E-Commerce stores need to be adaptive and agile to meet the changing needs of the market and their customers with the support of a headless CMS for eCommerce. With a traditional commerce platform, the capabilities of your business are limited to the front-end capabilities supported by the platform. However, with the headless approach, you can use any best-of-breed front-end framework to create a highly personalized consumer experience that works across multiple channels.
A headless CMS supports emerging technologies, making it ideal for eCommerce retailers who want to future-proof their business. It also provides the tools to easily create and deploy valuable customer experiences and redesign marketing campaigns as and when needed in a jiffy.
Let’s begin by looking at how headless CMS wins over traditional CMS.
Headless CMS vs Traditional CMS – What should you pick for your eCommerce Business?
Static websites were once the extent of providing a digital experience to your users, making traditional CMS infrastructure sufficient.
However, customers need more experiences and interaction today, which astatic websites cannot provide. The internet has brought a web of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and digital channels to life. Consumers seek highly personalized, cohesive, always-on experiences using these devices and channels.
Headless CMS was created to deliver these experiences. Vendors saw a need to make content reusable and connect content management tools companies were already using. Headless CMS simplifies large-scale content creation, optimization, delivery, and republishing.
When Do You Need a Headless CMS?
1. Marketing is currently managing several CMS platforms
With headless CMS options on the market, there is no need for your marketing team to recreate content across different CMS instances. A headless CMS can simultaneously deliver your content to multiple channels — including the sub-brand and foreign-language websites you manually manage across separate platforms.
2. Omnichannel publishing is the key to your marketing plan
If omnichannel publishing is central to your marketing efforts, investing in a headless CMS will save everyone time and sanity. A headless CMS’s modular structure and integration capabilities make it easy to create content once, run it through different headless Ecommerce services (CRM, translation, etc.) or workflows, and publish it to multiple channels simultaneously.
3. Development is a bottleneck
A common problem with monolithic CMSes is that typically only developers or tech-savvy marketing personnel can operate them, which means that sometimes creative teams may have to wait days or weeks for tech teams to help them publish or edit content. If your marketing campaigns are time sensitive, a headless CMS grants instant autonomy to all teams involved.
4. Your business website is central to your digital experience
Interactive digital experiences? Smart eCommerce platform? Real-time content personalization? Monolithic CMSs that operate with templates and a one-way flow of content cannot deliver these types of interactions. Suppose your website is a platform where you strive to build creative new customer-first experiences. In that case, you need to build it on a flexible, composable, headless CMS.
5. Enterprise-level security is a must
Organizations that collect consumer data to create personalized experiences, especially ones that do so on an international scale, need to keep that data secure. Thanks to a monolithic structure and plugins, traditional CMSs have a larger attack surface than headless CMS, where the separated front and back ends shrink opportunities for security breaches.
When Do You Need A Traditional CMS?
1. Your main priority in a website is usability
If your business’ website hardly needs any personalization, you don’t plan on changing its features or functionality, and your biggest priority is that it’s fast and easy for you to add content every once in a while, a traditional CMS is a way to go. With a traditional CMS, you’ll get the benefit of templates, built-in content management features, and security right out of the box.
2. Access to development support is limited
Not every organization can or wants to have technology experts on the payroll. Traditional CMSes were intended to cater to low-tech business users, making them a perfect fit for them.
3. Omnichannel digital experiences are not part of your business model
Like every organization that doesn’t need on-call developers, many small businesses don’t have omnichannel, content-driven experiences built into their marketing plans or business models. A traditional CMS might meet your business needs if you don’t need all the extra flexibility and integration capabilities that headless CMS includes.
Top 5 Open-Source Headless CMS for eCommerce Business Growth
The global headless CMS market was valued at US$ 597.48 million in 2022, according to research. This figure is predicted to rise to USD 1797.0 million in 2028, with a CAGR of 20.14 percent during the forecast years. Many providers now provide headless CMS solutions, including paid and open-source options. So, we’ve got you covered if you’re looking for the greatest open-source headless CMS solution for your upcoming project.
