The Ultimate Guide to Building eCommerce Frontend with React.js

React is a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It's essentially a tool for creating interactive elements that make up the visual part of a website or app.







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React is an open-source JavaScript library created by Facebook for building fast and interactive user interfaces for web applications. 

React focuses solely on the user interface layer of the application. 

It introduced a component-based architecture where UIs are broken down into reusable pieces of code called components.

React uses a declarative coding style called JSX that allows writing HTML and JavaScript together seamlessly. 

This results in UIs that can render efficiently and handle dynamic changes over time.

Image: React Homepage

Component-Based Architecture

The key feature of React is its elegant component model. Components are like Lego building blocks that make up the UI of a React application. 

They take in data through props, maintain their private state, and render a UI using that information.

Components also enable code reuse as the same component can be used across the app. 

Complex UIs are broken down into smaller reusable components in a composable way. This makes building and maintaining complex UIs easier.

Declarative Code using JSX

React uses JSX, a declarative syntax that allows writing HTML directly within JavaScript. This results in a markup that is familiar to web developers and designers alike.

JSX provides the benefits of using a templating language without introducing a separate artificial language. 

The HTML markup can co-exist alongside the component logic written in JavaScript.

Virtual DOM Rendering

At the heart of React is the concept of a virtual Document Object Model (DOM). Instead of manipulating the browser's DOM directly, React maintains its in-memory representation of the DOM.

Whenever state changes in the app, React's diffing algorithm figures out the most optimal way to update the actual browser DOM. 

This allows React to batch updates efficiently and avoid unnecessary re-renders. The result is UIs that render and respond faster.

Why Use React?

React has emerged as one of the most popular JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces. Here are some of the key reasons for its widespread adoption:


Fast Rendering and Performance

A key strength of React is its blazing-fast rendering capabilities. By using a virtual DOM, React minimizes costly DOM operations and re-renders components efficiently.

Apps built with React can handle complex data changes and still feel quick and responsive. Features like memoization further help avoid unnecessary re-renders.

Reusable Components

Components form the heart of React's modularity. Well-designed components encapsulate functionality into reusable UI parts that can be composed to build complex UIs.

React's composition model allows the same components to be used across different views or pages. This encourages building a component library tailored to your business needs.

Simple Component State and Props

React components have well-defined lifecycles and APIs to manage state and data flow.

The immutable props API allows passing data to child components cleanly. Local component state can be used via the useState hook. 

These concepts allow building encapsulated components easily.

Popular UI Framework

React benefits from a vast ecosystem of open-source libraries and tools. It has strong foundations being actively maintained by Facebook and Meta.

The large React community means learning resources, tutorials, and support are freely available. Teams can find React talent more easily. 

The abundant ecosystem makes it an ideal choice.

Core Concepts in React

To effectively use React, it is important to understand some of its fundamental concepts like components, JSX, props, and state. 

These building blocks come together to form the React programming model.



Components are the heart of any React application and the primary abstraction to divide the UI into manageable, reusable pieces.

Building Blocks of React Apps

Components are like JavaScript functions that return a React element describing how a section of the UI should appear. They form the building blocks that compose complex UIs.

Functional and Class Component Types

Components can be defined as functions or classes. Function components are simpler while class components provide more capabilities like state management.

Composition Model

Components use a composite model rather than inheritance. Any component can be nested within other components allowing complex UIs to be built.

Reusable UI Parts

Well-designed components encapsulate functionality into reusable UI parts that can be used across views. Component reuse is a key advantage.


JSX is an XML-like syntax extension for JavaScript that lets you write HTML markup within React components.

JavaScript XML - HTML-like Syntax

JSX looks similar to HTML but has important differences. Most importantly, JSX transpiles to regular JavaScript.

Embed HTML in JavaScript

Instead of separating markup and logic in different files, JSX allows building component UIs with HTML directly within JavaScript code.

Transpile to JavaScript

JSX acts as syntactic sugar and needs to be compiled into JavaScript with a transpiler like Babel before the browser can parse it.

Props and State

Props and state are mechanisms to manage data flow in React components.


Props allow passing data as function parameters from parents to children.

Pass Data to Components

Parent components can pre-initialize child component behavior by passing props.

Function Parameters

They are like function arguments that components need to render dynamically.


Props are read only by the child component that receives them.


The state holds data that can change over the component lifecycle, triggering re-renders when modified.

