Microservice Architecture
5 min read

Ecommerce Microservices Architecture and Headless commerce

By Unni MohanFeb. 11, 2022, 3 p.m. Application development company
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Headless commerce is just another version of ecommerce microservices architecture wherein some aspects of the application are decoupled so that they can work independently.

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Today’s eCommerce websites are driven by packages having very different architectures than the monolithic applications that supported them a few years ago. This is because eCommerce is evolving all the while and the needs of an eCommerce system keep on changing constantly. 

Competition has increased multifold and customer expectations are sky-high. In 2020, over two billion people purchased goods and services online, and e-retail sales surpassed the amount of 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. These numbers are only increasing.

This means brands in the market have to be both fast and flexible to stay afloat and ahead of their competitors. This is one of the main reasons why eCommerce businesses have resorted to restructuring their architecture model to eCommerce microservices architecture.

Microservices – What are They

In short, microservices are an architecture model in which single-function applications are coupled together and communicate via APIs. Each of the services is designed, developed, deployed, and maintained separately. This also means that each of the services can be scaled separately. Thus microservices form a typical distributed system that can be used to overcome traffic bottlenecks that monolith applications frequently fall victims to. 

Ecommerce systems – Traditional Characteristics

The earliest digital eCommerce systems were monolith-based. They provided an on-premise, centralized, and feature-rich system to meet demands. However, all the defects show up when customer demands increase. They turn out to be slow-performing and one that is difficult to scale.

Read our blog “Next-Gen Headless Commerce – How Does It Impact Businesses in 2022”.

When substituted with microservices architecture, different business functions are duly separated and are communicating with one another. The system keeps up its speed and flexibility even when complexities increase. Thus, the introduction of eCommerce microservices architecture enables an agile platform that enables business operations to take place without any issue as well as innovate quickly with the latest changing trends.  

Disadvantages of Monolithic Applications

Though these systems were simpler in the earlier days, these systems developed problems when eCommerce systems became more complex. Moreover,

  • They behaved differently when they were customized
  • Responses to new market trends were slow
  • Single points of failure were common because of high dependency
  • Updates required a lot of testing before the rollout.

Headless Commerce Systems 

Ecommerce Microservices Architecture

A well-suited microservices approach for eCommerce is headless commerce. These systems typically have their front-end presentation layer decoupled from their back-end processes.

Headless commerce is considered apt for evolving customer expectations and modes of interaction. In headless commerce systems, a CMS or digital experience platforms (DXP) or IoT device can be connected to the front end. This arrangement supports the latest changes in experience-based commerce. With this kind of arrangement, you can change the front end whenever required and makes quick adaptations according to the latest customer trends. 

Download and read our eBook “E-COMMERCE SYSTEMS IN 2030 – WHAT WILL BE NEW”.

Rising customer expectations such as fast shipping and unique customer experiences can be well-handled by headless commerce. Ecommerce business owners are likely to use headless, microservices, and event-driven architectures for the monetizable events they can create and for offering exclusive customer experiences with this combination.

Headless commerce – Benefits for online businesses

Experience-based headless commerce can offer the following benefits

  • Advanced technologies to create new-type fast websites
  • Familiarity and flexibility for developers
  • Complete ownership of the site architecture
  • Innovative and effective marketing without affecting back-end processes
  • Substantial speed to market
  • Conversion rates, lower customer acquisition costs

Are you looking to shift to Microservices from legacy software? Give us a call today!

Headless Commerce and Microservices – Differences

In headless systems, some of the parts of the application are decoupled from one another. Typically, the front-end is decoupled from the back-end. In a microservices application, the platform and the services are fully decoupled. In headless commerce systems and decoupled systems, the content management application system is decoupled from the content delivery application system. 

Whereas in a fully decoupled environment the content is pushed actively into the delivery environment, in a headless commerce system, the content management system is idle until it receives a request for the content. 

Read our blog  "Microservices Benefits for Mobile App Dev & How to Implement It"

A headless CMS has both content creation and management tools. It also has an API that it shares with third-party applications to publish specific content. When considering a decoupled environment, it is a proactive one containing all the features of a headless commerce system as well as template tools. Therefore, both content preparation and delivery are taken care of.

Moving to Headless Commerce or Microservices – Advantages 

Modern businesses think of moving to ecommerce microservices architecture or headless commerce when they want to respond to customers’ demands quickly and adjust to changing market trends. 

Given below are the advantages of moving to the headless commerce/eCommerce microservices architecture model.

1. Heavy customer traffic or sudden demand surges do not affect the back-end processes.
A major advantage of eCommerce microservices architecture is that it is possible to separately scale the front-end and back-end. Developers can offer new service extensions wherever required without requiring adjusting the entire system. High traffic on the front end will not impact back-end processes.

2. Increased customization and personalization are possible.

When using a headless system, it is possible to connect multiple front-ends to a single back-end system. It is easy to introduce many new front-end touch-points at will.

3. Rapid implementation is possible.

Both headless systems and microservices have decentralized development processes so it’s easier for developers to adjust the code base and get to market in less time.

Read our blog  "Microservices architecture and distributed tracing"

4. Get only what you need.

Purchasing a monolith entails paying for and adjusting features and functionalities your business does not need. With an eCommerce microservices architecture, each service serves a single business function. You can add only what you require for your system, ending up with a more efficient and leaner system.

5. Get the best-of-breed solutions.
Instead of relying on a single system to do everything, you can choose services from the providers who will specialize in only what you need leading to a vendor-agnostic approach. 


As an organization, you should be ready to implement both infrastructural and organizational changes once you decide to move to headless commerce or eCommerce microservices architecture. 

Looking to outsource your microservices development! Talk to our experts today!

How SayOne Can Help

At SayOne, our integrated teams of developers service our clients with microservices that are fully aligned to the future of the business or organization. The microservices we design and implement are formulated around the propositions of Agile and DevOps methodologies. Our system model focuses on individual components that are resilient, fortified, and highly reliable.

We design microservices for our clients in a manner that assures future success in terms of scalability and adaptation to the latest technologies. They are also constructed to accept fresh components easily and smoothly, allowing for effective function upgrades cost-effectively.

Our microservices are constructed with reusable components that offer increased flexibility and offer superior productivity for the organization/business. We work with start-ups, SMBs, and enterprises and help them to visualize the entire microservices journey and also allow for the effective coexistence of legacy systems of the organization.

Our microservices are developed for agility, efficient performance and maintenance, enhanced performance, scalability, and security.

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