Custom Built node.js eCommerce Store is Better Than Magento or Shopify

 Jessica Bruce
  Aug 30, 2018

When it comes to a consumer, convenience is the king. Variety of options, easy accessibility, and an integrated shopping experience has led to the e-commerce's meteoric rise in the past decade. This method of selling has taken over the world by storm with no signs of withering. With a market value of over $22 trillion (as of 2015 reports) and annual sales of around $3 trillion in 2017, it is expected to have a year over year growth rate of 20-25% and reach the $5 trillion mark by 2021.

Having understood this humungous scope of the electronic commerce industry, there have been a huge number of businesses trying to compete and establish themselves as profitable and dominant against their peers.

Competitive intelligence (CI) hence is very crucial for businesses to consider. They must employ strategies that are unique and make the online consumers feel more comfortable with them than any other ecommerce player in the market.

Building your E-commerce store

CI is integral in framing strategies for a business to succeed. A study on the market leaders should be their foremost concern. From how they plan their user interface, how easy is their consumer’s buying experience, transaction gateways – to – their database and schema, and the technology they use?

Ecommerce giants like Walmart, Etsy, and eBay say that the technology they use to build their ecommerce store indirectly reflects all other aspects, as a consumer would mainly prefer a low latency rate and a personalized access that enhances their e-shopping experience.

Benefits of employing Node.js for your e-commerce store

One of the most trending technologies, especially when a highly functional sector like ecommerce is concerned, is Node.js. Walmart, for instance, is able to serve sophisticated features to their web and mobile users using Node. It saves shoppers a huge amount of time by providing customized content, based on their device type and browser capabilities.

Though relatively new, here are some aspects that differentiate a node js ecommerce store from any other technology-built ecommerce stores.

Community-driven – Having a thriving open source community, excellent modules have been produced to add additional capabilities to node.js based applications. Socket.io is one such popular module to manage seamless connections between the client and server, enabling the server to drive real-time updates to clients.

Quick response time is crucial in an ecommerce store, and node.js does it better than any other runtime environment that is built with languages like PHP and Ruby.

JavaScript – Node.js is completely based on JavaScript. Hence, the same language can be used on both front-end and back-end development.

Asynchronous I/O model – Web and network development problems are frequent when it comes to managing an ecommerce store. This is because the I/O operations on a system can be extremely slow as compared to the speed at which the data is processed.

To its contrast, Node.js is built from the scratch to handle asynchronous, non-blocking I/O operations and scale large volumes of clients, which is a very good match for data-intense (multiple users and merchant data, order and delivery, transactions etc.,) applications like ecommerce.

“We have been fascinated for a long time by end-to-end JavaScript, which is now possible with Node.js. Now we can create a rich and dynamic website even on devices that weren’t too powerful” said Galbraith, the vice president for mobile engineering at Walmart.

Custom built node.js ecommerce store VS a Magento or Shopify based store

Hosted and self-hosted e-commerce platforms

Hosted e-commerce platforms like Shopify will give you a quicker deploy time and enhanced security features. But has limited customization and you will need to continuously upgrade to more powerful features when your website traction and number of visitors are increasing.

On the other hand, platforms like Magento and Woocommerce provide recommended self-hosting features like high customization and give the linearity to choose your preferred hosting service. The deployment time is higher than the Hosted platforms.

There are also platforms like Spurtcommerce, Yo-cart, and ShopyGen which are custom built from scratch to precisely suit your business requirements. Often built using node js, these platforms are agiler and have higher customization features, but the deployment time is more than Hosted platforms and self-hosted platforms.

Give a “genuine” tag to your brand

Unlike a Magento or Shopify powered ecommerce website which displays their label on your website, custom builds ecommerce applications are white labeled, helping to increase your brand loyalty. This will make your consumers have a personal relationship with your brand without any third party intervention and be highly beneficial for your brand building activities.

Nike, for instance, if it had started its website under a third party tag name, would not have had an impeccable Brand visibility like what it is now. And focusing on strategies that increase your Brand visibility at the beginning of your business journey is an integral part, to easily stand out among your peers.

Smooth, secure and agile transactions

Employing an event-driven non-blocking I/O model, node js is also an excellent API endpoint server, helping the node js shopping cart to scale the transaction type of functionality much better than PHP or any other programming languages.

Flash sales and other merchants/visitor intense activities

The major problem that e-commerce face today is a slow site performance when there is a Flash sale or other occasion based discount festivals. Node js easily scales these activities through its event-driven loop, helping the visitors to easily access the products, hence resulting in a less cart-abandonment rate.

Performance of Node js and PHP-based framework

The performance of Zend PHP (which is the framework used in Magento) is less than half of Node Js. HHVM, which is a dialect of PHP, is 74% faster than Zend PHP, but still 17% slower than node js.

Having seen the flexibility of implementing node js based ecommerce over other offerings like Magento and Shopify, here is how one of the world’s leading ecommerce marketplaces, Groupon successfully deployed its enterprise applications with Node js.

Why Groupon chose Node js?

Adam Geitgey, the Director of Software Engineering at Groupon says that “When I arrived at the company, it was mainly Ruby on Rails and everything was running as a huge monolithic application. It was doing well for some time, but eventually became too hard to maintain.”

Hence Groupon felt the need for replacing their existing technology stack, and finally chose node js because,

-JavaScript made the communication easy among the developers, and as it is a universal language, it requires less effort to learn and work with.

-The scaling of node js worked well on tests and also gave them performance improvements in some cases.

-Previously written code elements can be reused, easing the developers from time to time.

-Even though Groupon used Java for a lot of their backend services, the frameworks and ways it was used were diverse. Node js gave them a way to move a large chunk onto a single platform, making it the most uniform stand for Groupon.

Today, Groupon uses Node js

-as an API integration layer.

-for most of their backend services.

-for all their client apps including their website.

When asked about the future of Node at Groupon, Adam says that they are totally convinced to invest in Node js for their web platforms. “Currently with our production services running in Node 4, we are already excited about Node 6, and waiting for the TLS version to come out.”

We have discussed on the importance of using node js for building your ecommerce business and how major businesses have already started to implement it. It’s time for your business to consider a technology that is agile, flexible, easy to implement and can handle a high ecommerce traction like node js.

Custom Built node.js eCommerce Store is Better Than Magento or Shopify

Jessica Bruce

I am a professional blogger, guest writer, Influencer & an eCommerce expert. Currently associated with ShopyGen as a content marketing strategist. I also report on the latest happenings and trends associated with the eCommerce industry.

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