Next.js for eCommerce Development

Updated on:
26.06.2024
5.0
427
12 min

If you are considering Next.js as the main framework for developing your e-commerce platform, you must be willing to ensure that it's the right choice.

There are key questions that can help you make an informed decision:

  • What results and benefits have the companies that have already chosen Next.js for their e-commerce platforms experienced?
  • Will using SSR (Server-Side Rendering) and SSG (Static Site Generation) improve performance and page load speeds?
  • How will choosing Next.js affect SEO?
  • How easy is it to scale a project on this framework as the number of users and load increases?
  • Is it easy to integrate Next.js with popular e-commerce platforms (Shopify, Magento, Etsy) or custom solutions?

In this article, you will get detailed answers to each of these questions, as well as a lot of other useful information. We will also honestly discuss the drawbacks, which naturally exist with any solution. Additionally, we will share the secrets of our development team and look at an interesting case study. 

SIt back and get comfortable, as we begin our deep dive into the secrets of Next.js eCommerce Development.

Input data

Next.js is a popular framework for creating server-side and client-side React applications. It was developed in 2016 by Vercel (formerly known as Zeit).

Next.js is unique because it combines two approaches to page generation: Static Site Generation (SSG) and Server-Side Rendering (SSR). This means that developers can choose the appropriate method for each page depending on its purpose and requirements.

For example, pages with frequently changing content can use SSR to ensure data relevance, while pages with static content can be pre-generated using SSG for maximum loading speed.

Furthermore, Next.js provides a built-in component for working with images ("next/image"), which automatically optimizes them. This includes support for various formats, automatic resizing, and loading images only when they appear within the visible area of the screen. This significantly improves application performance and reduces page load times, which is especially important for e-commerce projects.

All these features and other advantages (which we will discuss in detail below) have made the framework a "favorite among giants."

Companies from various industries actively use it in their products:

  • The Washington Post; 
  • Spotify;
  • Stripe;
  • Guinness;
  • Unity and other major players.

Unfortunately, Vercel keeps the number of its users confidential, and we haven't found publicly available statistics.

However, the growing popularity of Next.js in eCommerce development can be inferred from other indicators: the number of job openings related to this framework has increased by more than 50% over the past year (data from Indeed and Google Trends).

Additionally, visiting thematic forums like GitHub or checking relevant threads on Reddit would confirm that Next.js is among the leading tools for developing modern web applications.

Strong features

Next.js is ideally suited for projects that require high performance, flexibility, and customization. In e-commerce, where every millisecond of delay can result in lost customers, this is especially crucial. For example, in one of our projects, after transitioning to Next.js and implementing SSR and SSG, we were able to reduce page load times by 30%, significantly enhancing user experience.

An interesting fact: SOASTA research indicates that increasing page load speed by 1 second can lead to a 20% increase in conversion rates.

There are other advantages of Next.js from the perspective of the client/owner and end user that are worth discussing in more detail.

SEO

Imagine playing football where the rules change every time you step onto the field. That's how SEO works (especially with Google). However, there are fundamental aspects that can help you win. 

Search engines love:

  • Fully rendered pages (which facilitate indexing and increase content visibility)
  • Low bounce rates due to fast loading times
  • Clean and logical URL structures
  • Automatic mobile optimization
  • Logical, simple, and smooth navigation
  • Optimized meta tags
  • Properly configured redirects

All of this and even more can be easily implemented into your project using Next.js.

Example: Instead of unclear URLs like /product?id=123, the framework allows you to use URLs like /category/product-name. This makes the application more understandable for search engines and users.

All these details, when implemented together, positively impact the growth of organic traffic and the position of your project in search engine results.

Reliability, Security, Scability

Regular updates and security enhancements from the Next.js development team and community ensure reliable protection of user information and stable operation of web applications.

Moreover, thanks to the simplicity of deployment and rollbacks, data can be quickly restored in case of unforeseen issues.

