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12 Examples of Brands Leveraging Headless Commerce to Redefine Customer Experiences

Headless commerce examples

Headless commerce has enabled businesses to optimize websites and applications by separating the front and back ends. APIs have made it possible to make design changes without additional back-end coding. The separate ends offer complete freedom of customization instead of relying on pre-defined formats.

No wonder, the adoption of headless commerce is on a rapid rise. The E-commerce Industry Data Book report reveals that the headless market valued at $1.32 billion in 2020 is projected to surge to $13.08 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 30.1%.

Decoupled and service-oriented architectures stand out as a core enabler for e-commerce businesses aiming to thrive in the competitive landscape with agility, personalization, and efficiency.

In this post, we will share inspiring headless commerce examples of brands making the most of the transformative architecture.

Impact of Headless Commerce on Customer Experience and Site Performance

Don’t take our word for how headless commerce is steering digital engagement and conversions. These statistics speak loud and clear.

So, without further ado, let’s look at how these e-commerce brands are jumping on the headless bandwagon.

Examples of How Forward-Thinking Brands Leverage Headless Commerce

Koala

Koala is Australia’s favorite mattress and furniture retailer that adopted the headless approach with a set of objectives. They wanted their e-commerce platform to be modular, extensible, and based on the headless microservices architecture.

They adopted commerce tools with their API extensions, GraphQL coverage, scalability, and flexibility around the data model. The cloud-based headless commerce platform could easily fit and integrate with Koala’s infrastructure, system environments, and applications. This helped them offer world-class shopping experiences.

Koala could make rapid changes to the website with minimum downtime, improve their site’s response time, and offer tailored experience across devices. Migrating to a headless architecture put the team at Koala in charge of every aspect of the customer experience, translating into significant numbers. They grew from 371 product variants to 674 and boosted from 13 categories to 29 in less than a year. 

Headless commerce example - Koala

Target

Target is a renowned retailer that faces intense competition from behemoths like Amazon and Walmart. For this, they invested in offering an engaging and user-friendly experience across channels.

The American retail corporation was quick to realize a huge chunk of its shoppers started their purchase journey on one device and checked out on another. They figured that this would cause friction, forcing customers to abandon their shopping. They decided to unite these two experiences to help customers seamlessly transition their shopping journey without losing context or progress.

By adopting a headless architecture, Target could update and optimize its website and mobile app independently in sync with the customer’s needs. Thus, they built a unified shopping experience across various channels and devices, offering a consistent purchase flow for their customers.

This strategy not only improved the website’s conversion rate but also addressed revenue losses.

Headless commerce example - Target

Nike

As of May 2024, mobile drives the largest portion of visitors to e-commerce sites – 73%. Nike was quick to learn about this growing trend and wanted to adopt a mobile-first approach to gain more sales on mobile customers.

They planned to deliver an enhanced small-screen experience for customers using mobile devices. For instance, sharing mobile-friendly visuals and links that could effortlessly work with mobile browsing.

Going the headless CMS route allowed them to customize their mobile front end without any limitations coming from the back end. This approach set them apart from Adidas and Under Armour, their prime competitors. In fact, their D2C strategy included building a headless platform and helped Nike to hit 50% digital penetration.

Headless commerce example - Nike

Lancôme

The French luxury perfumes and cosmetics company saw huge potential in going headless. They jumped on the headless commerce bandwagon by embracing PWAs to enhance their user experience.

Lancôme wished to offer exceptional customer experience across devices and channels. Hence, they adopted the headless approach with React PWA. This technology allowed them to create an immersive mobile website functioning like a native app.

The high-end cosmetics brand can now deliver reliable performance on unstable networks and push notifications for re-engagement. Their best-in-class PWA achieves a performance score of 94/100 on Lighthouse, an automated tool for improving web page quality.

This resulted in improved website performance, reduced bounce rates, and increased mobile conversions. They experienced a 17% increase in conversions, a 15% reduction in bounce rates, and an 8% increase in conversion rates on recovered carts via Push Notifications.

Lancome headless commerce website

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer is yet another apparel and accessories retailer that was quick to learn that a majority of their customers accessed their content through mobile devices. They noted that 60% of their total traffic was from mobile customers.

Thus, they decided to go the headless way to improve the mobile customer experience and yield a quick ROI. Through PWAs, they built an awesome mobile-friendly experience. Their relaunched website was built as a PWA on Salesforce Commerce Cloud to create a seamless experience across devices.

Moving to the headless architecture not only saved customers the extra steps of having to download an app but also improved their page speed by 2x to 4x. The result was – an 80% increase in mobile traffic and a 33% increase in mobile revenue.

Lilly Pulitzer headless commerce site

Under Armour

The leading athletic apparel and gear provider adopted the headless approach through the progressive web application Mobify. At The Headless Summit NYC, Patrik Grissinger, the Senior Product Manager at Under Armour summed up their business challenge.

