The ultimate guide to choosing a headless CMS for e‑commerce

Published · 7 min read

Cover for The ultimate guide to choosing a headless CMS for e‑commerce

When researching headless CMS systems, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the vast number of options on the market.

And it’s no surprise – even for seasoned members of the headless community, it can sometimes be difficult to understand which platforms are the best fit for a particular use case.

Fortunately for you, in this article we’re going to dive head first into how to select the best headless CMS for e-commerce use cases!

So, what is a headless CMS?

In simple terms, a headless CMS is an API-first content management system that provides no built-in presentation layer. Instead, it delivers content as data which can then be used to create websites, mobile apps, or pretty much anything you want!

This is in stark contrast to more traditional CMS platforms, which are usually geared towards just a single use case (e.g. website development). This limited scope makes it incredibly difficult to reuse content across other channels, such as mobile apps, digital kiosks and other smart devices.

In general, to qualify as a headless CMS, a product must:

  1. Take an API-first approach to content delivery
  2. Allow you to define your own content model
  3. Allow for creation, reading, updating, and deleting of content
  4. Provide businesses with the ability to repurpose content across multiple channels

What is an e-commerce focused headless CMS?

Regular headless CMS products attempt to serve businesses in various niches and simply try to configure their product based on the customers needs. An e-commerce focused platform on the other hand, is purpose built to serve e-commerce brands who wish to decouple their back end from the front end.

As a result, e-commerce focused platforms will include many specialist e-commerce features that regular headless CMS products tend to lack.

1. Content Personalisation

In modern e-commerce, personalisation means more than just showing your customers name at the top of your website.

Customers are increasingly expecting their online shopping experience to be tailored to their own specific needs and interests. They’re no longer interested in wading through endless lists of products that they’ll never buy.

Instead, customers want to be shown the products that they’re more likely to be interested in, so that they can save time and make decisions quicker.

According to Google, people are 40% more likely to spend more than planned when they identify the shopping experience to be highly personalised.

Moreover, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.

Once you understand the benefits that personalisation brings to your e-commerce store, you can really begin to see why having it built into your headless CMS is so important.

LexasCMS is one of the only platforms on the market today that offers personalisation without the need to integrate with an expensive third-party platform.

2. Content Scheduling

E-commerce teams will often plan their content calendar well into the future, and for this reason, a powerful content scheduling tool set is incredibly important.

While most standard headless CMS platforms do provide basic content scheduling functionality, it’s often not enough to fulfil the advanced needs of an e-commerce business.

An e-commerce focused CMS on the other hand (such as LexasCMS), will provide an incredibly flexible set of content planning tools. These tools enable content editors to schedule multiple targeted variations of their content, as far into the future as required.

3. Visual Content Previews

Being able to see how your content will appear to your customers is vital when it comes to managing content. This is even more true when your content can change depending on who is viewing it and when they’re looking at it.

E-commerce brands are likely to have many customer audiences to which they are serving different variations of their content. On top of this, over time those variations could be changing based on predetermined content schedules.

As a result, it can be difficult to keep track of who is seeing which content.

Visual content previews allow you to see your website from the perspective of your customers. This enables you to not only verify that your audiences are configured correctly, but also to find opportunities for further personalisation.

Most platforms don’t offer visual content previews out-of-the-box, making it difficult to see exactly how your content will appear to your customers.

For e-commerce brands, we highly recommend seeking out a CMS that is specifically designed for e-commerce use cases.

4. Multi-Language

E-commerce has made worldwide selling available to any store, no matter how small. If you offer international shipping, you can sell to customers anywhere in the world.

There is one catch, however. If you wish to sell to other markets, your online store's content should really be available in the native language of those markets.

With an e-commerce headless CMS, multi-language support enables you to define the languages that you’d like to support, and provides editors with the tools to easily manage translated content.

Even more importantly, translated content can be easily managed across multiple channels, all from a single dashboard. As a result, you can be confident that your customers will receive a consistent experience, no matter where they view your content or what language they speak.

5. E-commerce Integrations

If you’re looking to switch to a headless CMS, it’s incredibly important that your chosen CMS integrates seamlessly with your chosen e-commerce platform.

Since standard headless CMS platforms are more generic, they are much less likely to offer these integrations out of the box, adding not only further development costs but also burden and maintenance costs to your build.

On the flip side, since e-commerce headless CMSs are designed specifically for this use case, they are far more likely to offer the integration that you need.

In the case of LexasCMS, if we’re missing an integration that you need, we’re even willing to consider adding it to the platform for you!

Standard vs. E-Commerce Headless CMS Features

Standard CMS E-Commerce CMS
Designed for e-commerce
use cases
Content Personalisation
Content Scheduling Basic Advanced
Visual Content Previews Sometimes
E-Commerce Integrations Sometimes
FEaaS Integrations
(i.e. Vue Storefront)


If you’re looking for a robust headless CMS for e-commerce, you should look for platforms that were created with that specific use case in mind.

When a platform claims to support e-commerce along with many other use cases, there’s a high chance that it wasn’t created with e-commerce specifically in mind.

As a result, you’re likely to run into limitations or edge cases that could affect your ability to evolve and progress as a business.

As standard, an e-commerce focused headless CMS will usually offer built-in support for all of the features we discussed in this article. This is personalisation, content scheduling, visual previews, multi-language support, and e-commerce integrations.

Looking for an e-commerce focused headless CMS, and want to see LexasCMS in action? Simply schedule a demo and speak with us today!

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Avatar for Michael Donaldson

Michael Donaldson

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