The framework easily scales to handle increasing traffic and load. A Next.js eCommerce application can effortlessly manage a sudden surge in shoppers during sales or holiday promotions.

Flexibility, Ease of Use, Competitiveness

Next.js can be used to create a wide range of web applications, from simple single-page sites to complex eCommerce projects at the level of Johnson & Johnson.

Thanks to its intuitive architecture and rich ecosystem of components and features, the framework accelerates the development process and can often significantly reduce its cost.

Advantages of Next.js from a Development Perspective

We surveyed our development team to find out which features and capabilities they appreciate in this framework for React applications and why they prefer it over others.

Based on the summarized responses, we created our modest ranking of the Top 5 Advantages of eCommerce with Next.js according to Wezom.

API Routes 

The ability to create server-side functions within a project using API routes. This means handling requests (forms, authentication, interaction with the database) without the need to create a separate server. This makes Next.js a versatile tool suitable for both frontend and backend development, significantly simplifying the application's architecture.

Powerful TypeScript Support

Next.js has excellent integration with TypeScript, making it a great choice for developing large projects where type-checking is important. TypeScript helps prevent many errors at the compilation stage, improves code autocomplete and refactoring, speeds up the development process, and enhances the quality of the final product.

In Next.js, simply adding a tsconfig.json file will automatically configure the project to work with TypeScript.

Ease of Deployment

Next.js significantly simplifies the process of deploying e-commerce websites on various hosting platforms such as Vercel, Netlify, AWS, and Google Cloud. This framework ensures a seamless deployment process, reducing downtime and allowing for quick rollbacks if necessary.

Collaborative Coding with Next.js Live

A tool that makes the development process more inclusive and efficient. With it, developers and non-technical specialists can work on projects together, even if they are in different parts of the world. It features a board for visual idea and task sharing, and a voice chat for comments and discussions.

Integration? Nothing Could Be Easier!

Including various UI frameworks such as Material UI, Ant Design, and others. There is even a dedicated and detailed integration guide created for Shopify. Overall, adding any payment systems and third-party APIs is a simple and quick process.

Weaknesses

If a perfect solution for development ever emerges, we solemnly promise to announce it in our blog. Unfortunately, all frameworks have some drawbacks, and Next.js is no exception.

Large volume of scripts

Large volumes of data can slow down page loading and have a negative impact on user experience, especially on mobile devices with limited bandwidth.

Solution: make indexable pages lighter

Duplicate pages in multilingual web applications

A common issue that has a highly negative impact on SEO. It leads to lower rankings (Google is particularly strict about this) and significant slowdown in page loading times. 

Solution: In some cases, implement redirects; in others, return a 404 page.

Challenges with Google Cache

Google does not always correctly cache dynamic pages based on data or user input, leading to outdated or incomplete search results.

Next.js is not always compatible with content delivery networks (CDNs), which leads to performance issues.

Solution: currently there are no solutions.

Comparison of Next.js with other popular e-commerce frameworks and platforms

There are many other popular solutions for building e-commerce applications. Let's conduct a comparative analysis to help you make an informed decision.

Feature

Next.js

Shopify

Magento

WooCommerce

OpenCart

Performance

High (SSR, SSG)

High 

High but demanding

Depends on configuration

Average

SEO

Excellent

Basic

Good

Excellent (thanks to WP)

Good

Scalability

High

Average

Very high

Average

Average

Flexibility

High

Limited

Very high

Average

Average

Ease of Use

Requires knowledge

Very easy

Complex

Easy

Easy

Built-in Features

None

Many

Many

Basic

Basic

Integration 

Easily integrates with API

Limited

Extensive capabilities

Good

Extensive

Community and Support

Wide, Vercel support

Excellent support

Paid support

Many plugins

Excellent community

Secutiry

Top-notch

Excellent

Very high

Depends on plugins used

High

Cost

Depends on hosting and development

Monthly subscription + commissions

High ownership cost

Free, but requires paid plugins

Almost free

DevOps

Support

Excellent integration with Vercel

Built-in tools

Requires setup

Requires setup

Customizable tools

Popular use cases

eCommerce projects, Web applications, complex custom solutions

Small businesses, quick launch

Projects for large and medium businesses

Business, blogs, and WP stores

Small and medium businesses

It should be emphasized that all these assessments are purely the personal opinions of our team, and you may not agree with them. However, it cannot be denied that Next.js outperforms many others and is an undisputed leader in most aspects.

