Advantages of building with Node.js
Performance - Node.js gives better results with comparatively lower costs as it supports multitasking. It is convenient because it supports e-commerce operations such as adding items to the cart, changing the item features, and choosing preferred payment options. From the performance point of view, the adopted technology has to serve such tasks efficiently. Node.js does this effectively due to its ability to handle different operations simultaneously, thus making it a good choice for an online store.
Scalability - Online stores grow significantly over short periods, making scalability essential. Node.js has an inbuilt mechanism that enables it to scale. Developers can configure the system according to their needs.
Big and active community – Node.js constantly keeps improving due to their huge community consisting of active and vibrant developers. With their cooperation, a well-documented framework has been developed. This documentation boosts the app development process. The community has also contributed to the release of ready solutions and code snippets. If one encounters a problem, there is a high chance that the solution already exists from the same community.
The benefit of the plugins and packages - Node.js comes with many packages and plugins which are compatible with most apps. That way, developers do not need to write a program from scratch but can use these open source solutions. It significantly reduces the development time.
Frontend and backend platform - Popular frontend frameworks such as React, Ember, and Angular use Node.js. Node.js can create applications that can run on the frontend and backend. The development process is made easy because there is clear communication between front and back end teams since they understand the two codebases better. This also means the development team can be smaller and more efficient. In scaling up, recruiting new team members with not much technological diversity will be easier.
Real-time communication and easy management – Real-time interaction with the customer for an e-commerce store is essential. Since Node.js supports frontend and backend development, one can implement a chat-based platform/tool, whereby the interaction with clients will be instant. With the use of the NoSQL database that Node.js supports, the management of product listing is simplified. The e-commerce admin can find it convenient to manage products from a single or multivendor platforms.
Data streaming – With Node.js, HTTP requests and responses are processed as continuous data streams instead of isolated events. It ensures better processing and faster load times. This is essential for e-commerce platforms since data streaming ensures faster uploads and hence better interactions.
Non-blocking code execution – Node.js platform is built to handle asynchronous I/O operations without any delay, which means it does away with the possibility of any delay in execution. This is not the case for synchronous code which is executed sequentially. This means that one thread cannot execute unless the previous one is finished. It would, therefore, delay the overall execution and hence more response time. In an e-commerce store, each customer’s request should be handled simultaneously instead of sequentially as many clients are accessing the store simultaneously.
Platforms that use Node.js to build an E-Commerce Store
Here are the few platforms that can be used to help create e-commerce applications:
Reaction Commerce – This platform is built on the Meteor framework, a fast, flexible, and scalable solution that works well with NPM, Docker, and React. The platform’s codebase is modular, meaning that it can be customized to meet the developer’s needs. The platform provides real-time analytics to assist the users in making better business decisions.
Trader io – This is also built on the MEAN stack. It offers flexible and scalable API and has basic functionalities that e-commerce sites need. The developers had previously created several e-commerce applications, and they took the existing code and made it open source.
What to consider when using Node.js
Several factors can be considered on whether to use Node.js as a preferred development framework.
Some of them may include:
Choosing the right solution - Numerous frameworks use Node.js. Therefore, it depends on the user’s needs, the number of features the system should have, and its complexity. Also, one can build the app from scratch depending on the unique features of the app which are not available on other existing frameworks.
Technology coherence - Node.js only serves as a backend for an e-commerce store. Other technologies can be considered when building the front-end. It is better to use an existing package offered by e-commerce platforms, as discussed earlier, to ensure that all the frameworks and solutions remain consistent.
In many cases, Node.js gives higher performance than other technologies. Node.js makes the development process faster and easier with ready-made frameworks, making it a better solution for building an e-commerce store.
E-commerce stores are growing, and stiff competition is becoming a reality; hence there is also a growing need for a robust, reliable, and more secure platforms. Based on the benefits provided by Node.js, it may be a perfect way to go in your use case.
Note that you can host your Node.js applications on the Section.io edge servers.
Peer Review Contributions by: Wanja Mike
About the authorVerah Ombui
Verah Ombui is an undergraduate Computer Science student at Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture and Technology. Her interests are web development, cloud computing, and data science. Verah is a technology enthusiast.