Jamstack is a popular web architecture that aims to improve website performance, security, and scalability. However, is it suitable for creating online stores? In this blog, we will explore Jamstack for ecommerce, its advantages, how it can be implemented in the online retail industry, and factors to consider before using Jamstack for ecommerce development.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in the use of ecommerce in the retail industry. With public health concerns and extended lockdowns, businesses had to shift to online sales to survive. The adoption of digital sales accelerated the digitization of supply chain operations by three to four years, equivalent to a decade’s worth of progress. This sudden shift was unexpected. In response, retailers adapted their traditional operations and supply chains to meet customer demands and keep their business running. As of now, the world is gradually returning to pre-pandemic norms, with people resuming their usual activities, albeit with mandatory masks and social distancing. However, some e-retailers who relied heavily on ecommerce during the pandemic are now more negative about its future.
Due to the rapid increase in online sales during the pandemic, fulfilment costs have gone up, resulting in a 10-20% reduction in ecommerce revenues and affecting profit margins. The rise in consumer demand has led to intense competition, making it challenging for e-retailers to attract and retain customers. To achieve sustainable growth, e-retailers must adapt quickly and efficiently while keeping costs under control. Modern technologies can help solve common problems like poor user experience, high maintenance costs, slow page speed, and reduced organic site traffic. A solid foundation is essential to overcome these obstacles and minimize maintenance expenses.
The significant rise in businesses using Jamstack to power their web pages, with an 85% increase in desktop web pages and a 147% increase in mobile web pages in 2020, indicates that the adoption of Jamstack web development is on a consistent upward trend. This raises the question of what makes Jamstack an exceptional choice for businesses, which we will explore.
What is Jamstack for ecommerce?
Jamstack can be considered as a web application development service, as it focuses on building complex web applications with advanced functionality and interactivity. However, Jamstack can also be used for website development and so as part of the website development services, it can create fast and efficient websites that are easily scalable and secure. Ultimately, whether Jamstack is used for web application development or website development will depend on the specific needs and goals of the project.
Jamstack framework generates and executes the codebase and sends the created files to the Content Delivery Network (CDN). It does not function with HTML, and the CDN provides pre-built files upon request. In Jamstack, the server-side rendering procedures can be utilized as reusable APIs. Developers can either create them themselves or use third-party services like Contentful for CMS and Stripe for commerce. Jamstack’s headless approach allows its sites to be exceptionally rapid and efficient on web servers.
An Overview of the Ecommerce Market
Statista reports that the number of digital buyers has increased annually, with more than two billion people purchasing goods or services in 2020, resulting in e-retail sales surpassing $4.2 trillion. This figure is expected to increase by 50% by 2025, reaching $7.4 trillion in four years.According to the “State of the Jamstack 2021” report, 592 developers worldwide reported that the most significant advantage of Jamstack is its high performance. Additionally, 45% and 42% of web developers mention that they choose Jamstack because of its security and cost-effectiveness.
Ecommerce businesses opt for a headless approach due to its capacity to rapidly scale up and provide customized shopping experiences to end-users using their preferred frontend technology. In response, ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce have focused on creating API-first and flexible solutions to support headless commerce functionality.
Benefits of Using Jamstack for Ecommerce
If you have made the decision to enhance your online store using Jamstack or to create an ecommerce presence with this web framework, you are in for a pleasant experience. The following are the top advantages of using Jamstack for ecommerce:
1. You can Sell Your Products Everywhere
By building an ecommerce site on Jamstack, you can separate your frontend and backend layers. This enables you to easily showcase your products on different online platforms such as Amazon and Facebook. You can manage all your digital sales channels from a single location in real-time, without the need to make manual updates across multiple platforms.
2. Unlimited UX Possibilities
Jamstack empowers you to create a customized storefront for your clients, providing them with personalized shopping experiences that make you stand out in the market. You can develop a bespoke storefront or PWA by leveraging Shopify, BigCommerce, or other ecommerce platforms. Additionally, if you cater to various customer groups, you can provide a unique experience for each of them. This feature is challenging to achieve on other popular ecommerce platforms.
3. Enhanced Time to Market
Jamstack streamlines the development process, resulting in a faster time to market and an improved developer experience. It allows you to customize your ecommerce store to provide unique customer experiences, create additional touchpoints for customers to find your products, and design user interfaces tailored to your preferences. All this is achieved without sacrificing quality or innovation on Jamstack.
4.Full-stack Development Experience is Not Needed
Developers can work effortlessly on Jamstack, as they can create the frontend layer without worrying about the backend layer, from deploying the layout to connecting it with the backend layer. Jamstack’s framework enables the use of APIs, allowing developers to depend on ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce for the backend. This way, they can concentrate on developing the frontend layer without worrying about the backend.
