Integrating a Headless Loyalty Program: Technology Explained

Headless commerce is becoming the dominant force in eCommerce. Find out how to launch a headless loyalty program with the same principles.

Launching a Loyalty Program in the Age of Headless Commerce

Following the hyperjump in eCommerce adoption, companies that could make rapid and sweeping changes in customer retention and digitalization managed to emerge successful, while many sleeping giants suffered severe losses. This sentiment is reflected in our Global Customer Loyalty Report 2023, where we found out that 9 out of 10 companies seek to revamp their loyalty program. One of the ways companies can ensure a more seamless, more efficient framework for their future loyalty program is by making it headless, or in other words, API-centric. This article covers everything you need to know about a headless loyalty program,  whether you are new to the concept or just interested in finding out how it works when it comes to loyalty programs.

What Is Headless Commerce and How Does It Work?

Contrary to your first impression, being ‘headless’ in the tech industry means that your infrastructure operates much smarter. Also known as ‘API-centric’, ‘headless’ or ‘headless commerce’  is a technological change in an eCommerce application, resulting in the separation of the frontend and the backend. This approach has been widely used for CMS purposes, but nowadays companies are starting to apply it in other areas of eCommerce.

In practical terms, the API-centric approach boils down to the insertion of an app-based connecting layer between the frontend and backend. Communication occurs via API calls, which results in more streamlined architecture and also produces less network traffic due to smaller payloads.

Traditional vs headless commerce for loyalty programs
The app-based layer is responsible for accepting requests from the frontend, collecting the necessary data from the backend, and then repackaging the information in the most suitable way for the custom frontend layer.

The Main Benefits of Integrating an API-Centric Technology

At first glance, putting an intermediary between two layers adds another level of complexity, but it is actually the exact opposite! For instance, porting your website to mobile using the traditional model may lead to poor experience due to the unoptimized performance and design. The eStore can also suffer as the backend infrastructure limits the potential of frontend customization, preventing the creation of truly personal customer experience.

As such, API-Centric technology simplifies things by unshackling the frontend from the backend. Implementing this type of architecture change takes time and effort, but afterward, you’ll be able to effortlessly manage your existing modules as well as add new ones e.g., a loyalty program or a mobile storefront, into the headless system.

Here are some of the benefits your team could enjoy from utilizing a headless approach:

Product manager

  • Lower development cost
  • Save time on platform integrations
  • Start small, and then scale up


  • Higher conversion rates due to personalized customer experience
  • Old building blocks can be used to create new touchpoints
  • Small frontend changes don’t require database changes


  • New platform integrations take less effort
  • Freedom to choose any frontend framework
  • Faster testing due to isolation


  • The API vendors provide the support and troubleshooting. In some cases, they even provide an extensive API developer portal.
  • API solutions are less taxing on servers
  • Isolating functions reduces the risk of critical failures

Optimizing Your Reward System with a Headless Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs fit perfectly into an established headless ecosystem as loyalty program providers deliver the database while a webpage with an embedded membership page acts as the frontend.

The API-centric approach means that launching the loyalty program is both quicker and easier as the membership page can be set up through the existing frontend provider and then connected to the loyalty vendor’s database via  API endpoints, saving you from a longer implementation process that would require more development time.

A complete frontend still requires the configuration of campaigns, rewards, etc
A complete frontend still requires the configuration of campaigns, rewards, etc. Antavo offers an easy solution to this problem via its user-friendly editing interface.

How Antavo Delivers on the Headless Paradigm

There is no endpoint for being headless as it is more like a sliding scale, where everything slowly moves towards API-based solutions. Antavo is an API-first company that empowers you to provide flexibility and custom experiences with headless-compatible solutions Content API, which enables you to display personalized loyalty data on any device capable of communicating with an API endpoint (including smartphones, computers and smart TVs).

Furthermore, it makes the loyalty management workload a bit easier as they’ll have the option to natively manage the loyalty program, without having to learn another software environment. For example, Antavo’s deep integration with Salesforce allows you to sync loyalty data directly to the Salesforce cloud of your choice.

 Antavo’s integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud empowers you to set up engaging customer journeys.
Antavo’s integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud empowers you to set up engaging customer journeys and build churn prevention campaigns using loyalty data without leaving Salesforce.

API-Centric Solutions Offered by Antavo’s Headless Loyalty Technology

The primary functions of the Antavo Enterprise Loyalty Cloud are accessible using different APIs. These APIs are grouped together based on their purpose or role. Some of these APIs include the following: 

  • Events API – it records every customer-related interaction from ecommerce systems, points of sale, websites, mobile apps or any external system.
  • Display API –it is the main API that assists in the rapid construction of a company’s loyalty site with a headless approach thanks to direct, fast and full access to the loyalty-related features.
  • Customers API it provides a personalized customer experience without jeopardizing privacy, and all data about customers can be accessed effortlessly through it.
  • Entities API – it allows the creation and access control of entities within the database, thus providing a unified view. The flexible nature of the corresponding modules ensures that the most commonly used endpoints are easily accessible.
  • Rewards API – it provides access to the rewards system in Antavo’s Loyalty Platform and adds the ability to claim rewards. It enables rewards redemption in external systems too, such as CRM mobile applications.
Download our Pearl Aqua Product Release to learn more about other important APIs Antavo has developed, such as the Tiers API.

Enter the New Era With Antavo

The world is moving towards being API-centric. Acting now will result in a headstart over the competition. Whether you wish to free up your eCommerce system, wish to be better in personalization, or just wish to introduce a loyalty program as fast as possible, opting for a headless loyalty program is the answer.

Start a conversation today if you are interested in hearing more about how an API-based, headless loyalty program could help your business.

And don’t forget to download Antavo’s Customer Loyalty Report, an in-depth report that showcases dozens of statistics as well as future industry trends to help you navigate the world of next-gen loyalty programs.

A banner recommending to download Antavo’s Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024.
Headshot of Tamas Oszi Senior Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo

Tamas Oszi

Tamas is the Head of Content at Antavo and a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional - CLMP. Tamas is known for having a keen eye for loyalty and customer retention strategies and trends. Tamas is also a true gamer at heart and has an impressive collection of cyberpunk books.

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