Guide to building an Angular Ecommerce website

    Thursday, June 27, 202413 min read560 views
    Guide to building an Angular Ecommerce website

    Introduction to E-commerce Development

    E-commerce industry is thriving and that too for good reasons. B2B and B2C client pool is turning to the e-commerce platforms for every need they have and purchasing both products and services from them. Therefore, if you are looking at ecommerce as an opportunity it is pivotal for you to learn and understand about ecommerce development process.

    What is E-commerce Development?

    E-commerce development is the process of building online shopping platforms or web applications using the Angular framework. It is a crucial aspect of creating successful ecommerce solutions. In a narrower view, ecommerce development process is the process of developing and maintaining an online store. It includes various aspects and Angular developers effortlessly create ecommerce applications.

    Aspects of Ecommerce Development:

    E-commerce Development Aspect Description
    Front-End Development User-facing side (design, layout, functionality)
    Back-End Development Server-side operations (product database, payment processing, customer accounts)
    Database Management Store product information, customer details, and order history
    Payment Gateway Integration Accept online payments (secure transaction process)
    Security Measures Protect customer data and financial information

    Why Choose Angular for an Online Store?

    Angular is built using TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript that adds static typing. TypeScript brings multiple advantages and Angular offers unparalleled scalability, security, and a seamless user experience. This is why Angular is a perfect for your app product:

    1. Angular framework enables well-structured applications with modular components.

    2. Features like dependency injection, a component-based approach, and robust tooling are primary in Angular development.

    3. Fast loading times and a smooth user experience are vital for any online store and Angular applications excel in this area.

    4. Angular's clear code structure and efficient routing mechanisms contribute to better search engine ranking, potentially leading to more customers

    5. Angular promotes secure development practices and offers features like dependency injection that can help prevent common web vulnerabilities, protecting your customers' data.

    Setting Up the Angular Project

    The benefit of Angular ecommerce development is it comes with a solid foundation. Therefore, your online store will not face security or maintainability issues. Here is how developers set up the new project:

    Step 1: Generating the App and Adding Dependencies

    The Angular CLI is a command-line tool that simplifies project creation and management. Using the CLI, you can create a new Angular application with the following command:

    Bash
    ng new your-store-name --routing

    ngx-until-destroy library helps manage subscriptions in your components, preventing memory leaks. You can install it using npm:

    Bash
    npm install ngx-until-destroy

    Step 2: Installing Prerequisites

    The tools Node.js and npm are essential for running Angular applications and managing project dependencies. Ensure you have them installed on your development machine. You can download them from the official Node website.

    A fully functional e-commerce store would likely require a database like MySQL to store product information and customer data. You can revisit this aspect when you move on to implementing core e-commerce functionalities.

    Step 3: Creating and Testing the Angular App

    Now that you have the foundation set up, let's get your Angular application up and running:

    Creating the App with the CLI: As mentioned earlier, use the ng new command with the --routing flag to create your project directory structure and essential files.

    Testing: The Angular CLI provides a development server that allows you to test your application locally. Use the following command to start the server:

    Bash
    ng serve

    Building Angular Components

    To build the UI of the e-commerce web application, Angular components are the reusable widgets. Let's start with building a homepage component and a single product front page component.

    Creating a Homepage Component

    Create a homepage component using Angular CLI named homepage using the following command:

    Bash
    ng generate component homepage

    Add props for the app title and subtitle. In the homepage.component.ts file, you can define properties (props) to customize the homepage content. For example:

    TypeScript
    export class HomepageComponent {
      appTitle = 'Your Store Name';
      subTitle = 'Welcome to your one-stop shop!';
    }

    Add HTML templating in the corresponding file. The homepage.component.html file is where you define the HTML structure and content for your homepage. You can leverage the defined props to display dynamic content:

    HTML
    <h1>{{ appTitle }}</h1>
    <p>{{ subTitle }}</p>

    Creating a Product Page Component: Introducing Angular Routing

    To create dynamic product pages accessible through URLs, we'll use Angular Routing. In the app-routing.module.ts file, define a route for product pages:

    TypeScript
    const routes: Routes = [
      { path: 'products/:id', component: ProductComponent },
    ];

    In the app.component.html file, add a <router-outlet> directive where the routed components will be displayed:

    HTML
    <app-homepage></app-homepage>
    <router-outlet></router-outlet>

    Export Class ProductComponent: Creating a Reusable Product Component

    Similar to the homepage component, use the CLI to generate a product component:

    Bash
    ng generate component product

    Product Information Display: Within the product.component.ts file, define properties to store product information like name, description, and image URL.

