Catalyst for Composable Commerce Image Banner (opens in a new tab)

Catalyst is the composable, fully customizable headless ecommerce storefront framework for BigCommerce (opens in a new tab). We've built Catalyst with Next.js (opens in a new tab), React (opens in a new tab) storefront components, and our GraphQL Storefront API (opens in a new tab).

When you use Catalyst, you can create a fully functional storefront using our CLI and get to work without wiring up APIs or building ecommerce components from scratch that are optimized for SEO, accessibility, and performance. Catalyst is designed to take care of the essentials so you can focus your efforts on building your brand and adding those special features that take storefronts to the next level.

You can find a demo version of Catalyst at https://catalyst-demo.site/ (opens in a new tab), hosted on Vercel in a US region.

Ecommerce functionality

Catalyst has a production-ready business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce funnel, including the following features:

  • Home page
  • Faceted search on product listing pages (PLPs) which are dynamically created for each category and brand
  • Full-text search
  • Product detail pages (PDPs) which are dynamically created for each product and published to the Catalyst storefront channel
  • Shopping cart
  • Secure redirected headless checkout page, which can be themed to match the styling of the core Catalyst storefront

Default state of Catalyst

Out-of-the-box, Catalyst has the following capabilities you can use to further build your storefront:

Brand or retailer experience

  • Platform feature support. Users' changes made from the BigCommerce store control panel or through APIs appear on the storefront as expected.
  • Complex catalog support. Catalyst supports product catalogs of any size, complexity, or update frequency.

Developer experience

  • Scalable GraphQL implementation. Catalyst features scalable implementation of the GraphQL Storefront API.
  • Minimal infrastructure dependencies. Catalyst can be deployed to any hosting provider that supports Node.js.
  • Making the most of modern Next.js features. Catalyst uses React server components (opens in a new tab) and Suspense (opens in a new tab) boundaries in preparation for partial pre-rendering (opens in a new tab).
  • Components. Catalyst provides functionally complete ecommerce components and a pre-optimized site architecture for performance, SEO, and accessibility.
  • Unopinionated visual design. Visually, Catalyst is a "blank sheet of paper" that's ready to be transformed into a stellar ecommerce brand. Catalyst components use Tailwind CSS (opens in a new tab) to accelerate development.

Shopper experience

  • Optimized shopping experiences. Catalyst provides a guest shopper experience optimized for speed and supports the dynamic experiences that matter to logged-in customers.
  • Secure checkout. Catalyst uses an optimized one-page redirected checkout on our hosted SaaS environment to simplify PCI compliance. By default, your headless storefront never collects or transmits personally identifiable information (PII) such as credit card numbers.


Customers have accounts on the store and can sign in to see orders, manage their accounts, and more. Shoppers browse the storefront but don't have accounts.

Configuration recommendations

We expect you will prioritize some of these features over others as you make Catalyst your own. We recommend exploring the following configurations as you build:

  • A caching backend. For example, using Vercel KV may improve the performance of our with-routes middleware.
  • Using microservices. Externally hosted databases and third-party APIs can expand the feature set and data persistence available to Catalyst storefronts.
  • Evaluating middleware. Assess the costs and benefits of the default Catalyst middleware. You may tailor the middleware for your use case or remove it altogether.
  • Additional catalog optimization. You can tune Catalyst's performance based on your store's catalog size, complexity, and update frequency. For example, a catalog with a small number of products and infrequent updates may be able to take advantage of static generation, whereas a large catalog with frequent changes may lean into an aggressive caching strategy that relies on webhooks.


Catalyst storefronts can use Algolia (opens in a new tab) for a global search across all products, categories, and more. For a basic integration, see the Catalyst Algolia integration (opens in a new tab) code exchange on the Algolia website.

Future releases

Over time, we plan to expand Catalyst to include all our default storefront features, including feature parity with our fully hosted Stencil storefront platform (opens in a new tab).

Future releases of Catalyst will expand our feature set to include full coverage of customer-specific features, including price lists, customer groups, and checkout for logged-in customers. We are currently prioritizing the logged-in Customer My Account area, including but not limited to order history, customer profiles, etc.

We plan to add full support for B2B Edition in a future release.

We are also targeting improvements for brands and retailers who sell cross-border, such as language localization and currency features.

We welcome feedback in GitHub Discussions (opens in a new tab) on how we should prioritize these enhancements, where we will provide a public view of our roadmap.