5. Costs lower than the traditional route
Jamstack websites are relatively static and require less storage space than dynamic sites. As a result, they are less expensive to host. Additionally, the costs of development are lower than creating a website from scratch, and the maintenance process is much simpler.
6. Increased security
Jamstack sites are less susceptible to security breaches as they do not have a traditional database. This eliminates the risk of server or database vulnerabilities, giving you a more secure ecommerce store. If you use Jamstack for ecommerce development, you can keep cyberattacks at bay.
7. Faster and higher performing sites
The speed of a website is an important factor and Jamstack sites are known for their fast loading times. This is because the setup is simple, with static files hosted on CDNs. This is particularly important for ecommerce websites because even a delay of one second can lead to a decrease in page views by 11% and a drop in customer satisfaction by 16%.
How does Jamstack work in ecommerce?
Creating an ecommerce storefront using Jamstack involves a straightforward process consisting of five steps. Firstly, you’ll need to design the layout of your store. Secondly, you’ll create a static site using a Static Site Generator (SSG). Thirdly, you’ll integrate a headless Content Management System (such as Contentful) to manage your site content. Fourthly, you’ll implement a headless commerce solution to handle your online transactions. Finally, you’ll deploy your website to a Content Delivery Network (CDN), allowing for fast and efficient distribution of your content to your customers.
Jamstack for eCommerce: Factors to Consider Before Using It
1. Integration of ecommerce functionalities and static sites
It is a common misunderstanding that static sites lack the ability to support features necessary for an eCommerce store, such as multi-gateway payments, product searches, and product recommendations. However, this is not true. To build an ecommerce store on a static site, you can use third-party applications or APIs to enable the features you need. The key is to choose the right vendors that can provide the necessary features without compromising the website’s speed or performance.
2. The overall build time for huge online stores with volumes of web pages
While Jamstack can handle huge ecommerce stores, it requires every web page to be rebuilt, even for minor changes. This could be very time-consuming for ecommerce sites with thousands of pages and products. However, incremental builds can solve this issue. Next.js and Gatsby are open-source web development frameworks that pre-render site assets and serve them statically, eliminating the need for server support. When changes are made to the product catalog or site content, only the modified portion of the site is rebuilt, reducing build time significantly. This feature is available in Next.js and Gatsby Cloud, allowing large ecommerce stores with volumes of pages to migrate to JAMstack. However, there may still be a delay between publishing changes and seeing the output.
3. Creating new or rebuilding of plugins
When using a Jamstack ecommerce solution, there is a risk of breaking the connection between the codebase running on the hosting server and the codebase running on the end user’s browser. This can lead to issues with plugins that rely on both codebases. To address this, you may need to find third-party services that can provide custom solutions to replace the broken plugins and integrate them into your Jamstack ecommerce site.
4. Moving parts that cannot be disregarded
Using too many plugins and APIs can increase the risk of errors and require expertise to manage. With Jamstack ecommerce sites, a backend, content management system, and various third-party apps are typically used, such as analytics and reporting tools. It’s important to have the necessary in-house knowledge and skills to address any issues that may arise with the ecommerce site.
5. It’s high implementation costs
6. JAMstack technologies or Jamstack for eCommerce
When planning to develop an ecommerce site using Jamstack, you need to carefully consider your tech stack. This includes choosing the right frameworks and platforms for your frontend, backend, and content management system. Good options for the frontend include React.js, TypeScript, Gatsby.js, and Next.js. For the eCommerce platform, you can choose from options such as Shopify, Magento, Saleor, Crystallize, and BigCommerce, as they integrate well with JAMstack. Content management systems like WordPress, Sanity, Contentful, and Strapi are also great choices. When it comes to hosting and development, you can opt for Vercel, AWS, Netlify, or Firebase. It’s important to choose the right tech stack that suits your needs for a successful Jamstack ecommerce site.
7. Jamstack migration
You have two options when migrating to Jamstack: use your current ecommerce platform as a headless solution, or move to a different platform and use that as a headless solution. The success of the migration process depends on what you are migrating and where you are migrating it to. Personalizing a storefront is one scenario, while syncing ecommerce with a storefront via a plugin is another.
Jamstack is a popular modern web architecture with various advantages for businesses. For ecommerce sites, it can enhance the shopping experience of your visitors. The Jamstack community continuously develops new possibilities for what one can do with it.
If you want to collaborate with an efficient custom website development company with excellent website development services and ecommerce development services, that focuses on delivering intuitive designs and premium security measures to enable you to conduct your business digitally with confidence, reach out to Cleffex!