Why use Next.js for eCommerce?

By Max Ikaheimo

10th October, 2022

eCommerce is a rapidly growing industry with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Using the best technology for your online store is essential to stay ahead of the competition.

If you’re building an eCommerce site, you may wonder which framework to use. There are many options out there, but we think Next.js is the best choice for building blazing fast storefronts —especially if you’re looking for something efficient and easy to use. 

Next.js provides everything you need to get started, including routing, page lifecycle events, lightning-fast server side rendering, and more, making it a great framework to build your next eCommerce application. 

This article will explore some of the benefits of using Next.js for eCommerce sites so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not Next.js suits your project. 

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What is Next.js?

Next.js is a React framework that gives you building blocks to create web applications and eCommerce storefronts. Unlike React, a library for building user interfaces or the visual component of an eCommerce website.

Since Next.js is a JavaScript framework, it handles the tooling and configuration needed for a React app and provides additional structure, features, and optimizations for your web application. Under the hood, Next.js looks like this: 

Read more: Next.js Development 101

Why Next.js for eCommerce?

Next.js’ tooling lends itself well to eCommerce stores in general. It allows developers to build high-performing static websites, product display pages and catalogs. 

Overall, Next.js commerce has a rather ambitious goal: to become a common interface across every platform. By abstracting a lot of complexity away from developers, it is one of the most flexible, easy-to-customize JavaScript frameworks for developing web applications. 

Next.js’ reusable components make it easy to build consistent interfaces, features, packages, and React components that will work without any hidden dependencies or caveats. 

In addition, Next.js has unique features in its arsenal, making it one of the best front-end frameworks for eCommerce. These include: 

Collaborative tooling 

Vercel launched Next.js Live, a live coding interface where teams can code, draw, and chat in the browser. While this is still a beta feature that’s not available for everyone, once it is, it will unlock a new level of collaboration between developers and non-technical teams. 

Platform agnosticism

One of the cool things about Next.js eCommerce is that you use it with almost every platform. In fact, most commerce platforms and CMSs have a Next.js starter you can tweak to your liking. This way is particularly relevant for brands that want to build shopping experiences. 

Internationalization

Localization and internationalization are a must for global brands. Next.js makes displaying different languages on your eCommerce app easy without performance issues using internationalized routing. 

Image optimization 

In Next.js' image optimization feature, images are only loaded when they enter the viewport, with optional blur-up placeholders. It also offers on-demand image resizing, even for images stored on remote servers, resulting in faster load times and a better product discovery experience. 

Headless commerce

Next.js allows you to develop and deploy headless commerce storefronts that convert using Vercel’s simplified deployment options. You can easily integrate Next.js with composable commerce platforms to create immersive shopping experiences.

Out-of-the-box SEO

Thanks to server side rendering, you can create an interactive NextJS application that’s easier for search engine bots to crawl. Also, thanks to next/head, you can add SEO tags to the page’s head, like title and meta tags.

Huge user community

Next.js has a large and active community behind it that's always happy to help with any issues you might have. If you're looking for a framework backed by a strong community, then Next. js is definitely the right choice for you. 

By default, a web application built with Next.js is performant, SEO-ready, localizable, responsive, and customizable. 

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Next.js and headless architecture

While coupled eCommerce solutions like WooCommerce and traditional Shopify join both frontend and backend functionalities into one seemingly neat package, the reality isn’t as rosy as it looks. 

Traditional commerce creates a monolithic structure where every change you make to your backend has repercussions in your frontend, making it a non-viable choice for fast-moving brands who want to go global.

In contrast, by embracing headless architecture, developers can use the tools they want to build converting shopping experiences. 

With the help of a headless CMS You're all set for success, or a headless commerce platform as a backend, Next.js to build the frontend and third-party tools like product information management solutions and search engines. 

For example, Jamstack architecture advocates for a headless, composable approach to building shopping experiences. Headless commerce decouples the frontend from that backend, meaning you aren't confined to a box like legacy solutions. Instead, you have creative control over the frontend and can choose tools like NextJS as the framework of choice to build components.

That flexibility and freedom transfer to building and maintaining a successful eCommerce website. A web application built on headless tools leverages reusable APIs and GraphQL that help deliver your content from your headless CMS to your frontend to support your design so that you can scale up and down seamlessly. 

As a result, you don't have to worry about rebuilding your entire storefront or being too rigid to scale your business. 

As the market continues to grow and change, you want a solution that will grow and change with you. A traditional eCommerce store sounds great on paper but won't help you stand out. In addition, they don't provide the flexibility that Jamstack eCommerce solutions can. 

👓 Read more: What is composable architecture?

Closing thoughts

If you're looking for an eCommerce solution that can keep up with the rapidly changing landscape, look no further than Next.js and headless commerce solutions. By allowing you to build flexible, fast sites, Next.js gives you the tools you need to take your business to the next level. 

By abstracting away a lot of the complexity developers face, Next.js is one of the most flexible frameworks available today. Its easy-to-customize nature makes it perfect for eCommerce stores that want to build high-performing product display pages and catalogs. 

Contact us if you have a Next.js project you need help with. We can help you turn your idea into a full-fledged Next.js eCommerce storefront.

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