5 Headless Commerce Solutions for Retailers

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Headless commerce is one of the latest innovations to hit the retail industry, offering both online and offline retailers the opportunity to decouple the purchasing and payments experience from their websites while also giving shoppers the ability to complete transactions from almost anywhere.

Although Fast has been an early pioneer, the San Francisco-based startup isn’t alone in the space. Technology firms of all sizes are finding ways to put their own unique stamp on headless commerce, building specialized applications and developing custom, portable checkouts that aren’t tied to specific e-commerce platforms.

With consumer spending continuing to rebound after the 2020 slump, and consumers becoming even more sophisticated in how they shop across digital channels, retail brands are looking for new ways to interact and sell online. With full implementation of headless commerce, brands will someday be able to engage consumers on platforms that aren’t known as traditional sales vehicles, including connected gym equipment, home appliances, voice assistants, and social apps.

These are five firms working on headless commerce technology right now.

1. Fast

Fast is an early leader in the headless commerce space, with technology that allows consumers to convert with one-click wherever they encounter a product. Fast’s checkout button can be placed nearly anywhere, making it so that shoppers can quickly complete transactions without registering or creating any accounts on the brand’s website. Backed by Stripe, as well as Addition, Index Ventures, Susa Ventures, and Sugar Capital, Fast has been able to form strategic partnership agreements with brands like Gerard Cosmetics and Vinik Sports Group, parent company of the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

2. Rally

Rally is an early-stage startup poised to make a big name for itself in the online commerce space. Rally is using web3 principles and innovation in crypto to build a checkout that allows value to flow outward, toward merchants, rather than inward, toward traditional payment processors. The company’s optimized one-click checkout system can be set up with post-purchase offers. Merchants have the option to choose the frontend and backend services they want, both on traditional platforms and headless. Rally says its solution solves the platform problem in e-commerce by ensuring merchants can run their businesses however they want and app developers can also participate in the upside of the online commerce ecosystem.

3. Bold Commerce

Bold Commerce is a tech firm that builds specialized e-commerce applications for more than 90,000 direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. The company works with brands to launch custom checkouts that run on any digital channel or platform. That means brands don’t need to have a traditional e-commerce website to sell online, and consumers can purchase their items through any digital channel. Bold describes its headless commerce solution as a “checkout experience suite,” giving businesses tools including subscription capabilities and a Price Rules Engine, which turns complicated pricing capabilities into detailed sales strategies.

4. Fabric

Flexible and powerful are how Fabric describes its headless e-commerce platform. Working with high-profile brands like GNC, Crate and Barrel, and Pier 1, Fabric gives retailers a way to design, implement, and optimize commerce experiences without coding. Fabric’s suite of e-commerce APIs separates the frontend of the sales channel from backend systems, helping retailers scale and adopt the kinds of agile practices that are needed to create personalized shopping experiences. All of Fabric’s services are run through loosely coupled microservices to ensure smooth operation. 

5. Slatwall

Slatwall is an enterprise-ready headless commerce solution. As an open-source, cloud-native platform, Slatwall says it can integrate with all of a retailer’s existing core systems. The company’s omnichannel solution is used by businesses to sell online across all devices and channels. With the Slatwall Commerce for Contentful app, businesses looking to launch new storefronts, or upgrade existing stores, can realize the full benefits of headless commerce and content management.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.