Is Your eCommerce Platform Stuck in the Past?

Discover Headless or Composable Commerce

The Monolithic Conundrum: Limitations of Traditional Platforms

Traditional monolithic platforms, seemingly intuitive with their all-in-one structure, bundle the front end (the user-facing storefront) and the back end (the server-side functionality powering the store) into a single unit. This approach offers simplicity for smaller businesses but presents significant limitations for larger businesses with specific needs and complex requirements.

Here’s where the limitations of monolithic platforms come into play:

  • Limited flexibility: Businesses are often restricted to the features and functionalities provided by the platform, hindering customization and integration with other systems.
  • Scalability challenges: As businesses expand, their online stores must handle increasing traffic and data volumes. Monolithic platforms need help scaling effectively, leading to performance issues and downtime.
  • Vendor lock-in: Businesses become dependent on the platform provider for their entire online store, making it difficult to switch to another provider in the future.

Breaking Free: Headless and Composable Commerce to the Rescue

Headless and composable commerce offers an alternative that prioritizes flexibility and scalability. They dismantle the monolithic structure, decoupling the front end from the back end, and allowing businesses to build online stores using the best-of-breed solutions for each layer.

  • Headless commerce: In this approach, the front-end is separated from the back-end through an API (Application Programming Interface). This allows businesses to build custom storefronts using any front-end technology they desire (e.g., React, Vue.js) and connect it to their existing back-end system or a headless commerce back-end.
  • Composable commerce: This approach takes the concept of headless commerce a step further by breaking down the back end into smaller, independent services (microservices) that can be assembled and integrated like building blocks. This grants businesses the power to mix and match various services from different vendors, creating a customized back-end tailored to their specific needs.

Unlocking the Benefits: Why Choose Headless or Composable Commerce?

By embracing headless or composable commerce, businesses gain a plethora of advantages:

  • Increased flexibility: Businesses can choose the best solutions for each layer of their eCommerce stack, fostering greater customization and innovation.
  • Improved scalability: Headless and composable architectures are inherently more scalable than monolithic platforms, as individual components can be scaled independently to meet changing demands.
  • Faster time to market: Experimentation and iteration become faster with headless and composable commerce, as the platform provider’s development roadmap does not limit businesses.
  • Reduced vendor lock-in: Businesses are not tied to a single vendor for their entire eCommerce stack, granting them greater freedom and flexibility in the future.


To see what is possible with Headless, check out, an “experience-first” eCommerce site we developed using Shopify’s headless platform, hydrogen.

Real-World Data: The Headless Commerce Landscape

Further solidifying the potential of headless commerce, a March 2023 survey by Elastic Path revealed that a significant portion of the market is already embracing this approach. The survey found that 72% of US retailers already utilized composable commerce in some capacity, and another 21% planned to adopt it within the next year. Additionally, a separate study by IDC highlighted that 45% of the 1,000 companies surveyed utilized a composable front-end with a full-stack back-end, showcasing the growing traction of this architecture.

Shopify Plus and Hydrogen: Empowering Businesses for the Future

As a Shopify Plus partner, we understand the challenges businesses face as they outgrow the limitations of traditional commerce platforms. Shopify Plus offers a robust and scalable platform for high-volume businesses, and with the introduction of Hydrogen, Shopify is actively driving the adoption of headless commerce.

Hydrogen is a React framework from Shopify that empowers developers to build custom storefronts using modern web technologies. This, coupled with the flexibility of Shopify Plus’s headless commerce API, equips businesses to create unique and engaging shopping experiences tailored to their specific needs.


Making the Right Choice: Headless or Composable Commerce for You?

Whether headless or composable commerce fits your business depends on your specific needs and resources. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • The size and complexity of your business: Larger businesses with complex requirements are more likely to benefit from the flexibility and scalability of headless and composable commerce (Shopify Plus, n.d.; Insider Intelligence, 2023)
  • Your technical expertise: Implementing headless or composable commerce requires more technical expertise than traditional platforms. You may need to invest in additional resources or partner with a development agency.
  • Your budget: Headless and composable commerce implementations can be more expensive than traditional platforms due to the need for custom development and integrations.

The Future Beckons: Embrace Agility and Innovation

The eCommerce landscape is rapidly evolving, and businesses must adopt flexible and scalable solutions to stay ahead. Headless and composable commerce offers a promising approach for businesses looking to break free from the limitations of traditional platforms and create unique and engaging shopping experiences.


Taking the First Step: Evaluating Your Needs

If you are a growing business looking to take your eCommerce strategy to the next level, evaluating your specific needs and resources is crucial. Consider your business’s size and complexity, technical expertise, and budget. By carefully assessing these factors, you can determine whether headless or composable commerce fits your journey.


Seeking Guidance: Partnering for Success

Navigating the world of headless and composable commerce can be complex. Partnering with experts in Headless technologies, like Tidal Commerce, can provide invaluable support. They can assist you in:

  • Evaluate your current eCommerce platform and identify areas for improvement.
  • Developing a comprehensive headless or composable commerce strategy tailored to your specific needs.
  • Selecting the best-of-breed solutions for your front-end and back-end.
  • Implementing the chosen solution and ensuring a seamless integration with your existing systems.
  • Providing ongoing support and maintenance to ensure the smooth operation of your online store.

By partnering with the right agency, you can leverage their expertise to overcome the challenges and unlock the full potential of headless or composable commerce.


Embrace the Future of eCommerce: A Call to Action

In conclusion, businesses that fail to adapt to the constant changes in the eCommerce landscape are at risk of falling behind. Headless and composable commerce offers a powerful solution for businesses seeking flexibility, scalability, and the freedom to create unique and engaging shopping experiences. By carefully analyzing your needs, partnering with the right experts, and embracing this innovative approach, you can empower your business to thrive in the ever-changing world of eCommerce.  

If you have questions or need assistance executing these strategies, our team is available at


  1. Insider Intelligence. (2023, June 14). US composable commerce explainer.

  2. Shopify Plus. (n.d.). E-commerce tech stack: Why choose Shopify Plus? 


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