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  • Jan 18, 2022
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Why Jamstack Is the Ideal Ecommerce Solution

Why Jamstack Is the Ideal Ecommerce Solution

Jamstack has taken center stage in the world of web development, seeing massive adoption by developers of all skill levels and companies of all sizes. With the promise of speed and security, the growth in popularity of the architecture cannot be overlooked, especially for building ecommerce stores.

Google has repeatedly pointed out the importance of a fast-loading website to its search rankings, influencing consumer behavior. Without a fast website, you could lose over two-thirds of your customers. That’s according to data from Unbounce’s Page Speed Report, where 70% of consumers have pointed out that site speed impacts how likely they are to purchase from an online retailer. Yikes!

So how can you avoid this problem? By embracing everything that Jamstack has to offer your ecommerce store with the help of a digital experience platform.

What Is Jamstack?

First of all, let’s review what Jamstack is and how it works. Jamstack is a modern web development architecture. J-A-M refers to client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs, and prebuilt Markup. Jamstack is similar to other popular software development stacks, but it offers improvements compared to MEANstack or LAMPstack since it’s made up of different components.

By rendering static sites at build time, then deploying them to a content delivery network (CDN), Jamstack can significantly increase site performance. Content gets served from the CDN edge, enabling a greatly enhanced site speed.

How Jamstack and Ecommerce Come Together

We mentioned that site speed and performance are critical for ecommerce success. But how do ecommerce sites leverage the Jamstack architecture? Well, let’s break down the components that make up Jamstack first: static site generator, headless CMS, CDN, and services.

Static Site Generator

A static site generator (SSG), as the name suggests, is used to build a static site from a set of HTML files before deploying it to an HTTP server. The SSG is the key element of Jamstack as it shifts the rendering of a site from request time to build time. Several static site generators are available, including Hugo, Gatsby, Nuxt, and more.

Headless CMS

Content is necessary for a static site, and when working with Jamstack, that content is managed using a headless CMS such as Magnolia. As the authoring component of the Jamstack, a headless CMS provides a way to manage and store content and to deliver it via its APIs. The purpose of using a headless CMS is to give front-end developers the freedom to create and deliver digital customer experiences. After all, Jamstack is all about freeing developers from the shackles of legacy architectures so that they can innovate.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

The CDN manages hosting and delivery to a large user base. Platforms such as Netlify, Vercel, and Fastly are commonly used as CDNs as these geographically distributed networks handle many user requests in parallel and improve the speed of content delivery if needed globally.

Services

Finally, APIs aren’t only used for content delivery but also for connecting services that provide or enhance functionality. For example, an ecommerce website built using a Jamstack architecture could connect to a platform like Stripe to handle payments or integrate with BigCommerce to manage the ecommerce backend.

Read More: What is Jamstack?

Why Jamstack for Ecommerce?

Now that you understand what Jamstack is and how it works, you might wonder why you should adopt it to build your next ecommerce site. Well, here are a few reasons why Jamstack and ecommerce go so well together:

Removing common ecommerce store challenges

Most ecommerce stores face similar challenges. The market is vast, and the tiniest things can make a difference to the customer experience. Some of the challenges that many companies face include slow page load times, a poor user experience, high maintenance costs, difficulty developing new features due to legacy architecture, and the fact that their online shop looks like every other shop out there.

Jamstack helps remove these challenges by improving site performance and speeding up load times to improve the user experience. Also, by leveraging APIs to connect to various services and using a headless CMS to manage content, high maintenance costs, slow feature development, and an inability to differentiate your store become a thing of the past.

The Fusion of Content and Commerce

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Faster time to market

Jamstack helps companies go to market faster with new ideas because it removes the strain on developers to manage every part of the stack. Rather than wrangling with back-end infrastructure that makes integrations difficult or dealing with site crashes due to traffic overload, developers can spend their time building elements that improve the actual customer experience.