    Exporting the Component: Make sure to export the ProductComponent class from product.component.ts to allow other components to use it:

    TypeScript
    export class ProductComponent {
      // ... product information properties
    }

    Utilizing the Component in the Product Page Template: In the product.component.html file, design the product page layout and display the product information using the defined properties. You can also incorporate the dynamic id from the route to fetch specific product details.

    Building the Product API

    To adequately manage product information, a well-defined product API is fundamental.

    Building a Product API using Vercel’s Serverless Function

    Create a small API using Vercel serverless function to reduce the need for server management. Create a new folder named api inside your Angular project's root directory. This is where you'll define your serverless functions. or type safety and improved developer experience, consider installing the @vercel/node package using npm:

    Bash
    npm install @vercel/nodeUse 

    Test the serverless function locally and deploy to production.

    Creating Mock Products for Development

    Create a mock-products.ts file in the root component.Create a core folder for product interfaces and interfaces. While you'll eventually connect to a real database, having mock data can be helpful for initial development. Create a file named mock-products.ts in your root component directory like the following code:

    TypeScript
    export const mockProducts = [
      { id: 1, name: 'Product 1', description: 'A great product' },
      { id: 2, name: 'Product 2', description: 'Another awesome product' },
    ];

    Implementing Core Functionality

    Now that we have figured how to build Angular components and product APIs, it is time to create core functionality.

    Display Products: Introducing Directives

    Product Showcase with product-display Component: Generate a new component named product-display using the following commands from Angular CLI:

    Bash
    ng generate component product-display

    Importing Products and Defining Attributes: In the product-display.component.ts file, import the product interface (assuming you have one in your core folder) and define the product list and component properties:

    TypeScript
    import { Product } from '../core/product.model';
    export class ProductDisplayComponent {
      @Input() product: Product; // Input decorator for receiving product data
    }

    Within the product-display.component.html file, design the product card layout and display product information using the received product object.

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    Create Product Pages Component: Discovering Services

    To improve code organization and separation of concerns, refactor the product display logic to utilize a service. Create a service named product.service.ts in your core folder:

    TypeScript
    import { Injectable } from '@angular/core';
    import { HttpClient } from '@angular/common/http';
    import { Observable, of } from 'rxjs';
    import { Product } from './product.model';
    @Injectable({ providedIn: 'root' })
    export class ProductService {
      constructor(private http: HttpClient) {}
      // Replace with actual API call when ready
      getProducts(): Observable<Product[]> {
        return of(mockProducts); // Use mock data for now
      }
      getProduct(id: number): Observable<Product> {
        // Replace with actual API call to fetch product by ID
        return of(mockProducts.find(p => p.id === id)); // Mock logic for now
      }
    }

    In the product-display.component.ts file, inject the ProductService and call its getProducts method in the ngOnInit lifecycle hook to fetch products and populate the component:

    TypeScript
    import { Component, OnInit } from '@angular/core';
    import { Product } from '../core/product.model';
    import { ProductService } from '../core/product.service';
    @Component({
      selector: 'app-product-display',
      templateUrl: './product-display.component.html',
      styleUrls: ['./product-display.component.css'],
    })
    export class ProductDisplayComponent implements OnInit {
      products: Product[] = [];
      constructor(private productService: ProductService) {}
      ngOnInit() {
        this.productService.getProducts().subscribe(products => {
          this.products = products;
        });
      }
    }

    The ngOnInit hook is a good place to put code to fetch data when the component initializes.

    Add Product Pages to the Online Store

    While you have a basic product display component, you'll likely want dedicated product pages with more details. Create a new component named product-page using the CLI.

