In this day and age of all things automated, building the best e-commerce tech stack for your business is anything but easy. With a wide range of tools and platforms available, you may feel overwhelmed by the countless choices available to you.
Here’s the key: When it comes to choosing the right tech tools for your business, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
While it can be tempting to be an early adopter and jump on every new tech recommendation, the truth is that some patience and research will benefit most businesses. Merchants need to think carefully and take their own strategic approaches to choosing the right tech tools for their businesses. One stack does not fit all.
Let’s look at some core areas of e-commerce businesses so that you can confidently choose the tools and systems that work for you.
Building Your E-commerce Tech Stack
- What Is an E-commerce Tech Stack? (And Why You Need One)
- What Should You Think About When Building Your E-commerce Tech Stack?
- Core Areas to Consider When Building a High-Performance E-commerce Tech Stack
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What Is an E-commerce Tech Stack? (And Why You Need One)
An e-commerce tech stack is a suite of software tools merchants use to run the front and back ends of an e-commerce business.
From vendor management to order fulfillment, the right e-commerce tech stack can help carry you through every stage of selling, as well as make your business operations seamless, efficient, and scalable.
Let’s take a look at some of the priorities to keep in mind when building your e-commerce tech stack.
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What Should You Think About When Building Your E-commerce Tech Stack?
When you sit down to brainstorm your e-commerce tech needs, it’s important to keep your priorities and growth stage in mind.
Before you do anything else, grab a notepad or open up a Google Doc and start thinking about your tech stack must-haves.
Here’s a quick checklist you can use to guide your brainstorming:
- Cost: What’s your overall tech budget? Most software is subscription based now. How much can you afford to spend per month? How much can you spend per year?
- Business Stage: What current business stage are you in and how can the right tools help you reach the next level? For instance, do you need to automate last-mile deliveries? Do you need tools that can help you reduce cart abandonment?
- Processes: What does your current operational framework look like? How much time are you spending on repetitive processes that could be replaced with automated ones? Which processes do you absolutely need a human for and which ones can you replace with a tool?
- Responsibilities: What responsibilities does your team have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually? How can tools help support your team to achieve each responsibility? For instance, can a collaboration tool eliminate information silos? Can automated shipping reminders help your team fulfill delivery requirements on time?
Next, consider your non-negotiables.
For instance, is 24/7 customer support a must before you’ll commit to using a tool? Do you need tools that offer tailored onboarding? Do you require certain integration capabilities?
Once you’ve completed your notes, read over them from top to bottom. Refamiliarize yourself with your specific needs and non-negotiables. Then move on to the next section.
Core Areas to Consider When Building a High-Performance E-commerce Tech Stack
First things first. When you’re on the hunt for the right tools, you’ll need to keep two essential types in mind:
- Front-end customer-facing tools
- Back-end server-facing tools
Your front-end tools will help you take care of customer-facing processes, such as purchases, customer service requests, and shopping cart integrations. Your back-end tools will help you support server-facing processes, such as fleet and route management, inventory management, and database management.
For high-growth brands looking to create more balance between the front and back ends, we recommend looking into headless tools.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, headless commerce allows companies to be more flexible by separating the front end and back end of their e-commerce experiences. This differs from traditional e-commerce in that data and functionality changes only need to be made in a single back end, with all front ends having immediate access to those changes.
With traditional e-commerce tech stacks, changes made to the back end must also be made to the front end. That’s quite a bit of back-and-forth synching for busy merchants.
While this might be okay for a growing store that needs an all-in-one platform to reduce costs and effort, for high-volume multichannel sellers, a headless framework could be the better way to go.
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for headless versus traditional solutions, let’s consider what kinds of tools you should include in your e-commerce tech stack.
The number-one tool you’ll need to run your business is, of course, an e-commerce platform.
Your e-commerce platform is essentially the heart of your business. It’s the central hub that runs just about every aspect of your store(s).
When looking for the right e-commerce platform, consider your unique needs and anticipate growth and future needs as well.
For instance, do you need complete customization capabilities? If so, your advanced tech knowledge may be a great match for WooCommerce, which allows for limitless customizations, including funding integration with SellersFunding.
Are you looking to sell across multiple channels? In that case, you might opt for a platform like Shopify.
Do you need a platform that comes with built-in features and high-level SEO capabilities? If so, you might consider looking into BigCommerce.
While each platform has its loyalists and evangelists, the best option will always depend on your unique business model and structure. And your comfort level. Remember that this platform is the core of your operations. Make sure you love it and can fully utilize it.
Top platforms to consider:
Inventory Management Tools
If you’re overstocked and underselling, you’re leaving money on the table. If you’re understocked and sold out, you may run into heavy losses and customer experience issues.
For these reasons and more, it’s essential to use inventory management tools that can help you keep a close eye on both your supply and demand.
As with your core e-commerce platform, your choice of inventory management system may depend on your current operational framework. For example, Fluent Commerce is an inventory management solution that helps you source from the best location every time. With a variety of fulfillment optimization features, you can also respond quickly to changes in demand or delivery capacity.
If you’re looking for a solution that can let you sync inventory across all of your sales channels — and automate order fulfillment and reporting — you could look into a solution like Flieber or Multiorders.
Top systems to consider:
Order and Payment Processing Tools
Your order and payment processing tools need to operate seamlessly if you want to create a standout customer experience.
From speed to ease of use, your customers need a way to check out that doesn’t cause bottlenecks or frustrations.
To give your customers the best likelihood of completing their orders (and we know it’s all about those conversions), it’s important to present them with a variety of payment options.
Offering payments via PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and pay-later apps, such as Klarna, can help you give customers the flexibility they need to complete their purchases. Sometimes these payment solutions come baked into your e-commerce platform, other times they need to be integrated. Again, you’ll need to take the time to figure out which approach works best for you based on your current audience, growth stage, and resources. If you have clients looking to offer their customers payment options, check out our Partner Program.
Top tools to consider:
Product Information Management Tools
Product information management tools help you store, organize, and handle your materials, content, and data so you can use them to market and sell your products.
By keeping all of your product content in one hub, you can tear down information silos and make your entire product-catalog data accessible to all who need it.
When looking into product information management tools, it’s important to get your hands on ones that can help you get the right product information to the right channel, quickly and effectively.
Look into these much-loved, highly rated tools for product information management:
Ready to Build the Best E-commerce Tech Stack?
At the end of the day, every e-commerce business can and should look different. But no matter your business model or revenue goals, a well-designed tech stack can help you reach the next level.
If you’ve been looking to get your hands on a bundle of tools that can help you run your e-commerce business with ease, you’re taking the first crucial step by taking the time to think intentionally about which tools and platforms make the most sense for your growing business.
And when you’re ready to take the next step, SellersFunding can help.
While we can’t tell you which tools to invest in, we can help you secure the funding you need to keep your operations running smoothly. With a flexible line of credit, you can invest in the technology that will help you grow. We can approve credit limits of up to $5 million in 48 hours or less.
Check out our working capital solution and Buy Now, Pay Later options for merchant partners to learn more.