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5 Best-in-Class Headless eCommerce Examples for Shopify

Gillian Mays

Is going headless worth it, or are you better off with your Shopify store’s legacy structure? Many eCommerce founders have heard of the exciting benefits of headless eCommerce but find it hard to ignore its downsides, like loss of Shopify themes and features and additional site complexities.

The benefits of going headless with Shopify outweigh its disadvantages. It gives you full control over your store's content, design, and performance, creating better shopping experiences for your customers. In this article, we'll highlight five headless eCommerce examples to inspire your own Shopify store makeover.

1. Bols went headless to support its U.S. eCommerce market expansion

A page titled 'the world's first cocktail brand' with color images of cocktails below.

Bols supports its direct-to-consumer strategy with a flexible setup.

Founded by Lucas Bols in 1575, Bols is a Dutch-based distiller and distributor of alcoholic beverages like vodkas, gins, and other spirits.

Bols decided to expand to the U.S. market with a direct-to-consumer strategy. An important part of the expansion process was launching a new website with a flexible setup that allowed their team to create, ship, and manage campaigns seamlessly — hence the need to go headless with Shopify.

Bols partnered with Story of AMS — a web development agency — to integrate Storyblok’s headless CMS with their Shopify backend. Story of AMS used the Shopify storefront API to pull data from the backend to Storyblok. They also used the ‘Shopify Plus Bulk Inviter’ to migrate all Bols’ customer data and invite their existing customers to activate their accounts in the new store.

Result: Bols launched its new U.S.-focused eCommerce store and implemented its direct-to-consumer strategy. With more content flexibility, the Bols marketing team can easily create and ship content-rich storytelling on their eCommerce store. The new website is bringing in good organic traffic with high SEO rankings for different keywords and at least 200,000 to 300,000 users a month.

2. Functional Nutrition expanded its website’s features

A large peach block advertising a sale surrounded by product images of supplements.

Functional Nutrition uses Storyblok to support its eCommerce website.

Functional Nutrition was founded in 2007 by David Brassey, and it’s one of the UK’s largest vitamin and nutritional supplement retailers. The company has an eCommerce store called The Supplement Hub for selling high-quality nutraceuticals.

In the wake of Brexit, Functional Nutrition decided to relocate their business from the UK to the Netherlands. An important part of this process was updating their B2C website to support more features, like multiple payment options and languages. So they decided to take their Shopify store headless.

Functional Nutrition partnered with Story of AMS to create a modern eCommerce website tech stack, with Storyblok as the headless CMS. Story of AMS used an agile, iterative method to handle different phases of the eCommerce website development — from digital rebranding to testing.

Result: Functional Nutrition was able to launch a new B2C eCommerce store that supports local payments, multiple currencies, and multilingual features in less than six months.

3. OneBlade improved site speed and simplified its website's checkout experience

A page labeled 'upgrade your morning ritual' surrounded by product images of razors.

OneBlade sells high-quality razors using their lightning-fast website.

OneBlade wanted to create a unique experience for its customers, but its website’s monolithic structure made this a challenge. For example, the website’s average page load time was about 12 seconds, exceeding the recommended page load time for eCommerce websites, which affects the checkout experience for shoppers. The website's structure also made it difficult for them to customize their store's content and design their storefront.

To improve the shopping experience, OneBlade decided to partner with Avex — a web development agency — to take their Shopify store headless with Shogun frontend, a headless commerce platform.

Result: Going headless provided frontend flexibility, allowing OneBlade to create a custom shopping experience without adding more burden of code that affects website performance. For example, the company was able to implement rich media throughout its eCommerce storefront and 3D product rendering. Even with the added customization and functions, the site's page load time decreased significantly from 12 seconds to 1–2 seconds.

Since the company launched the new website, it’s recorded a 579% increase in active product refill subscriptions, a 30.1% increase in average order value year-over-year, and an 83% decrease in page-to-page load time.

4. Daring Foods created a custom brand experience without affecting its store's performance

Two bags of Daring chicken pieces in color blocks.

Daring decided to go headless so they could have the freedom to run their site exactly how they wanted.

Daring Foods is a plant-based protein brand based in Los Angeles, California. The company offers nutritious, plant-based chicken that's better for the environment.

Daring Foods wanted to implement a custom UI frontend without affecting their website’s shopping experience. Adding dynamic frontend features to a legacy site structure can break the website’s core functions and ruin its performance, affecting search engine visibility and website conversions.

To prevent this, Daring Foods chose to take their Shopify store headless with Shogun Frontend Starter Kit. Going headless would give them the freedom to make changes to the frontend without affecting the backend functions of their eCommerce store.

Result: With a headless frontend, Daring Foods easily implemented content and design updates on its website without bothering heavy backend functions. The website’s performance has improved substantially, resulting in an almost 40% increase in product views sessions.

5. Wüsthof launched a new global direct-to-consumer website

Several product images of knives.

Wüsthof's direct-to-consumer website provides a top-tier customer experience.

Wüsthof is based in Solingen, Germany, and it's one of the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of chef's knives.

Wüsthof wanted to improve its overall brand experience and an important part of this process was launching a modern website that supports content flexibility and swift innovation. To achieve this, the 200-year old company partnered with Vividfront — an Ohio-based web development agency — to launch a modern D2C website comprising of a Shopify backend and Storyblok as the headless CMS.

Result: Wüsthof’s launched a high-performing site that empowers the company to create excellent customer experiences. Within 60 days after the launch of its modern D2C website, the company recorded 39.24% increase in website users, 50% boost in organic website traffic, and 50% increase in revenue.

Going headless can pay off — and it's easier than you think!

Going headless is the right move for eCommerce companies looking for more content flexibility and the freedom to create a unique brand experience for their customers. It might seem daunting at first because you don’t want to disrupt your Shopify store, but the process can be less challenging with the right support from a trusted partner like Storyblok. See how you can go headless with Storyblok.