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Published 27.02.2024

Make a legacy ecommerce system go headless

When eCommerce platforms can’t tailor their frontend options to suit your brand and business - what can you do?


Platforms like Shopify or Wix Commerce make it easy for businesses to sell online. You don’t need advanced knowledge in design or web development. They have all the basics covered - allowing you to build a reliable user experience.


But those user experiences are nearly always limited and inflexible. That’s a problem for any seller who wants to create an innovative frontend. Plenty of vendors would like to direct their buyers in unusual ways - and others have aesthetic values that won’t work within templates.


Monolithic eCommerce systems bring lots of value to online sellers: but they make it very difficult to build innovative frontends that work with their backend systems. While there are many reasons for this as we show in this article, there are very few solutions that allow you to easily move over to a headless architecture while keeping all your legacy systems.

Headless commerce opens up possibilities (at a price)

For the past decade, eCommerce designers have used headless commerce to get around the design limitations of a fixed backend.

Headless commerce is good for lots of reasons. You get a completely customizable frontend, free of obligations to a clunky backend.  It’s quicker to load, easier to maintain, and you can attach several frontend solutions to one back end.

Headless isn’t appropriate for every business. But when it works - it’s great.

However, many vendors find it difficult to set up a functioning headless system. If they’ve built on one platform, “going headless” means they’ll have to go through a time-consuming backend migration. If the migration throws up problems, the lost sales will quickly pile up.

Building a headless from the ground up is slightly easier. They can sign up for a platform like Shopify plus - which comes at a price. Many retailers just choose to accept the front-ends offered to them. Even companies with a strong design direction may just need to accept what’s already available - as the resources to develop a true headless system are not available to them.


Use an API to connect any frontend to an eCommerce backend

An API for eCommerce, like Reachu, adds headless functionality to any eCommerce backend.

Reachu makes things very simple. It integrates with whatever eCommerce platforms you’re currently using. And when it does, all your listing-related data can flow directly to whatever frontend you want to use.

 This is a great choice for new eCommerce merchants.

 But it’s also a fantastic way for stores who want to move to a new front-end design. They can keep the backend structures (even if they’re using a custom system), and just let their listings and inventory into an elegant front end.

The right API leads to great design

 The result is a simple solution to a complex problem. Sellers get to build whatever custom frontend they want - free from the limitations of a legacy backend.

The Reachu API helps with a quick build at the start of a project. Once the eCommerce site is up and running, it has far more flexibility for ongoing maintenance.  

Web developers now have an amazing choice of design platforms for creative sites: Vev and Webflow showing how developers can make jaw-dropping online experiences. You don’t have to be Apple to create stunning sites. Reachu means that eCommerce sites of all sizes can build their storefront around excellent design. 

The benefits of Headless commerce

With headless commerce, businesses can use any front-end technology they want, such as React or Angular, to create a unique and personalized user experience. The back-end commerce functionality, such as payment processing and inventory management, is then integrated into the front-end using APIs or microservices. As consumers demand more unique approaches to commerce and brand experience, while omnichannel has become key to any online success headless commerce has become a must have for all ambitious online merchants.

Flexibility: Headless commerce allows businesses to create custom front-end experiences without the constraints of a traditional monolithic platform. This means that businesses can create unique and tailored customer experiences that meet their specific needs.

Speed: Since the front-end and back-end are decoupled, changes can be made to the front-end without affecting the back-end. This allows for faster development and deployment of new features and updates.

Scalability: Headless commerce enables businesses to scale their operations more easily. Since the front-end and back-end are separate, businesses can scale each independently, allowing them to handle increased traffic and transaction volumes without affecting performance.

Omnichannel capabilities: Headless commerce allows businesses to deliver consistent and seamless experiences across multiple channels, including mobile devices, social media, and other platforms. This makes it easier to reach customers wherever they are and provide a seamless experience across all touchpoints.

 Integration: Headless commerce makes it easier to integrate with other systems and technologies, such as marketing automation tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and more. This allows businesses to create a more connected ecosystem and provide a more personalized experience for customers.


Reachu is built to move product data swiftly from place to place. In many use cases, we’re able to help merchants connect with other platforms - whether that’s with independent dropshippers, on a marketplace platform, or embedding commerce into written content. But the technology is also vital for allowing data flow within the different aspects of one online store.

Whether you’re a startup, SME, or large eCommerce player, Reachu could be the solution you need to improve your design, increase your listings, or connect with other sellers.  

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