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Why Your Next eCommerce Site Should Be Built on Next.js

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Dominic Gozza

Principal Technical Architect, PeakActivity

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MODERNIZATION

Why Your Next eCommerce Site Should Be Built on Next.js

Dominic Gozza headshot

Dominic Gozza

Principal Technical Architect, PeakActivity

GET MORE INSIGHTS
Graphic image of a speech bubble with code brackets above the words "Talking Tech"
Graphic image of a speech bubble with code brackets above the words "Talking Tech"

It’s easy to forget that behind every aesthetically beautiful, flawlessly operating eCommerce website is a developer (more likely, an army of them) working hard behind the scenes with a full complement of technology tools to bring that lovely, perfectly performing website to life. One tool that’s quickly growing in popularity to help developers achieve that goal is Next.js. 

Next.js powers the web in a new way, enabling unparalleled build times, speed, and usability. In fact, Next.js is used by some of the biggest brands in the world, including Netflix, Uber, and Starbucks. At PeakActivity, we’ve found that utilizing this framework provides our clients’ projects with a significant advantage over their competitors. Not only does Next.js allow us to offer more value more quickly, we’ve also seen a noticeable increase in search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO), because of the out-of-the box functionality that Next.js provides.

Young Black man working on a coding project on his computer

Where Did Next.js Come From?

Developed by Vercel, one of the leading companies helping to support incremental change for the future of web development, Next.js has been around since late 2016. In the beginning, it primarily focused on being a toolkit for universal, server-rendered (or statically pre-rendered) React.js applications. This framework gained gradual adoption from 2016-2020, however, over the last two years or so, there’s been a recognizable surge in the number of technology teams utilizing Next.js. Fortunately, l've had the opportunity to use this framework personally, and I’ve really liked what I’ve seen.

I specifically like Next.js for eCommerce websites because of its ability to build high-performing, statically generated Product Display Pages, Product Catalog Pages, and more. We can leverage static content for these pages by generating all of the pages during build time and serving them to the client with all available information. Then we can utilize things like On-Demand ISR to update the specific pages that need to be updated. For example, if a retailer runs out of a specific product, we can trigger our front-end to update that particular product.

What You Can Build With Next.js 

Next.js allows you to build a wide variety of digital assets and interfaces including:

 Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

 Jamstack Websites

 Web Portals

 Single Web Pages

 Static Websites

 SaaS Products

 eCommerce & Retail Websites

 Dashboards

 Complex Web Applications

 Interactive User Interfaces

Two programmers sitting in a busy office and smiling at the camera

The Benefits of Next.js for Business

Next.js offers a number of benefits that, from a business perspective, can make a big impact, including:

Short Page Load Time

Since Next.js websites are static, they’re incredibly fast, which benefits users in two key ways:

 Web pages can be served in less than 100 milliseconds (ms). The 100ms Rule (if you didn’t know there was such a rule, there is) states that every website interaction should be faster than 100ms, because 100ms is the threshold "where interactions feel instantaneous.”

 We can provide valuable data to our frontends. This means that a user doesn’t have to wait until they’re at the cart page in order to find out that the products they chose are no longer available, giving them the opportunity to look for replacement items.

UX Freedom

You don’t have to limit yourself to any plugins, templates, or any other restrictions dictated by eCommercr or CMS platforms You can customize the frontend any way you like.

Adaptability & Responsiveness

Websites and web applications created with Next.js work on any device and adapt to any screen size or resolution. 

Data Security

With static websites, there is no direct connection to the database, dependencies, user data, or other sensitive information, making them perfectly safe. 

Increased Organic Traffic

Google loves static sites since they are fast, light, and easy to scan. This translates into higher rankings in search results.

Support on Demand

Since Next.js is a React-based framework, it won't be difficult to onboard new experienced engineers to continue supporting your website. React is currently powering over 15 million websites, and the adoption is only growing.

Increased Conversion Rate

Faster load speeds, a better user experience, and high accessibility all contribute to a higher conversion rate.

The Benefits of Next.js for Developers

While there are clearly benefits of using Next.js from a business perspective, there are also benefits to using Next.js if you’re a developer:

Zero Configuration

Next.js allows you to focus on the business logic of your application instead of the application logic. It also provides automatic compilation and bundling. In other words, Next.js is optimized for production right from the start. 

Incremental Static Regeneration

You can update pages by re-rendering them in the background as traffic comes in.So, static content can become dynamic.

Fast Refresh

Edits made on React components are live within seconds. It works analogically to Hot Module Replacement (HMR).

Automatic Code Splitting

Reduce the size of the page by splitting the code and serving components only when needed. Modules can be automatically imported too, thanks to the dynamic import option. 

Typescript Support

Due to the fact that Next.js is written in TypeScript, it comes with an excellent TypeScript support.

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Next.js Is What’s Next

The ability for a company to pivot and adapt to an ever-changing digital ecosystem is important to that company’s survival. A technology team’s ability to identify and leverage the right software, like Next.js, is critical to ensuring that survival. Whether it’s simply helping you become more familiar with all that Next.js can do, or implementing Next.js for a custom tech solution tailored to your exact needs, PeakActivity has the experience to help you make the most out of this cutting-edge framework. 

Learn more about PeakActivity’s technology modernization services to see if they’re right for you.

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