Dynamic Personalization in the Jamstack Era: Custom User Experiences with Next.js and Serverless Functions

Welcome to the era of the Jamstack! This modern web development architecture has made it possible to build lightning-fast, secure and scalable web apps. But what about personalization? As user expectations continue to rise, web developers are constantly looking for ways to create personalized user experiences. In this article, we'll explore how to leverage the power of Jamstack and serverless functions to create dynamic, personalized user experiences using Next.js.

Why Personalization Matters?

Personalization is about creating unique experiences for each user. This can include customized recommendations, tailored content, and relevant promotions. Personalization has become an essential component of modern web development. In fact, a study by Epsilon found that personalized emails have an open rate that is 29% higher than non-personalized emails. Personalization leads to higher engagement, conversion rates, and customer loyalty.

The Problem with Personalization in Jamstack

Traditionally, personalization requires server-side logic. However, the Jamstack architecture is all about pre-rendering content at build time. So how can we create personalized user experiences using a Jamstack web app? One approach is to use serverless functions.

The Solution: Using Next.js and Serverless Functions

Next.js is a popular framework for building server-rendered React applications. It supports serverless functions through its API routes feature. API routes are essentially serverless functions that run at runtime. They allow you to handle dynamic data, authentication, and other backend functionalities without the need for a traditional server.

Step 1: Setting up Next.js

To get started, first, install the Next.js CLI on your machine.

npm install -g next

Next, create a new Next.js project using the CLI.

npx create-next-app

Finally, navigate to the project directory and start the development server.

cd my-next-project
npm run dev

Step 2: Creating API Routes

To create serverless functions, we can use the API Routes feature of Next.js. First, create a new folder called api in the root directory of the project. Next, create a new file inside the api folder called demo.js. This file will contain our serverless function.

export default function handler(req, res) {
res.status(200).json({ text: 'Hello' })

This function will simply return a JSON object with a text property set to 'Hello'. We can test this function by navigating to http://localhost:3000/api/demo in our browser. We should see the following JSON object:

"text": "Hello"

You can deploy your serverless functions to any of the popular serverless providers such as Vercel, AWS Lambda, or Google Cloud Functions.

Step 3: Retrieving Data on the Client Side

Now that we have created our serverless function, we can use it to retrieve data on the client-side. For example, let's say we want to retrieve personalized content for a specific user. We can create a new API route called /api/user that will return the user's preferences.

export default function handler(req, res) {
const { id } = req.query
const userPreferences = getUserPreferences(id)

We can use the useRouter hook from Next.js to retrieve the user's id from the URL. Then we can fetch the data by making a request to our new API route using the fetch API. Finally, we can update the state of our React component with the retrieved data.

import { useRouter } from 'next/router'
import { useState, useEffect } from 'react'

export default function MyComponent() {
const router = useRouter()
const { id } = router.query
const [userPreferences, setUserPreferences] = useState(null)

useEffect(() => {
const fetchData = async () => {
const res = await fetch(`/api/user?id=${id}`)
const data = await res.json()

}, [])

return (
<p>User Preferences: {userPreferences}</p>

In this code snippet, we have created a new React component called MyComponent. We use the useRouter and useState hooks to retrieve the user's id and store the user's preferences in state. We use the useEffect hook to call the fetchData function when the component mounts. We make a request to our API route using the fetch API and update the state with the retrieved data.


The Jamstack architecture has revolutionized web development, but it can be tricky to implement personalization because of its focus on pre-rendering content at build time. By using serverless functions with Next.js, we can create dynamic, personalized user experiences without sacrificing performance or security. With this approach, you can deliver unique and engaging user experiences while still leveraging the benefits of the Jamstack.