Going the headless way allowed the team to tune their experience based on feedback from data. This approach helped Under Armour transform its website and improve user experience. Now, customers can move through their shopping journey quickly and seamlessly. The brand experienced double-digit revenue growth, 3x return rate, 65% less pre-bounce.

Under Armour Product Manager on headless commerce

Venus

Venus converted its storefront to a React Progressive Web App. The well-known women’s fashion brand had been struggling with slow loading time. In fact, more than 80% of its web pages took over a second to load. This hugely impacted their user experience and conversion rate.

They quickly realized that the future of front-end development was anchored in website optimization. Hence they moved to the headless CMS framework.

When doing so, the fashion brand made two main changes to its store. First, it changed the storefront to a PWA (React PWA), and second, converted its infrastructure into BFF or Backend for Frontend (Node.js). This radical approach yielded Venus high returns. They saw a whopping improvement in the site speed, conversion rate, and customer retention. Improving the site speed created enjoyable experiences for shoppers.

Venus headless commerce website

Blume

Blume offers a range of organic and vegan bodycare products and keeps introducing new products and categories. To accommodate these new additions they had to constantly upgrade their storefront design with unique features.

The challenge was to maintain the website’s performance while doing so. Opting for headless commerce through Shopify’s Storefront API powered by the React frontend framework allowed them to maximize efficiency and ensure high-level performance. It also improved their website loading and search engine performance across multiple markets.

Blume’s headless website also added several dynamic features that create an unforgettable shopping experience. For instance, they shared a quiz page that allows customers to effortlessly build their self-care routine and the perfect Blume box for them.

Similarly, their customer reward program design, Blumetopia has a full-screen video background with good imagery. Such features are only possible with headless commerce that keeps them running smoothly.

Blume headless commerce site

Bamford

The conscious clothing, body care, and homeware brand regularly updates several aspects of its website. For instance, they must constantly share content about Online Classes, Clothing, Workshops & Retreats, seasonal events, and more.

They faced several challenges, including making the development process quicker, more efficient, and more flexible.

Switching to headless CMS technology allowed them to offer an engaging customer experience and speed up their site’s ongoing development. This technology separates content from code but doesn’t have a frontend presentation layer attached. The e-commerce company experienced a smooth experience when updating its website frequently.

Bamford headless commerce

K2 Sports

The Seattle-based American sporting goods company found their old website to limit their possibilities. The store lacked the experience its audience deserved. Moreover, they had to bear huge development and maintenance costs.

What K2 Sports needed was a more cost-effective and feature-rich solution to offer a cutting-edge shopping experience.

They opted for a headless configuration which improved their API performance. On the front end, they leveraged Contentstack for a content-rich experience. With the headless architecture, K2 Sports created a 75% faster website and published content 90% faster. They also boosted their development productivity by 50%.

K2 sports headless commerce site

Nomad

The design-centric brand for smartphone accessories was struggling with page performance. This was negatively impacting their shopping experience, translating into higher cart abandonment and low conversion rates.

Nomad used headless commerce through progressive web apps. This significantly improved their page speed and load time and delivered an exceptional customer experience.

Moreover, their design and development teams could build pages faster and manage more merchandising control of their ever-growing catalog. This gave them immense freedom when rolling out creative marketing campaigns, boosting their conversion rate by 50%. They also saw a 39% increase in revenue per session.

Nomad headless commerce site

Plenaire

This ethical and sustainable skincare brand leveraged headless commerce to create dynamic pages while preserving design integrity and consistency. The team struggled with creating new pages instantly and modifying the page structure.

The result was that the development team spent a lot of time engaging in executing every minor change in the structure. By going headless, their team could leverage modular blocks that create multiple sets of fields within a block in a content type.

They can now mix and match blocks to create customized pages on the go. Now, the website has dynamic pages that transition as the customer scrolls down. Thus, the entire browsing and shopping experience is interactive and aligns with their brand.

Plenaire headless commerce

Summing Up

All the e-commerce companies mentioned in this post have leveraged headless technology to redefine their online experiences and meet the ever-changing demands of shoppers. They stand to testify how headless commerce can provide comprehensive and high-quality solutions for boosting user experience and revenue.

Headless commerce allows online retail businesses to decouple their front end and back end and improve flexibility, scalability, and performance. The enhanced flexibility also enables rigorous experimentation and more risk-taking. However, with continuous experimentation, comes the risk of technical errors that can hamper site performance and cause friction in customer issues.

An error monitoring platform like Noibu alerts you of any website errors that may pop up on your site so you can make the most of the flexibility and enhanced performance that headless commerce has to offer without risking revenue loss due to errors or glitches.

Sign up for a demo of the Noibu platform today to learn how it detects and helps resolve revenue-impacting errors on e-commerce websites.

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