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Case Study from the Wezom Team

Want to create an innovative service from scratch in 3 months? Some might say 'Impossible!' But not our team. Much of this remarkable achievement was made possible thanks to our use of the Next.js framework in this project, which significantly accelerated our development timeline. But let's discuss it step by step.

  1. Client: Large retailer, FMCG store chain  
  2. Goal: To create a "supermarket killer" – a platform for convenient ordering of consumer goods  
  3. Idea: DarkStore, which will combine the functionality of a convenient online store with the best experience of courier delivery services.

Task 

  • Integrate all digital platforms (for couriers, clients, managers) through a single backend into a unified ecosystem. 
  • Synchronize databases, business processes, and tools. 
  • Ensure seamless operation coupled with impeccable customer service. 

Additionally, such an innovative product requires integration with third-party tools:

  • Google Maps API for the courier application;
  • Various payment services to meet customer preferences;
  • Аccounting purposes;
  • CRM for storing order information, support, sales tracking, and conducting marketing campaigns;
  • High-quality warehouse management system.

Equally important was implementing a dynamic catalog: the assortment available to the user depends on the inventory at the nearest dark store. This was essential to ensure delivery of any order within 15 minutes.

Technology Stack

Our team worked cohesively and demonstrated deep knowledge and proficiency across a wide range of technologies.

  • Laravel and PHP: We adeptly used these programming languages to create reliable and scalable server-side code, ensuring high project performance.
  • Next.js: This technology enabled us to build a robust and secure digital platform, implement dynamic and interactive elements, and provide conditions for seamless SEO optimization.
  • Java and .NET: Used for integrating third-party systems and services into the project, expanding capabilities, and implementing functional features.
  • GraphQL: With this technology, we optimized the API, making it faster, more convenient, and flexible.

Outcome

Developing projects of such scale typically takes a year or more. What's particularly remarkable is how swiftly the Wezom team accomplished this!

Thanks to innovative technologies and robust digital platforms, we resolved all potential sales and logistics management issues. The project stands a good chance of revolutionizing the market.

The speed of request processing increased by 70%, leading to higher overall customer satisfaction, increased virality, and a higher number of new users coming through recommendations. As a result, the client doubled their profit due to the influx of new customers and a daily flow of requests that continues to grow.

We take pride in these results and in flawlessly implementing the client's ideas within the established timelines. You can read more about case here:

eCommerce
Darkstore: next-generation grocery retail
Read more
Darkstore: next-generation grocery retail

Final Takeaways: is Next.js Good for E-commerce?

Next.js offers numerous advantages that make it an excellent choice for developing e-commerce platforms. Its server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG) capabilities ensure high performance and SEO optimization, which are crucial for online stores reliant on search engine traffic. With built-in support for PWA, image optimization, and responsive design, Next.js enhances user experience by providing fast loading times and smooth navigation.

However, like any tool, Next.js has its drawbacks. It may require more complex setup and additional server resources, potentially increasing development and hosting costs. Additionally, developers may need time to familiarize themselves with Next.js's specific features, especially if they are not already proficient in React.

However, the Wezom team has significant experience that allows us to mitigate these drawbacks and harness Next.js as a powerful tool for creating efficient and successful e-commerce platforms.

Alex
Interested in Boosting Your eCommerce Platform with Next.js?
At Wezom, we have the expertise and experience to harness the full potential of Next.js, ensuring your e-commerce platform stands out in a competitive market. Our team is committed to delivering high-quality, scalable solutions tailored to your specific needs.
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