While traditional CMS architecture was the norm for web development, headless CMS software solutions are now in demand because of their greater flexibility and scalability. Therefore, we will look at some of the top open-source headless CMS.
Now, let’s start the collection.
1. Strapi (Free & Paid)
Strapi is an open-source platform, as its complete codebase is available publicly and maintained on GitHub by many contributors. Customizing API and the admin panel is easy, and you can extend content management in seconds with custom plugins. You can also use the API from various clients, such as Vue, Angular, React, IoT devices, or mobile applications by using GraphQL or RESTful.
For documentation & Installation process, you can check the GitHub repo.
- Flawless design
- Easy customization
- Highly flexible
- Developer centric
- Multi-database support
- Webhooks & many more.
If you find the free version useful & worth using, you can upgrade to premium plans. Premium plans offer more features. There are 3 premium plans for Strapi.
- Bronze Plan: $9 per admin user/month. It comes with granular access controls.
- Silver Plan: $29 per admin user/month. This includes Granular access controls, Guidance & Assistance, & Customer Success Manager.
- Gold Plan: Negotiable. It includes Granular access controls, Single Sign-On, Technical support with SLAs, Customer Success Manager, & Technical onboarding.
2. Ghost CMS (Free & Paid)
Start your headless CMS journey with Ghost and learn how to build independent, beautiful publications. Follow its setup guide from the local environment to product development and install the software easily. It supports the Ubuntu server for running self-hosted instances.
You can design templates of your own using the same guide. By understanding Ghost’s configuration and architecture, you will never lack in building new websites, applications, etc. With the open-source theme starter framework, you can take a faster track of developing custom themes.
Excellent internal SEO options are incorporated into Ghost CMS. SEO does not require adding any more weight to the CMS. Structured Data: Ghost CMS posts, by default, support structured data. Displaying stunning search results in search engines is quite helpful. You can check the GitHub repo for the installation guide.
- Custom branding
- Easy navigation
- Custom redirects
- Multi-language support
- Front-end agnostic and much more.
For more features, you can shift to the premium plans, which mainly come in 4 different categories depending on your team members.
- Starter Plan: $9/month for 500 Members.
- Creator Plan: $25/month for 1000 Members.
- Team Plan: $50/ month for 1000 Members + 5 staff users
- Business Plan: 199/month for 10,000 Members with unlimited staff users & and advanced domain configs.
3. Netlify (Open Source)
The Netlify CMS is a single-page React application. It supports various Git platform APIs and creates custom-styled previews, UI widgets, editor plugins, or adds backends. You can easily start making flexible and faster web projects using this Open-Source Headless CMS and the static site generator. Additionally, this Headless CMS Open-Source stores the content in your Git repository alongside your code for easier versioning, multi-channel publishing, and the option to handle content updates directly in Git. Thus, the versioning becomes simpler.
You may give editors a friendly UI and simple workflows with the help of the open-source content management system Netlify CMS for your Git workflow. It may be used with any static site generator to produce web projects that are quicker and more adaptable. Besides, it helps multi-channel publishing and handling content updates inside Git.
It is designed as a one-page React application; thus, you can create UI widgets, editor plugins, custom-styled previews, and add backends to support various Git platform APIs. For the installation guide, you can refer to the GitHub repo.
- Editor-friendly User Interface
- Fast & Web-Based UI
- Built on Jamstack
- Intuitive workflow
- Flexible content types
- Instant Access without the GitHub account
4. Tina CMS (Open Source)
Tina is a Git-backed headless content management system that enables developers and content creators to collaborate seamlessly. With Tina, developers can create a custom visual editing experience tailored to their site. Besides, you may keep the advantages of a Git workflow for your data and provide all team members access to an intuitive interface for website updates.