Component Data that Changes

State variable values can change over time in response to events or network requests.

Manage Component Behavior

This data controls components' view-related behavior. Think of the state as private component data.


State differs from props in that it is private to the component and can be mutated.

Advanced React Concepts

As developers build more complex apps with React, more advanced techniques come into play like managing state, routing, hooks etc.

Virtual DOM and Rendering

React uses a virtual representation of the DOM to optimize updates to the actual UI.

In-memory DOM Representation

The virtual DOM is a JavaScript object that mirrors the actual DOM structure. Changes to this virtual DOM trigger UI updates.

Diffing Algorithm

When state changes, React's diffing algorithm compares the new virtual DOM with the previous one to only apply necessary DOM updates.

Efficient Updates

Batching and applying only minimal DOM updates result in faster interface rendering and response times.

Flux Architecture

Flux promotes unidirectional data flow for predictable state management in React apps.

Unidirectional Data Flow

Data in Flux apps follows a single directional flow through Store components, limiting unexpected side effects through a cyclic dependencies model.

Application State Management

The Flux design pattern provides application-wide state management out of the box for React apps. Views trigger Store updates which update Views.

React Hooks

Hooks revolutionize function components by giving them capabilities like a state.

Function Components Stateful

Previously only class components could manage state. Hooks like useState makes state a reality in function components.

Custom Hooks

Building custom Hooks allows logic reuse across components. Custom hooks can manage stateful logic isolating it from UI code.


React Router offers declarative client-side routing.

Client-side Routing

This allows the creation of single-page apps that load new views dynamically without page refreshes.

URL Parameters

Route paths can encode dynamic values that components can access programmatically.

Programmatic Navigation

Components can redirect by triggering history updates through code imperatively.

Developing with React

Modern React development requires an ecosystem of build tooling to enhance developer productivity .

Setup and Tooling

React apps need a build process to transpile, bundle, and optimize code as well as check errors.

Project Starters

Tools, like Create React App, provide an officially supported zero config starter kit for building SPAs quickly.


Bundlers like Webpack bundle code and assets for the browser allowing features like code splitting. They produce optimized static files from modules.


Transpilers convert JSX to JavaScript which browsers understand. Popular options include Babel and TypeScript.

Linters & Formatters

Linters like ESLint ensure code quality and consistency. Prettier and Beautify neaten up code formatting.  

Testing React Apps

Testing helps catch bugs and prevents production mishaps. Jest is the default test runner for React apps.


Jest allows writing unit tests efficiently with features like snapshots to test components quickly.

React Testing Library  

This provides utilities to test components like a real user would to prevent too many implementation details from leaking into your tests.

End-to-end Tests

Cypress and Selenium run automated tests mimicking real user flows catching bugs invisible at the unit level.

Deployment & Hosting

React apps can be hosted either as static sites or on servers.

Static Site Hosting

Static site hosts like Netlify directly deploy the static build artifacts from create-react-app at a global scale easily.

Server-side Rendering   

In server-side rendering, React renders components on the server before sending markup saving initial loading time on slower networks.

Beyond React

React has spawned an entire ecosystem of complementary technologies.

React Native

React Native allows building native mobile apps using React conventions.

iOS & Android Apps

React Native wraps native UI components allowing React to render to mobile platforms seamlessly.

Platform Native Components

Apps feel responsive like any other native app but use React patterns you already know. React Native handles communication with native modules.

JavaScript Codebase

Write mobile apps using just JavaScript without platform-specific languages needed for native development.

Community Ecosystem

React benefits from a thriving open-source ecosystem maintained by the community.

Open Source Packages

Developers have published 100,000+ React npm packages powering apps small and large. Choice of multiple solutions for needs.

Developer Community

The React community has fostered a culture of learning and development powering React's growth. Follow blogs and forums to stay updated.

Resources for Learning

Many resources help get up to speed with React quickly.

Official Docs

The official documentation covers React extensively with learning pathways for different needs.

Online Courses

Interactive courses on platforms like Udemy and FrontendMasters teach React visually at your own pace.

Code Repositories

GitHub has over 1.5 million React repos to learn from. Refer to open-source React apps to learn concepts practically.

To conclude, React makes building reliable user interfaces simpler. With rich ecosystem support, React skills are valuable for any front-end developer. 

As its component model promotes reusability making it ideal for teams collaborating on large-scale applications.

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