Headless B2B e-commerce – why your company should consider this approach and how to implement it successfully

In the face of digitization, the B2B e-commerce industry has experienced very dynamic changes in recent years, which still compel enterprises to adopt advanced technologies. Among these, headless and composable e-commerce architectures are definitely worth mentioning. They stand out as a response to growing market demands and buyer expectations.

This article: 

Demonstrates how the industry has changed over the last few years

Analyses why these innovative approaches should be chosen by enterprises aiming to increase their competitiveness

Presents solutions offered by Hycom

The article is largely based on B2B e-commerce industry research published under the name "B2B Pulse" by McKinsey, and on Hycom's extensive experience in designing, building, and implementing such solutions for our clients. 

B2B E-commerce evolution according to McKinsey analysis

The "B2B Pulse" reports show significant transformations in the B2B e-commerce sector that directly impact corporate strategies. Most of the changes mentioned in the reports are challenges that Hycom faces daily. 

Omni-channel sales is a chance for B2B

McKinsey emphasizes that companies applying omnichannel strategies have seen an increase in customer engagement, enhanced loyalty, and growth of sales. Introducing multi-channel customer service, through both traditional and digital sales channels, is essential for modern enterprises. 

Source: mckinsey.com

In recent years, among all supported sales channels, the e-commerce channel has taken the lead - such sales activities are currently considered the most effective and are associated with the largest investments by B2B market leaders. 

Source: mckinsey.com

The increasing importance of data analysis and personalization of customer experiences

Research shows that personalization of experiences based on customer data analysis can lead to a sales increase of up to 20%. Companies that invest in and use personalization techniques significantly outperform their competitors. 

Source: mckinsey.com

The solutions are becoming increasingly sophisticated, to the extent that it is even called hyper-personalization — companies are communicating with potential buyers by targeting specific roles or even individual people, using analytical data not only related to their previous activities, but they even attempt to predict customers behaviour. Predictive analytical tools are used to anticipate what the customer may expect. 

Half of the respondents who invested in tools allowing for the personalization of communication with buyers achieved market share growth, and as many as 77% of companies saw an increase after implementing personalization based on data about specific buyers and relying on direct contact with them. 

Continuously increasing customer expectations

Reports indicate that many B2B customers now expect not only high levels of service during the sales process but also after-sales service. 

Meeting such requirements in terms of the functionalities offered by an e-commerce/online self-service system is obviously important in maintaining their loyalty. Among these expectations, increasingly complex requirements are emerging, the absence of which can influence customers' decisions to change suppliers.

Users expect: 

Accurate product availability information

Product reviews/ratings

The ability to purchase through any channel

Ease of placing orders in the mobile channel

SSO login to all systems

Product visualization (even in 3D)

Full and always accessible customer service (self-service, after-sales)

Source: mckinsey.com

Companies that adapt their systems to such high demands notice a significant improvement in customer satisfaction and an increase in their loyalty. 

B2B evolution and technological decisions – are headless and composable commerce solutions for new challenges? 

This fast pace of development of B2B e-commerce forces companies to invest in innovations and directly influences the need to adopt new technological solutions.  Without continuous technological development, keeping up with the competition could undoubtedly become impossible. 

Building a system that can adapt to such a dynamic environment, one that can handle multi-channel operations and new customer expectations, presents a significant challenge. However, our experience shows that solutions based on the 'headless/MACH' and 'composable commerce' paradigms meet these challenges effectively. There are many areas where such systems are a great fit. 

Flexibility in managing multiple channels

Technological solutions compliant with MACH, thanks to the decentralization of architecture (separating the business logic layer from the presentation layer), allow companies to more easily deliver consistent experiences, content, and functionalities across various sales channels without the need for modifications in every layer of architecture and across different applications. This enables enterprises to respond more effectively to changes in customer purchasing preferences and to more quickly address the high expectations related to system functionalities in multiple channels. 

Optimization of customer service through data utilization and personalization features

Sophisticated personalization techniques undoubtedly require the use of dedicated, innovative analytical tools and AI algorithms that analyse user behaviour to help create personalized product recommendations or offers. In most cases it more optimal to buy this kind of tools instead of developing them in-house. The composable architecture allows for easy integration of independent, various business services/functions (known as packaged business capabilities, PBCs, according to Gartner), including the personalization engines mentioned here. 

Scaling in response to high market and user expectations

Expanding the system's capabilities with complex functions, which are increasingly expected by users, through the integration of various types of services or data sources is possible at any moment without negatively impacting the entire architecture of the solution — the same applies to the updates of services that the system already uses. 
The modularity of this architecture is certainly a feature that influences the ease of scaling or future maintenance of such a complex system." 

Challenges in implementing headless solutions

Implementing headless architecture involves many challenges that may require strategic considerations, investments, and primarily an experienced team. Here, we focus on analysing a few selected challenges and how we support our clients in overcoming them. 

Technological complexity

Implementing composable commerce systems requires advanced technological skills and often changes in organizational structure, which can be a barrier for companies with limited IT resources. Hycom supports such efforts through the participation of experts in project realization and through the use of our own tools and accelerators like Prosperer (a unified platform supporting sales processes and after-sales customer service, compliant with MACH principles). 

Implementation costs

The initial costs of switching to a headless architecture can be high; however, these are investments that bring long-term benefits, such as increased flexibility, efficiency, and scalability. Accelerators provided by Hycom significantly reduce these costs by speeding up the implementation of the entire solution and providing a solid technological foundation for further stable development. 

Lack of front-end features and the necessity to create them from scratch

Implementing such complex solutions is a challenge already at the design and composition stage of the backend layer, and one must not forget about client-facing applications and the user interface. Typically, digital storefronts’ creation for headless backends means custom development fully "from scratch." 

Hycom also offers solutions in this area that accelerate delivery — the Prosperer platform includes a modern storefront that meets the latest standards, is built on proven technologies and architecture, offering both web and native mobile applications, thereby supporting self-service and sales across multiple channels. One of examples of Prosperer’s deployments is osadkowski.pl – it is powered by our Next.js base headless storefront, integrates with underlying APIs through a middleware, orchestrating service and reuses UI components from our vast library. E-commerce capabilities are provided by Oro Commerce.


Adopting headless or composable solutions in B2B e-commerce enables significantly greater operational flexibility, better integration with new technologies, and quicker responses to market changes. 

The research results presented in the article can certainly convince that investing in these technologies will ensure that companies opting for such solutions will be better prepared to handle complex and dynamically changing B2B markets. Dedicated tools and the experience of the Hycom team can additionally ensure that such an investment will pay off quicker.