Blog > Creative Advice > Designing for Headless Ecommerce: Tips and Tricks for Creating Effective Storefronts

How to Design for Headless Ecommerce Websites

June 1, 2023
min read

Creating and designing a compelling storefront in today's world of eCommerce is no small feat. The market is fiercely competitive, and distinguishing oneself from the plethora of competitors competing to gain the customer's attention can be a challenging task. It is simple.


A well-designed storefront can make or break an eCommerce business. What should businesses then do to beat the competition?


Fortunately for businesses, headless eCommerce has emerged as a popular approach that allows businesses to create storefronts that are flexible, customizable, and optimized for user experience.


In this article, we'll explore some tips and tricks for creating effective headless eCommerce storefronts that will help you boost conversions and improve your bottom line.

What is Headless eCommerce?

Before we dive into the tips and tricks of storefront design, let's first get a basic idea of what headless eCommerce is and why it is important to have an effective storefront in this architecture.


Headless eCommerce is an approach to online stores that separates the front end, responsible for the presentation layer (i.e., the user interface), from the back end, which is responsible for the business logic and data management (i.e., the database and server). This separation allows for greater flexibility in designing and creatively developing the storefront.


This means that the front end, the storefront, can be designed and developed independently of the backend. Moreover, with the help of no-code and drag & drop platforms, designers and marketing teams can craft and make changes to the storefront without having to depend on developers.


In fact, with traditional eCommerce platforms, the front end and back end are tightly integrated. This means that in the traditional approach, any changes to the front end require changes to the back end and vice versa. This would also mean that there is a heavy dependency on developers for any changes, also making it more time-consuming.


This can also be limiting, as businesses are forced to use the capabilities of the platform they're using. With headless eCommerce, businesses have more flexibility and can use any frontend technology they want, allowing them to create storefronts that are tailored to their specific needs.

Key Considerations for Designing a Headless eCommerce Storefront

A floating website depicting an ecommerce product page with an arrow clicking the buy button.

Now that you must have at least a basic understanding of what headless eCommerce is, let’s jump right to the key points that you must keep in mind before going about designing your perfect storefront.

Choose the Right eCommerce Platform

Selecting the right eCommerce platform is critical when designing a headless eCommerce storefront. Consider factors such as scalability, flexibility, ease of use, and the ability to integrate with third-party services. Shopify and BigCommerce are the most popular eCommerce platforms for headless storefronts due to their extensive API capabilities and flexibility. While every platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, you must choose the one that suits your business needs the best.

Integrating a Content Management System (CMS)

A headless storefront requires a separate Headless CMS to manage website content. The CMS should be easy to use, scalable, and able to integrate seamlessly with the chosen eCommerce platform. Although Contentful and ContentStack are the most popular CMS available in the market, there are other options in the market that address eCommerce needs better. Composable Digital Experience Platforms like Sitecore, Liferay and Experro come packed with a Headless CMS for eCommerce, which makes them an ideal choice to manage your eCommerce store content.

Use a Mobile-First Design Approach 

When designing a headless eCommerce storefront, businesses should consider a mobile-first approach. This means designing the storefront with mobile users in mind rather than simply adapting the desktop version for mobile devices. A mobile-first approach can help to improve the user experience for mobile users, who make up nearly 50% of online sales, as per recent reports.

Responsive Design

One of the key considerations when designing a headless eCommerce storefront is responsive design. With more customers shopping on mobile devices, it's crucial to ensure that the storefront is optimized for mobile devices, tablets, and devices with different resolutions & web browsers. This means designing for smaller screens and touch-based interactions. A survey by GoodFirms states how 73.1% web designers consider non-responsive designs are the primary reason why users abandon websites.

Optimize for Search Engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving traffic to an eCommerce website. When designing a headless eCommerce storefront, businesses should ensure that the website is optimized for SEO. This means using relevant keywords and optimizing page titles, descriptions, and alt tags, while also ensuring that the website is easy to navigate.

Tips for Designing a Headless Storefront

A hand connecting the last piece of a giant floating puzzle, connecting all elements of an effective ecommerce storefront.

While Headless eCommerce is fast and personalized, these advantages come with their own complexities. It is not all smooth sailing when it comes to headless. However, with certain things ensured, designers can easily create effective storefronts.

Plan the Website Architecture Carefully

Planning the website architecture carefully is a critical step in designing a successful headless eCommerce storefront. Website architecture refers to the organization and structure of the website, including its pages, menus, and navigation, how products will be categorized, and how customers will navigate the site.

