Table of Contents
- Briefly about Vasilij’s Experience
- Why Is Node.js Used for e-Commerce Apps?
- When to and When Not to Use Node.js for e-Commerce App Development
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Node.js for e-Commerce App Development
- Best Node.js Frameworks to Use for e-Commerce App Development
Given the undeniable growth in the popularity of web applications, a multifunctional and user-friendly one is a must for business. When deciding on the future functionality of an e-Commerce store, a business needs to understand the importance of the platform’s scalability and the ability to integrate it with payment gateways, logistics systems, delivery systems, and others. All this requires a reliable backend that can withstand various loads. And being able to handle high loads is one of the many reasons that makes Node.js a great solution for e-Commerce. We spoke to Vasilij Ninko, who had been working as a Backend Engineer (Node.js) with e-Commerce applications, and asked a few questions about using Node.js as one of the main technologies for developing this kind of apps.
Briefly about Vasilij’s Experience
We asked Vasilij to tell us about his experience in developing the backend on Node.js for e-Commerce and the platforms he had worked with.
– I’ve primarily worked with the Shopify platform. Since this platform has quite a lot of different APIs, you don’t need to write your own backend to create a basic shop. But still, when it comes to integration with other systems, it is not always possible to find a ready-made solution that would cover all the business needs. That’s why we have to write our own services that expand the functionality of the storefront, or exchange data with external systems.
For example, we made a service that exchanged data with a transport company so that delivery was carried out faster and the app gained additional benefits for Italy.
Another example was the exchange of data on tracking product returns. Some warehouses do not have built-in integration for this, so we made our own service that exported this data and conveniently displayed it in the admin panel so that every customer return could be tracked.
There were also tasks for process automation. For example, grouping products by colour. If the catalogue grows, it becomes difficult for the content manager to keep track of all the goods. So we created different services that automatically pulled information from different sources and supplemented the goods with data. It can be a group of colours, measurements that come from production, or groups of goods that form one look.
Why Is Node.js Used for e-Commerce Apps?
– Node.js is a pretty popular platform as it has so many ready-made modules for all kinds of needs, including e-Commerce. This speeds up development significantly. It should also be noted that the entry threshold for developers is fairly low since the same language is used both for frontend and backend development.
Indeed, Node.js is a cross-platform technology and is used both for the backend and for the frontend, which helps make the whole app development easier and faster. It is worth mentioning the presence of various open-source libraries that contain a huge number of ready-made features.
We can’t help but mention the main benefits of Node.js:
- Scalability. Node.js provides great scalability in no time. This advantage is especially important for e-Commerce websites. The technology allows you to manage and adjust scalability based on client needs;
- Community. Node.js has a great community that has been continually improving the technology. The Node.js documentation is up to date and constantly being reviewed, which plays a huge role in speeding up project development. The community on Github has a large number of ready-made solutions, code examples, modules, etc., and StackOverflow, maintained by specialists in this technology, has answers to a huge number of questions.
These aren’t all the benefits of Node.js, but more will be highlighted further in this article.
By the way, we’ve recently released an article about e-Commerce integration and why you need it, so feel free to take a look: https://bambooagile.eu/insights/ecommerce-integration/.
When to and When Not to Use Node.js for e-Commerce App Development
With Vasilij having rich experience in developing the backend for e-Commerce applications with Node.js, we decided to ask him about the situations when it is worth or not worth using this technology.
– Of course, it all depends on the task. Ideally, it is better to use the tool that does the best job for the given criteria. Therefore, if your platform has a ready-made SDK on Node.js and the required logic can be partially implemented by existing solutions, then the choice is obvious.
However, there are situations when solutions live only in their own stack and are difficult to use with some other languages, frameworks, and so on. So, here it will be easier to use the tools that particular platform has support for, rather than making your own. There are, of course, exceptions. Sometimes your solution can be made quickly, while being more reliable and unambiguously more manageable than the “native” one, but this is rather rare.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Node.js for e-Commerce App Development
Like any other technology, Node.js for e-Commerce has its pros and cons. Among the pitfalls, Vasilij mentioned the following:
– The main problem that developers face is asynchrony. You should figure it out and get used to this. Sometimes strong typing is not enough, and if the solution is rather large, it is advisable to use TypeScript.
Asynchrony is important for e-Commerce sites that have a fairly large data catalogue because it can significantly reduce backend load times. Node.js does a good job of being asynchronous, and it also makes good use of event loops and callbacks for input and output operations. Using an event loop, Node.js successfully breaks up a long-running request into smaller chunks. The work queue is checked at the smallest intervals, which significantly optimizes the loading time since the queuing and processing of new tasks are carried out simultaneously.
As we wrote in one of our articles, the higher the page loading time, the more users would leave the site without waiting for the load to finish. Thus, in the time of the absence of speed optimization, you will lose your conversions.
As with any technology, Node.js evolves along with the users of applications. When specific needs arise, developers will come up with more and more different features to target those needs. So what features can be implemented in e-Commerce applications?
– Any features you want, really. Again, it’s more of a question of which features are ready-made. In the e-Commerce world, you usually need to perform fine integration tasks between services. In general, all you can think of has been done before, if only in some basic form. But no matter how trite it sounds, all businesses are different, and there comes a moment when solutions start to differ as well. This may concern logistics, the logic of pricing in different regions, the connection to marketplaces, warehouses, etc.
Considering Vasilij’s experience, we asked him to tell us about the most laborious feature he had ever developed:
– One of the most interesting and time-consuming tasks was the establishment of business processes for shopping returns. To accomplish this, we have integrated several services. One of them was an application that managed the refunds. It had a client, an admin part, and an API. With the help of the API, it was possible to arrange the generation of the necessary documents for the customs. Next, these documents with instructions were sent to customers, to the warehouse, and to the transport company. Thanks to the speed of the service, the delivery of returns from America to Italy became possible in two working days.
Best Node.js Frameworks to Use for e-Commerce App Development
Node.js had various frameworks of varying degrees of convenience created for it to make working with the technology faster and more comfortable. Taking into account Vasilij’s expertise, we couldn’t help but ask him which Node.js frameworks proved to be the best when creating e-Commerce applications:
– To expand the functionality of the administrative part and server logic, it is good to use Nest.js, Koa, Express. If we are talking more about interfaces, then here you can use Next.js in conjunction with React. In general, server-side rendering is very important in the e-Commerce world, it significantly speeds up the work on mobile devices, which increases the conversion rate.
Our blog has an article about the best database for Node.js. You can read it here: https://bambooagile.eu/insights/the-best-database-for-node-js/.
As you can see, Node.js undoubtedly brings lots of advantages for e-Commerce applications. But it’s important to find a developer with strong expertise to help you in app creation. Here at Bamboo Agile, we have a scope of talented professionals with years of experience in the most sought after technologies and industries. So our company can become a trustful partner for you, creating a powerful solution that will boost your business. Contact us to book a free consultation and attract quality Node.js engineers for your e-Commerce app!
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