October 7, 2022

How to Use JAMstack for eCommerce

There are literally thousands of online stores on the internet. But, with ever-evolving technology and more demanding customers, there has been no better time to get rid of old technology and slow, expensive websites with user experiences that are sorely lacking.

This is where JAMstack comes in. You might have heard of it before, as it’s one of the best ways to build faster and safer websites. But does the JAMstack architecture work for eCommerce?

It’s time to find out!

What Is JAMstack?

Before considering why JAMstack is the perfect fit for your eCommerce site, let’s first recap what JAMstack actually means. The term JAMstack was first coined in 2015 by Netlify CEO Matt Billman and Chris Bach.

The ingredients of the JAMStack “JAM” contain:

  • JavaScript, which is responsible for rendering everything the user sees and interacts with on a webpage.
  • APIs, which connect the website’s front and back ends, as well as external services.
  • Markup, which is responsible for serving JAMstack sites as pre-rendered HTML.

The different components are decoupled in the JAMstack (or headless) architecture. Unlike traditional CMSs, the front-end and back-end are separated, and APIs are used to run the server-side processes.

Source: Storyblok

Compared to traditional CMSs, which are built using outdated technology and where the front-end and back-end are closely linked, the decoupled nature of JAMstack offers a few benefits:

  • Improved page speed. JAMstack websites are a lot faster than their monolithic counterparts. This is especially helpful when you consider that about half of website visitors will leave if your site doesn’t load in 2 seconds, and almost all of them if it doesn’t in 3 seconds.
  • Higher search rankings. Page speed doesn’t only keep your visitors happy; search engines like them too. And, because JAMstack pages are light and easy to scan, your site can reach the top of the search results with proper JAMstack SEO practices.
  • Stellar user experience. Because the front-end is decoupled from the back-end, you can create the front-end and user experience you and your visitors have always wanted without worrying if the back-end will keep up.
  • Omnichannel. Because JAMstack websites work on any device, you can provide an omnichannel experience.
  • Security. With traditional CMSs, when a hacker hacks your front-end, they can dig into your back-end and your data. With JAMstack websites, this isn’t a problem because there’s no connection between the components.

Why Use JAMstack for eCommerce?

When it comes to eCommerce, JAMstack also shines. Apart from eliminating the common challenges mentioned earlier, JAMstack has some benefits relating specifically to eCommerce sites.

Sell From Anywhere

So, you’re selling products on your eCommerce site. Want to sell your products on Facebook? Sure. Maybe sell on Amazon? Definitely. What about a mobile app? No problem.

Because with JAMstack, the front and back-end is decoupled, so you can sell your products anywhere and keep the experience integrated.

Oh, and because you work with one back-end, you’ll manage all your products in one place, not on every platform.

The Customisation Sky's the Limit with eCommerce JAMstack

With JAMstack, unlike traditional eCommerce solutions, there’s no back-end to hold you back. You can build the unique storefront you’ve always wanted and the experience your customers will love.

Do you segment your customers based on their needs? Then why not build an experience for every group? As Woody says:

Similarly, you can use any CRO, SEO, or eCommerce tool you can think of without worrying about the app sprawl and how it affects your website speed.

Thanks to the decoupled approach that connects APIs, your additional tooling isn’t slowing down your website.

Developers <3 JAMstack

To work with JAMstack, developers don’t need to be full-stack developers because JAMstack makes it possible to use APIs.

So, developers don’t have to worry about deploying the layout, connecting it with the back-end, and everything in between.

They can just use eCommerce solutions like Shopify for the back-end and focus on creating the front-end. Obviously, this makes development a lot faster and smoother while reducing your costs.

Faster Time to Market

Because developers have an easier time creating eCommerce websites and development is, as we’ve said, a lot faster, you’ll improve your time to market. They’ll also be able to develop new features and functionality faster, so you can become more competitive and launch new features while your competition’s still planning on how to implement them without breaking their site.

JAMstack Is Easier on Your Wallet

Let’s face it, when you can build custom experiences faster, it’ll cost less. It goes further than this, though.

JAMstack sites also need less space and fewer resources than traditional eCommerce sites, which means you’ll spend less on hosting.

And did we mention that you’ll also spend less on maintenance? It’s a win-win, no doubt.

What You’ll Need to Get Started with JAMstack eCommerce

If you don’t have an eCommerce site yet, you’ll need to choose the technologies you’ll use to build it. In other words, you’ll have to choose the JAM in your JAMstack. So, you’ll need to select your:

  • Front-end technology. As mentioned earlier, JAMstack front-ends are built with JavaScript. So, you’ll choose between, for instance, Gatsby.js, Next.js, React.js, and TypeScript.
  • eCommerce platform. You’ll also need an eCommerce platform as your back-end. Here, there are several options from Shopify to BigCommerce, Magento, Saleor, and more.
  • CMS. You can choose between headless CMS tools like Sanity, Strapi, Contentful, and others.
  • Hosting and deployment. Once you’ve chosen all your technologies to build your site, you’ll also need somewhere to host it. Here, you can look at everything from Netlify to AWS.

If you already have an eCommerce site, you can migrate it to JAMstack. To do this, you’ll likely keep your eCommerce platform as long as it provides APIs. You’ll then choose your front-end, CMS, and hosting.

Keep in mind, though, that the migration process will also depend on where you’re migrating from (and to).

Isn’t It Time You Rocked JAMstack?

It’s autumn - the perfect time for making your JAMstack jam! Whether you’re building a new site or enhancing your existing one, JAMstack has what it takes to wow your customers, strengthen your website, and skyrocket you to the top of the search results.

If you’re ready to build a website that lasts, get in touch with us. With our SanityCMS and NextJS engine, we’ll build the eCommerce experience you and your customers have always wanted.


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