A well-designed website architecture can improve user experience, drive conversions, and make it easier for search engines to crawl and index the website.


When planning the website architecture, businesses should consider the user journey and ensure that the website is intuitive and easy to navigate. This involves creating a clear hierarchy of pages and organizing them into categories and subcategories that make sense to the user.


A user-centric approach to website architecture can help reduce bounce rates and increase engagement, as users are more likely to find what they're looking for quickly and easily.


Moreover, businesses should consider the scalability of the website architecture when planning a headless eCommerce storefront. As the website grows and evolves, it's important to ensure that the website architecture can accommodate new pages and categories without becoming cluttered or confusing.

This involves designing a flexible and modular website architecture that can be easily expanded as the website grows. A scalable website architecture can help future-proof the website and ensure that it remains user-friendly and search-engine-optimized over time.

Focus on User Experience

The success of any storefront relies on its user experience. In the case of headless eCommerce, it's even more crucial to focus on user experience, as it's one of the key benefits of this approach.

Make sure that your storefront is easy to navigate, with clear calls-to-action and intuitive design. Consider conducting user testing to get feedback on your storefront and make improvements based on that feedback.

The user experience (UX) is critical when it comes to designing an effective storefront for headless eCommerce. Unlike traditional eCommerce, headless commerce provides more flexibility and control over the front end design. Therefore, it is important to prioritize UX design principles such as simplicity, ease of use, and accessibility.

One way to ensure a good UX is to design a storefront that is mobile-friendly. With more people using their smartphones to shop, it is essential to have a storefront that is optimized for mobile devices. This means using responsive design, large buttons, and clear navigation to make it easy for users to browse and buy.


Headless eCommerce makes it easier to personalize storefronts based on customers' preferences. Businesses can utilize user data to create personalized shopping experiences for their customers. This can include personalized recommendations through merchandising and product discovery, targeted promotions, and customized product listings.

When users feel that their needs and preferences are being addressed, they are more likely to shop and even come again. This can provide a great boost in increasing engagement, driving sales, and getting more repeat customers.


Personalization is becoming increasingly important in the eCommerce industry. Use data to personalize the shopping experience for each user, whether that's through personalized product recommendations, targeted promotions, or tailored content. This will not only improve the user experience but also increase the likelihood of conversions.

Personalization is another essential element of effective storefront design in headless eCommerce. Personalization can help increase customer engagement and loyalty by tailoring the shopping experience to each customer's preferences.


One way to personalize the storefront is by displaying recommended products based on the user's browsing history or purchase history. This can be achieved by using machine learning algorithms that analyze customer data to suggest relevant products.


Additionally, allowing customers to customize their product preferences and receive personalized recommendations can also enhance the overall shopping experience.

Leverage API Integrations

One of the key benefits of headless eCommerce is the ability to leverage API integrations to create a more seamless shopping experience. Consider integrating with third-party services like payment gateways, shipping providers, AI-powered eCommerce solutions, and marketing automation platforms to streamline the shopping experience for your customers. This will not only improve the user experience but also increase the efficiency of your business operations.


Headless commerce allows businesses to integrate third-party services into their storefronts, which can help enhance the customer experience. Third-party integrations can provide additional features such as social media sharing, live chat support, and payment gateways.

For instance, integrating social media platforms can allow customers to share their favorite products on their social media profiles, which can help increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to the storefront. Similarly, integrating live chat support can provide customers with real-time assistance, which can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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Recap: Headless eCommerce Development

In order to create a headless eCommerce storefront that effectively meets the needs of businesses and customers alike, it is important to carefully plan and consider various aspects of the design process. While headless architecture can offer greater flexibility and customization options, it also poses unique challenges that must be addressed.


One of the main factors to consider when designing a headless eCommerce storefront is selecting the appropriate technology stack. Performance and scalability should also be prioritized, along with ensuring a seamless user experience across various devices and channels. Additionally, eCommerce-specific requirements such as product listings, checkout flows, and payment processing should be taken into account during the design process.


To overcome the challenges associated with headless eCommerce storefront design and ensure success, businesses must prioritize user experience and search engine optimization. Careful planning of the website architecture is also crucial, as is the incorporation of interactive and personalized elements wherever possible. Regular testing and optimization are key to maintaining a storefront that meets the evolving needs of customers.


Overall, successful headless eCommerce storefront design requires a comprehensive understanding of technology, user behavior, and business requirements. By following best practices and focusing on user experience, businesses can create a storefront that generates conversions, fosters brand loyalty, and delivers value to all stakeholders.

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About the author:
Georgy Ummachan
Researcher and Writer
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