    The product page needs to display price information for a specific product. Utilize Angular routing to access the product ID from the URL. In the product-page.component.ts file, inject the ActivatedRoute service and use it to retrieve the id parameter from the route:

    TypeScript
    import { Component, OnInit } from '@angular/core';
    import { ActivatedRoute } from '@angular/router';
    import { Product } from '../core/product.model';
    import { ProductService } from '../core/product.service';
    @Component({
      selector: 'app-product-page',
      templateUrl: './product-page.component.html',
      styleUrls: ['./product-page.component.css'],
    })
    export class ProductPageComponent implements OnInit {
      product: Product | null = null;
      constructor(
        private route: ActivatedRoute,
        private productService: ProductService
      ) {}

    Advanced Image Component for Cloudinary’s Angular SDKs

    Customizing the HTML Template

    Open the app.component.ts file. Locate the title property and update it with your desired application title:

    TypeScript
    export class AppComponent {
      title = 'My Catchy Online Store'; // Update the title here
    }

    Open the app.component.html file. Remove any unnecessary template sections within the component's template.

    Replace the removed sections with a basic <h1> element that displays the title you defined in app.component.ts:

    HTML
    <h1>{{ title }}</h1>

    Customizing the Stylesheet

    Material Design by Google offers a comprehensive library of UI components for a sleek and consistent look. Use the Angular CLI to install Material Design components:

    Bash
    ng add @angular/material

    This command installs and configures Material Design for your Angular project.

    Open the src/app.component.scss file (assuming you're using Sass for styles). Replace the existing styles within this file with Material Design's base styles:

    SCSS
    @import '~@angular/material/theming';
    @import '~@angular/material/core';
    $primary: mat-palette($palette-name: indigo, default: 500);
    $accent: mat-palette($palette-name: pink, default: A200);
    mat-all-core($primary, $accent);
    body {
      margin: 0;
      font-family: Roboto, sans-serif;
    }

    Building Cart and Checkout Functionality

    Any e-commerce application development is incomplete without a shopping cart and checkout functionality. So let's learn how to build this functionality with the Angular framework.

    Cart Service: Managing Cart Items

    Use the Angular CLI to generate a service named cart.service:

    Bash
    ng generate service cart

    Managing Cart Items: Within the cart.service.ts file, define properties and methods to manage cart items. Here's a basic example:

    TypeScript
    import { Injectable } from '@angular/core';
    export interface CartItem {
      productId: number;
      quantity: number;
    }
    @Injectable({
      providedIn: 'root'
    })
    export class CartService {
      cartItems: CartItem[] = [];
      addToCart(productId: number) {
        // Check if item exists in cart, update quantity if so
        const existingItem = this.cartItems.find(item => item.productId === productId);
        if (existingItem) {
          existingItem.quantity++;
        } else {
          this.cartItems.push({ productId, quantity: 1 });
        }
        // Consider persisting cart data in local storage or a database
      }
      getCartItems(): CartItem[] {
        return this.cartItems;
      }
      // Add methods to remove items from cart, update quantities, etc.
    }

    This service defines a CartItem interface and an array to store cart items. It includes methods to add items to the cart, retrieve cart items, and (consider adding methods) to remove items or update quantities.

    While not strictly necessary for basic functionality, you can benefit from local storage to maintain the cart item count even if the user refreshes the page. Here's an example of how to update the value in the local storage with the cart item count after adding an item:

    TypeScript
    addToCart(productId: number) {
      // ... existing logic
      localStorage.setItem('cartItemCount', this.cartItems.length.toString());
    }

    Checkout Module: Integrating with Payment Gateways

    Use the Angular CLI to generate a full module file named checkout:

    Bash
    ng generate module checkout

    The checkout module will handle user interactions during checkout, such as collecting shipping information and processing payments. This will likely involve creating components and services specific to these elements of the checkout flow.

    To integrate with payment gateways like PayPal, you'll need to follow their specific instructions and APIs. This typically involves creating an account with the payment gateway and using their SDKs or APIs to process payments within your Angular application. While the specifics will vary depending on the chosen gateway, some general steps might include:

    • Including the payment gateway's JavaScript SDK in your Angular application.

    • Creating a checkout component where users can enter their billing and shipping information.

    • Using the payment gateway's API to process payments once the user confirms their order securely.

    In Conclusion

    Ecommerce development is thriving across the globe and it is the right time to create an e-commerce web application using Angular. Angular eCommerce will turn out lucrative in the next decade as most users and client pool are buying products through online platforms.

    If you find building an Angular ecommerce platform difficult, Angular Minds can assist you in developing the project following Angular best practices. Our talented resources ensure clean code, scalability, and utmost user satisfaction through the application.

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