Building Your E-commerce Tech Stack: Strategies and Examples
What is a tech stack?
A tech stack refers to the combination of technologies, tools, and software that businesses use to build their online presence and support their operations effectively. E-commerce businesses, in particular, require a robust tech stack that can help them manage their website, online store, marketing campaigns, sales funnels, customer service operations, and more.
Why is it important to audit your tech stack?
Auditing your existing tech stack can help you identify gaps in your current tools, find areas for improvement, and streamline your operations. This exercise can also help you identify redundancies and overlaps among tools and reduce expenses. The goal is to build a tech stack that is optimized for your specific business needs, goals, and budget.
How to Audit Your Existing Tech Stack
Here are the steps you can take to conduct a comprehensive audit of your existing tech stack:
Tech Stack Audit Worksheet
- List out all the tools and software your business currently uses, including their purpose, cost, and subscription information
- Assess each tool's performance, usage rates, user feedback, and integration with other tools and systems
- Identify gaps, redundancies, and areas for improvement based on your business goals and needs
- Consider the total cost of ownership for each tool, including subscription fees, integration costs, training, and maintenance
- Prioritize the most critical tool areas to focus on first
Tech Stack Tools
Here are some of the most essential e-commerce tech stacks to consider:
Marketing Tech Stack
A marketing tech stack typically includes tools and software for social media management, email marketing, content marketing, SEO, PPC, analytics, and more. Examples include Hubspot, Mailchimp, Hootsuite.
Ad Tech Stack
An ad tech stack typically includes tools and software for ad creation, optimization, targeting, tracking, and reporting. Examples include Google Ads, Facebook Ads, AdRoll.
Sales Tech Stack
A sales tech stack typically includes tools and software for lead generation, prospecting, CRM, sales enablement, and deal-closing. Examples include Salesforce, Hubspot Sales, ZoomInfo.
Ecommerce Tech Stack
An e-commerce tech stack typically includes tools and software for managing an online store, payment processing, shipping and fulfillment, inventory management, and customer service. Examples include Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce.
Service Tech Stack
A service tech stack typically includes tools and software for customer service, ticketing, live chat, phone support, and knowledge management. Examples include Zendesk, Intercom, Freshdesk.
Tech Stack Diagram
A tech stack diagram is a visual representation of the different tools and systems that make up your tech stack. This diagram can be especially useful for communicating with team members, identifying gaps and redundancies, and planning for future tool additions or replacements.
How to Pick Tools for Your Tech Stack
Here are the steps you can take to select the right tools for your e-commerce tech stack:
1. Audit your existing tech stack.
Conduct a comprehensive audit of your current tools, usage rates, performance, and costs.
2. Preliminarily identify gaps in your current tech stack.
Based on your audit, identify areas for improvement and potential tool gaps.
3. Survey team members to find out their needs and challenges.
Consult with your team members to understand their pain points, needs, and feature requests for specific tools.
4. Have team members brainstorm software options and take free trials.
Encourage team members to research and suggest different software options for specific tool gaps, and take advantage of free trials to test them out.
5. Establish a budget.
Set a realistic budget for your tech stack, and consider the total cost of ownership when evaluating different tools.
6. Pilot your new tech stack tools.
Start by piloting your new tools on a small scale, and test their performance, usability, and integration with other tools and systems.
7. Measure the tools’ business impact.
Track the performance of your new tools over time and measure their business impact, such as increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, or reduced costs.
Tech Stack Examples
Here are some examples of e-commerce tech stacks from some of the world's top brands:
- Amazon: AWS, Magento, Elasticsearch, S3, Kinesis, Cloudfront
- Zappos: Magento, Salesforce, ZenDesk, Optimizely, Google Analytics
- Lululemon: Shopify Plus, Kaltura, Olapic, Stitch Labs, OrderGroove
- Harry's: Shopify, Zendesk, ReCharge, Segment, Smile.io
Build Your Tech Stack to Grow Your Business
Your e-commerce tech stack can make or break your business's success, so it's crucial to invest time and resources in building a robust and optimized tech stack. Use the strategies and examples outlined in this post to get started, and remember to always prioritize your business's unique goals and needs.