Over the last few weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time looking headless commerce application and which eCommerce platforms are suitable, and best suited, to a headless approach. One thing that I’ve found particularly interesting is that it’s really hard to find examples of Shopify and Shopify Plus stores that feature a separate front-end platform, despite a capability to do this and some good examples that I’ve seen through clients.
Shopify isn’t the obvious choice when it comes to complex headless implementations as the tooling hasn’t been developed in the same way as other platforms, but if you’re happy returning the user to the native Shopify checkout, it can be done and it can work well. The approach that all of these sites are based on (and what Shopify is allowing for currently) is based on the product components or elements being pulled into an external front-end via Shopify’s APIs and the user being brought back to the Shopify checkout once they progress from the cart page.
Shopify doesn’t have the same focus on de-coupling the front-end and operating in this manner as platforms like BigCommerce, CommerceTools,
Although these sites are relatively simple, here are some examples of stores that use Shopify alongside a custom front-end or a CMS.
Rachio.com – GatsbyJS + Shopify
Rachio’s Shopify + GatsbyJS store is a great implementation that features very clean content-based landing pages, content-rich product detail pages and Yotpo product reviews. The site doesn’t follow a conventional eCommerce design approach and the nature of the product and
Yoga Girl – Contentful CMS + Shopify
The Yoga Girl site is really, really fast and the whole site is really clean and functional. The front-end is built using Contentful (which seems to be a
One thing that I really like about this implementation is how they’ve created really specific templates for the different pages (e.g. the studio pages) and then they’ve met the (relatively basic) commerce requirements through Shopify and their APIs.
Seedlip Drinks – Custom Vue.js front-end + Shopify
The Seedlip Drinks site is very content-led and the front-end is built on a what likes like a custom Vue.JS / Nuxt.js setup. The page templates are all very nicely designed and the cart loads as an overlay and then takes you to the Shopify checkout once an item is added to the basket.
The product detail pages are really nice and are very focused on showcasing the bottle image.
Augustin Baber – Shopify Plus + Contentful CMS
This is another good example of how Shopify’s APIs can be used to create a headless approach, with Augustin Baber using Contenful CMS for their presentation layer and then pulling in components via Shopify, as well as powering the checkout.
All of the templates are very custom (they don’t follow a standard convention at all) and the website and all key functions are really fast again.
The last example (I’ll be adding to this post over time) is extremely simple, but it’s a good example of how it can be approach and it’s Gatsby’s own store.
The single page store simply sells GatsbyJS merchandise and displays products details along with an add to cart. Once you’ve added an item to cart you then progress through to the Shopify checkout.
These are just a few nice examples I found, if you have any others, please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or add them in the comments!