Headless commerce

A headless commerce tech stack gives businesses much greater flexibility when altering the appearance of their end product. This is because frontend changes are much easier to implement when using a headless architecture.

What is headless commerce?

The term headless describes a software application or program that functions without a frontend. This usually means that it has to be connected to a frontend application or interface via API to achieve full functionality. A modern headless commerce tech stack lets brands work with their data across their tools. That lets all teams iterate fast, adding new functionality without major re-platforming.

Why headless commerce

Headless commerce has a variety of benefits. These primarily center around the fact that multiple software pieces can be integrated to create a custom system for any purpose. The main advantages of headless commerce include:

  • Decoupled frontend and backend

    Making frontend layout changes to a monolithic system (a system with a fully-connected front and backend) usually requires changes to the entire system. This is because the frontend and backend are tightly intertwined. Headless systems solve this problem by allowing the frontend and backend to be altered, managed, and even hosted separately.

  • Omnichannel possibilities

    Headless systems are perfectly suited for launching omnichannel campaigns. This enables seamless integration of online and offline platforms, making the process significantly easier and faster.

  • Limitless scalability

    Headless systems are designed for scalability, as the system can be changed incrementally to deal with higher demand when necessary.

  • Modularity and customization

    Using a headless tech stack, retailers can build solutions around their requirements, rather than being vendor-locked or compromising due to software limitations.

  • Increased agility

    The granularity of the stack ensures quicker deployment and rollout, enabling companies to ‘fail fast’ and adhere to their agile product timelines. Imagine your business owns an online shop -  using a decoupled backend and frontend enables you to minimize your time-to-market product launches. Salesforce report on the state of commerce shows that 32% of companies with headless, composed architecture said they could make website changes in hours, compared to 19% of companies with a monolith system.


"Many of our clients simply want to get out of maintaining their IT systems and digital products. That's where headless and other SaaS platforms come into play. We predict it'll be a lot easier to use personalization tools within the headless space, driven with low tech rule engines."


Donovan Justice

CEO and Co-Founder of Digital Detox

How headless commerce works

Headless commerce makes use of a headless backend to manage an ecommerce operation. With headless commerce, businesses have the freedom to cherry-pick best-in-breed technologies on the market to build their stack in the way that best serves their specific needs. The increasing number of PBC vendors on the market shows businesses can easily select and swap service providers to address functionalities such as:


Headless commerce lets you select and connect data pipelines from different services with a no-code or low-code approach, tailoring your messages to your specific segments. Treat it as if you were doing a puzzle: begin with your high-impact corner and edge pieces and then continue putting the rest of the pieces together until you achieve your desired architecture.

Headless commerce in practice: River Island

Founded in 1948, River Island has evolved into one of the leading fashion retailers in the UK & Ireland, with more than 300 stores. While maintaining a significant high-street presence, the brand's online sales account for a substantial 40%, stressing the vital role of ecommerce in its ongoing success.

River Island shifted from a monolith architecture to a headless one in 2020 in order to:

  • Integrate new solutions easily, and gain greater control over their tools.

  • Improve content & personalization dramatically.

  • Differentiate their business from competitors.


"Decoupling the frontend means we can chase those marginal gains. We can buy best-of-breed microservices. With this focus, we are creating the things that set us apart."


David Edwards

Head of Architecture of River Island

To enable omnichannel promotions River Island needed a promotion platform that could integrate easily into its headless platform. It chose Talon.One to customize their rewards based on a selected attribute or even a combination of them. This enabled River Island to launch intricate campaigns that demand computational power.

Talon.One's scalability plays a crucial role in empowering River Island, particularly during high-traffic shopping holidays. With Talon.One, River Island is able to execute a multitude of promotions, no matter the volume or product demands.

Keen to know more about the success story of River Island? Dive into our full case study now.

Talon.One Logo

The World's Most Powerful Promotion Engine


Wiener Strasse 10
10999 Berlin


41 Church Street
B3 2RT Birmingham
United Kingdom


One Boston Place, Suite 2600
02108 Boston, MA
United States


1 Scotts Road, #21-10 Shaw Centre
228208 Singapore

G2 LogoMach Alliance LogoISO 27001 Logo

© 2023 Talon.One GmbH. All rights reserved.