify templates.

However, with the rise of the smartphone and other devices, monolithic commerce platforms don't cut it anymore, hence the rise of headless commerce.

Read on to learn more about:

  • What is monolithic commerce

  • What is headless commerce

Monolithic versus headless architecture

What is monolithic commerce?

Monolithic commerce can simplify running your eCommerce business, as it’s one place to manage everything. From Inventory management to content management.

However, it also brings with it a lot of limitations for eCommerce brands.  When it comes to monolithic platforms the frontend of a webshop is closely connected to the backend.

The overall disadvantage of this architecture is that changes are hard to make. For example, if you want to change the user interface of your webshop you also need to make the necessary changes to the backend.

This results in slow go-to-market timelines and high development costs, which delays innovation.

What is headless architecture?

Headless commerce arose as a solution to the technical challenges of traditional commerce. With headless commerce, the frontend and backend of a webshop are separated. Meaning the changes to the frontend can be made without any limitations.

The backend does what it is supposed to do and APIs pass data between the frontend and backend. This makes it easier for brands to make changes to their webshop, changes that impact the customer experience.

How does headless commerce work
Author / Writer
Sam Van Hees
Founder & CMO

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