Improved shopping experience

The shopping experience is arguably the most crucial element of ecommerce today. While the ability to shop online can improve convenience, other aspects of the experience have to be improved. Jamstack can help with these aspects, including speeding up load time and enabling developers to easily integrate new services to make the whole experience more enjoyable for customers.

Better developer experience

The modern ecommerce experience requires businesses to have an omnichannel presence. To facilitate this, Jamstack makes it easier for developers to leverage new technologies and publish to new channels. Jamstack is all about helping brands to maximize the potential of APIs, which creates a developer-friendly environment that supports innovation and speed.

How to Go About Choosing Your Jamstack

We’ve mentioned the four key components required for a Jamstack architecture: a static site generator, headless CMS, CDN, and services. But how could you go about building your Jamstack?

Front-end technologies

There are several front-end technologies available for building your Jamstack. Gatsby and Next.js are great examples of static site generators, but they are also ideal front-end frameworks for building user interfaces. These React-based frameworks represent some of the cutting-edge JavaScript-based technologies that Jamstack uses to full effect.

Ecommerce platforms

An essential element of your ecommerce stack is the ecommerce platform. Having a fast-performing website full of engaging content that invites your customers to buy is only half the recipe for success. You also need an ecommerce platform to help you manage inventory, process orders, handle payments, and more. Platforms such as BigCommerce and commercetools are the ideal ecommerce systems to enable a Jamstack-powered ecommerce store because they support an API-driven approach.

The difference-making CMS

Finally, the headless CMS can make or break your ecommerce store. While an API-driven architecture is essential, the CMS should also easily integrate with other Jamstack components such as the ecommerce platform. Content is the driving force behind successful ecommerce campaigns, and the people that create this content need the right tools to do their job well.

Marketers and content authors need to be able to create, edit, and publish content to not just a website but every other relevant ecommerce channel. Customers shopping on mobile devices and tablets need to have similar high-quality content experiences when browsing web apps on these channels. Not to mention developers need speed and flexibility plus the ability to work with their favorite frameworks and leverage the full capabilities of the Jamstack.

Magnolia: A Jamstack CMS for Ecommerce

Jamstack can take your ecommerce store to new heights, but as we’ve mentioned, the headless CMS is key. Magnolia is the ideal choice to deliver the Jamstack architecture and help companies blend content and commerce for a modern ecommerce experience.

Magnolia’s modular, best-of-breed approach means that your business can choose the most appropriate tool for each requirement. Need an analytics tool to see where your customers are coming from and which products provide the best conversions? What about a product information management (PIM) system to help you organize your product inventory? No matter what your ecommerce shop needs, it can easily integrate with Magnolia thanks to a unified integration framework based on microservices and a unified UI.

Enhanced developer experience

With simplified integrations and connectors, your developers can manage your store with minimal effort. Magnolia’s connector packs provide a low-code option that lets you extend Magnolia to incorporate core capabilities, including commerce, analytics, marketing automation, and digital asset management into a digital experience platform. Plus, with Magnolia’s marketer-friendly content management features, your marketers can handle the content and design, while your developers can focus on building the experience.

Best-in-class content management

While your developers are handling all technical aspects, your content team can leverage Magnolia to manage and centralize your content for use across channels to create amazing customer experiences for your Jamstack-based ecommerce store. With WYSIWYG editing and the ability to easily reuse content, content management will become a breeze.

Jamstack can help your business create modern ecommerce experiences that your customers love AND make life easier for your developers and marketers. Learn more about how Magnolia’s fast and flexible DXP can help you create the best ecommerce experiences in The Fusion of Content and Commerce.

About the Author

Sandra Schroeter Technical Product Marketing Manager at Magnolia

Sandra started her career managing mission critical environments at Hewlett Packard and found her way into product marketing via PostgreSQL consultancy. Having worked in the area of customer experience over the past few years, Sandra is passionate about creating customer-friendly digital experiences. In her role at Magnolia, Sandra is responsible for value-based product messaging for a technical audience as well as technical content strategy.

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