Also, you can easily boost output and view context-sensitive adjustments while you update website content. Given that it was created using ReactJS, you can provide your content team the ability to easily create complicated pages by adding an editing interface to your React components. Tina CMS project setup is quick and simple using the TinaCMS CLI. The Tina starting site can be created using the CLI with Tina already set up or added to an existing Next.js site.
Check the GitHub Repo for the source code.
- Both the front and back-ends can use the new unified client.
- The data layer is, by default, turned on.
- Improved read-only token support
- A Simple and more direct method of utilising Tina CMS in CI
5. Keystonejs (Open Source)
Build faster and more scalable content with the Keystone Headless CMS platform. Just describe your schema and get an awesome Management UI and robust GraphQL API for data and content. Ship the code with elegant APIs without compromising the flexibility of a bespoke backend. It offers multiple field types, session management, custom schema, access control, database migrations, powerful filters, relational data, event hooks, automated CRUD, and more. Keystone’s admin UI is intuitive and flexible to understand your needs and shape your content accordingly.
Additionally, it offers next-generation rich text WYSIWYG BYO custom React. You can deploy it on Heroku, Render, Digital Ocean, etc., or your custom infrastructure. Keystone can fit your git-based building workflow and offer automation and CI tooling.
Furthermore, you will get what you require quickly. Session management, access control, pagination, sorting, and filtering are all included right out of the box using Keystone’s GraphQL API. Without losing the elements that are useful to you, customise it. It has more than 6.7k stars on GitHub.
- All the field types
- Session Management
- Custom Schema
- Database Migrations
- TypeScript Support
- Powerful Filters
- Relational Data and many more.
Headless CMS – How Can They Help Your eCommerce Store?
By splitting a system’s front-end and back-end components, eCommerce stores can use the back-end entirely for content storage, organization, and management while leaving the front-end to deliver material for a specific channel. This provides numerous benefits to developers and publishers.
1. Increased adaptability
The first aspect is the simplicity that the server can launch. Most open-source platforms need you to set up the facility and then tweak the functionality. Although this gives you much control over your installation, it’s time-consuming and demands technical knowledge.
You can easily manage content from a single spot and change your frameworks, tools, and technologies without compromising your content. Furthermore, the cloud-based architecture allows you to scale up and down without difficulties. You may customise your site without waiting for it to load.
3. Easy Integration & Flawless Compatibility
Headless CMS systems are interoperable with modern devices, platforms, and technologies. eCommerce stores can effortlessly publish their work anywhere they want while maintaining constant performance. Headless CMS can also integrate various languages and software to make things easier. With headless CMS solutions, you can create new connectors with the community’s support to facilitate a new integration.
4. Enhanced Security
A saas provider manages the security and safety of the headless CMS. In a headless open-source approach, most projects rely on contributors to follow compliance and security criteria. As a result, developers are entirely responsible for the security implications. Platform maintenance is riskier and takes more time.
5. Maintenance is Simplified
eCommerce stores do not require significant upkeep. The only requirement is to keep content within the headless CMS. The network and functionality are the responsibility of platform providers. In addition, eCommerce brands will have to get a proper technical support option to resolve any issues with the platform.
eCommerce stores are responsible for infrastructure upkeep in an open-source platform. The only way to get help is to ask an eCommerce development agency that participates in the project.
The Future of Headless CMS for eCommerce?
In the past, you would have to buy expensive software and hire a developer to create a website for your business. In this day and age, the emergence of headless CMS has made things much easier for small businesses. Headless Commerce is when all of your content is stored in a centralized database or data warehouse (instead of on individual web pages) which means you don’t need to write code or maintain your website yourself. This allows you to focus on what really matters: running your business!
We are proud to be one of the first companies in the USA with a headless commerce solution provider that offers everything you need without breaking the bank. The system is so intuitive and easy to use that any layman can build their own website in just minutes. Look no further than our headless CMS if you’re looking for an affordable way to get started with your eCommerce store.