How are the leading commerce platforms approaching headless?

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eCommerce platforms are increasingly offering a headless approach, and many businesses are planning a move towards headless or composable on their roadmaps. In a previous article, we discussed the path to headless on Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC). Yet the scale of development has reached a point where deeper analysis is needed to clarify the headless landscape. 

As a digital commerce agency, Tryzens has long-standing partners with key players and has experience in helping businesses adopt headless commerce. 

We asked our global team of experts to break down the headless approach of five leading ecommerce platforms to help you compare the differences and identify the most suitable option for your business.

The experts

Kaloyan Yordanov | Chief Technology Officer

Zhivko Rusev | SVP Salesforce Practice

Dinesh Krishnan | Architect (Magento)

Sanu Chandran | Practice Lead (Magento)


Adobe Commerce Cloud

Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) uses AI and advanced data sharing capabilities to create end-to-end personalized B2C and B2B commerce experiences from a single platform. Adobe’s PWA Studio is a set of developer tools that allows the development, deployment and maintenance of headless progressive web app storefronts that connect to Adobe Commerce. 

Adobe Commerce provides a managed and automated hosting platform for its commerce software in the cloud. You can use this platform to host your headless storefront code by installing packages developed specifically to connect your storefront with Adobe Commerce software on the same server. 

The platform lives within the broader Experience Cloud ecosystem, home to a set of cloud-based services that allow businesses to manage, measure and personalize customer experiences across different touchpoints and channels. This is a good option for businesses who are willing to leverage the full potential and capabilities of the Adobe Suite. 

Something to keep in mind is that these applications and services are not always natively connected and may require additional investment to integrate with Adobe Commerce. 

Who is it suitable for? 

Adobe’s headless approach is best suited to medium and large-sized businesses that are looking for autonomy in choosing the right technologies to allow for greater personalization and customization capabilities. 

Customers include HP, Liebherr and SHOEBACCA. 

Find out more about Adobe Commerce, one of the four Leaders in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce.



BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform that comes with multiple built-in features, options for customization, and is optimized to build mobile-first experiences. Its headless approach involves providing a set of APIs that gives developers access to ecommerce functionality from any frontend application. This allows businesses to create personalized user experiences and integrate ecommerce functionality into existing websites and applications. 

There are several ways to build a storefront on the platform. Its flexibility allows smaller businesses to integrate ecommerce functionality with already-existing websites and apps as well as the ability to create personalized user experiences – without the need for a dedicated development team. 

At the same time, the platform can also cater to the needs of larger businesses with complex ecommerce requirements, thanks to its robust APIs and integrations with enterprise-level CMS platforms like Adobe Experience Manager. Existing integrations with leading frontend platforms like Vercel ease the launching of fast and modern storefronts. 

While this approach requires high-level technical expertise, it allows businesses to take full control of their storefront design and functionality.  

Who is it suitable for? 

BigCommerce’s headless approach is suitable for businesses that already have an existing CMS platform in place and want to integrate ecommerce functionality seamlessly. 

Customers include Skullcandy, Four Pillars and Yeti Cycles. 

Find out more about BigCommerce.


commercetools is a purpose-built, cloud-native headless commerce platform. With its variety of microservices and API-first approach, the platform is composable at its core. The co-founder of commercetools is also the founder of the MACH alliance (microservice-based, API-first, cloud-native, headless), which aims to grow awareness and speed up the adoption of composable.  

Nothing is prebuilt on the platform, giving customers the freedom to build best-of-breed architectures using the platform’s components and microservices that truly match their business objectives. 

With great freedom comes great responsibility. There is an added layer of complexity to connect the microservices together, which requires maturity on the part of the organization and the IT teams involved. A strong understanding of architectural patterns is also needed. 

In 2021, commercetools acquired the frontend-as-a-service platform Frontastic to provide a ‘head’ for the APIs and are continuously investing in partnerships and integrations for third parties to push less mature customers to think composable. 

Who is it suitable for? 

commercetools is best suited to medium to large-sized businesses that are all-in on headless as their ecommerce strategy – given that it’s a native headless platform. It’s ideal for brands who are looking for a highly customizable ecommerce solution. 

Customers include Audi, Bang & Olufsen and Salling Group. 

Find out more about commercetools, one of the four Leaders in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. 

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud allows businesses to create customized ecommerce experiences that are fully integrated with Salesforce’s broader ecosystem such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud. 

One of Commerce Cloud’s features is Composable Storefront. It consists of a React-based frontend framework called PWA Kit, as well as a platform as a service infrastructure, Managed Runtime. This provides performance, security and scalability and enables merchants to host their frontend applications built with the PWA Kit. 

In addition, Salesforce has migrated the majority of the legacy API infrastructure to Salesforce Commerce API (SCAPI), a modern composable API framework which is continuously enhanced.  

Salesforce has invested in building solid foundations for digital commerce. The latest version of Commerce Cloud (SFRA) covers all features from the B2C commerce platform, with Salesforce aiming to open up the Managed Runtime for deploying frontend applications which are non-PWA Kit. This enables headless storefronts connected to LWC/LWR templates from the Salesforce Core platform. 

Tryzens has developed a PWA Kit-based accelerator with Salesforce Commerce Cloud that provides multiple out-of-the-box integrations and CX optimizations designed to eliminate any barriers of adoption for your teams. Find out more about our Composable Storefront for Commerce Cloud. 

Who is it suitable for? 

Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s headless approach is best suited to brands that range from strong-performing mid-sized businesses to large-scale enterprises. One of these is the global activewear brand Sweaty Betty, who we helped to go headless with Composable Storefront. 

Other Salesforce Commerce Cloud customers include Adidas, Sonos, and Ford. 

Find out more about Salesforce Commerce Cloud, one of the four Leaders in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. 


Shopify has enjoyed plenty of success with smaller-sized business, driven largely by its low-cost accessibility and intuitive user interface. In recent years it’s been attempting to market upwards. 

Shopify Plus was launched to give businesses more flexibility and greater access to underlying code, enabling more customization. Then in 2021, Shopify launched a new developer tool kit, Oxygen and Hydrogen, enabling businesses to build custom headless stores.  

Shopify also purchased the modern React-based framework Remix to provide optionality for more mature businesses and partners. Remix is lightweight, fast and easy to learn. It’s adoption rate within the developer community is growing. The good thing is that Shopify are not limiting its use and the framework could be connected to other platforms as well. 

Then there is the recently launched Shopify Components, which is the ecommerce platform’s composable offering that is aimed at enterprise-level businesses, those bringing in $500m+ in revenue. 

Who is it suitable for? 

Shopify’s headless approach has a lower cost of entry, making it accessible for smaller-sized businesses that don’t have the budget for some of the other platforms on the list. It’s not only a price consideration, though. For businesses that don’t require so much complexity, Shopify’s headless approach is ideal. 

Customers include Gymshark, Allbirds, and Staples. 

Find out more about Shopify’s headless approach. 



In conclusion, there are differences in the major ecommerce platforms that have adopted headless or composable commerce. Some are clear, some are nuanced. In general, by providing APIs and other solutions that allow businesses to customize their ecommerce experiences, these platforms are helping businesses improve their customer experience, drive revenue, and stay ahead of the competition.

Each business is unique, and that makes it impossible to point out that one type of vendor is suitable for one type of vertical. If you’re looking for support with headless adoption, or just want to gain insight into the approach, get in touch with Tryzens.

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