Custom shopping experiences

If your business model doesn't fit in to any of the sales channels and apps that Shopify and our partners offer, then you can use developer tools (APIs and SDKs) to build your own solutions. These tools, referred to as the custom storefront tools, let you create the following types of shopping experiences:

  • Build custom websites: Personalize the front end of your website and create a storefront with the JavaScript SDK. In this case, you'd replace the Online store channel and Liquid themes with a custom storefront built using the languages and tools that you prefer.
  • Add commerce to your mobile app: Build shopping experiences into your iOS and Android apps by using the mobile SDKs.
  • Turn gamers into customers: Insert shopping experiences into games with the Unity SDK.
  • Sell on custom channels: Use the Storefront API to have full control over on any platform.

Headless commerce and custom storefronts

Headless commerce is an architecture where the front end and back end of your website are independent. A custom storefront is an example of a headless commerce model. When you create a custom storefront, you replace the Online store channel (front end) with a storefront that you've created, and then you connect it to Shopify (back end). Your customers can browse products, add them to a cart, and then check out using the Shopify Checkout. You can also add other tools (for example, a shipping and fulfillment tool) to Shopify to help process your orders.

Headless commerce doesn't apply just to online stores. For example, Shopify can also be used in other kinds of shopping experiences such a mobile apps, video games, smart devices, and more.

Complex solutions can involve connecting other business systems, for example a content management system (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or product information management (PIM) system to the front end or the back end.

Create custom shopping experiences

To create custom shopping experiences for your customers, choose from the following options:

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