How to Build an Ecommerce Tech Stack for Small Business

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When you start an eCommerce business, choosing the right tech stack is crucial for success in the hyper-competitive space. Your business operations, efficiency, and user experience rely heavily on the tools and software you use to manage different aspects of the business.

Although the eCommerce SaaS industry has evolved significantly, there’s no perfect tech stack for every eCommerce business. So, you have to put your efforts into analyzing your needs, consumer preferences, and technical feasibility to build the perfect tech stack for your business.

With that being stated, the objective of this article is to guide you in building a robust tech stack for your eCommerce business, providing tips and recommendations in making decisions.

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is an eCommerce tech stack?

An eCommerce tech stack refers to the collection of software applications and platforms that businesses use to set up and manage their eCommerce business. These technology solutions work together to streamline your eCommerce operations – from creating a storefront, and marketing to inventory and order management.

With the right tech stack, you can improve efficiency, automate time-consuming processes, and provide an excellent shopping experience to customers. 

An eCommerce tech stack can be categorized broadly into types –

  • Front-end tech stack: It includes the technologies and tools that are used to develop and design the storefront. It is responsible for providing an excellent website user interface for customers.
  • Back-end tech stack: It includes all the tools and software solutions responsible for customer acquisition, data processing, order management, and everything that customers don’t see.

Every eCommerce business can create their custom front-end and back-end tech stack based on their requirements and other factors which we will talk about in the next section.

Key factors for building an eCommerce tech stack

Ecommerce solutions are abundant in the market which can make it challenging for anyone to pick the best solutions for their business. There’s no ideal tech stack that every eCommerce business – it entirely depends on your business needs.

Building the right tech stack requires carefully considering the following various factors –

1. Business Goals and Needs

First things first, before you start selecting any tool for your eCommerce business, spend some time understanding your business goals and analyzing the requirements to achieve them. Whether you want to set up a new store or enhance the existing one, make sure that you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, else you’ll get lost in the sea of growing eCommerce solutions.

2. Scalability

You want your tech stack to be able to support your growing business – it should not limit you from growing website traffic, transaction volume, marketing efforts, and more. So, always choose scalable technologies that can accommodate your growth ambitions without compromising the shopping experience for your customers.

3. Flexibility and Integration

Never choose a technology that is isolated and doesn’t allow integration with third-party tools – it will limit you from scaling your business. In eCommerce, you will always find new trends and emerging technologies that might want to add to your store as well. So, make sure every tool in your tech stack offers integration flexibility with 3rd-party tools and platforms.

4. Security

In eCommerce, the security of customer data should be your top priority. Every transaction involves customers sharing their credit card details to address, which you don’t want to be accessible to anyone. So, while creating your tech stack, make sure to invest in quality tools and platforms that are compliant with industry-standard security measures and regulations like GDPR or CCPA to build trust and credibility with customers.

5. Cost-effectiveness

Running an eCommerce business is a costly affair – from inventory management, and order fulfillment to marketing campaigns, you will have to invest fairly in every aspect of the business. So, don’t overspend on building your tech stack. Evaluate each tool based on its maintenance cost and potential ROI from it.

10 Must-have Technologies in an Ecommerce Tech Stack

Now that you know how to select tools for your tech stack, here’s a quick overview of the eCommerce tech stack for Small & Medium Size Businesses –

Ecommerce Tech Stack Diagram

Now, let’s dive into each technology that you must have in your eCommerce tech stack.

1. E-commerce Platforms

Time has long gone when you need experts to build and manage eCommerce websites. Thanks to the likes of Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce, you can build your online storefront within a few hours, in some cases, within a few minutes.

An eCommerce platform is the foundation of your tech stack that provides you with all the essential features for managing your products, payment processing, customer data management, etc. You need a reliable platform that provides excellent tech support and has standard security measures to protect site from hacking or data leakage.

Most importantly, you want your eCommerce platform to support integration with other eCommerce tools and allows customization flexibility. You will find a range of eCommerce platforms based on technical complexity, pricing, and customization flexibility. So, spend some time evaluating your business requirements and choosing the one that aligns with your goals.

Further reading –

2. Design & Development

Irrespective of which eCommerce platform you choose, you will either have to hire a developer to build your store or do it yourself. If you opt to do it yourself, you will need certain design and development tools.

For instance, you will need a page builder app like GemPages for Shopify, Elementor for WooCommerce and the list goes on. Although you can create your store without these tools, you will have to be technically skilled in coding, designing, and development.

Similarly, you will need pre-designed themes or templates to save time from building from scratch and get your store live in hours rather than in days. You should visit our eCommerce themes section to explore various themes for different platforms.

Further reading –

3. Payment Gateways

You can’t run an eCommerce store without a reliable payment gateway that supports various payment methods and ensures a seamless checkout experience for customers. The majority of eCommerce platforms come with a built-in payment gateway and support 3rd-party payment gateways to offer the flexibility of choice.

Each payment gateway comes with a set of supported payment methods. So, make sure to choose the one that supports the payment methods preferred by your target consumers. For instance, you want a payment gateway that supports payment via Debit cards, credit cards, online wallets, UPI (for India), etc.

You should also compare the transaction fees charged by different payment gateways to choose the one that allows you to book more profits but also provides a secure payment processing system.

Further reading –

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A CRM system helps with managing customer data, tracking interactions, and personalizing marketing communications based on their data and preferences. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce come with a built-in CRM system to store customer data and allow you to use the data for marketing and other activities.

However, if you want complete control over your customer data, you can choose a dedicated CRM software that supports integration with your tech stack. Such software allows you to set up custom integration with different platforms, enabling you to collect more data and personalize the shopping experience for your customers.

5. Inventory Management

In eCommerce, you want to ensure accurate tracking of stock levels and streamline order fulfillment processes. If you are just getting started with a limited range of products, you can manage your inventory manually using Google Sheets or Excel, but as the business grows, you need an inventory management system to automate the process.

Platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce provide you with a basic inventory management system to track stock levels at different warehouses. However, to manage your inventory efficiently, you should use dedicated inventory management software.

Good inventory management software can help you analyze product demands, predict upcoming surges, and manage stock levels at different warehouses accordingly to prevent out-of-stock or overstocking situations.

Further reading –

6. Shipping and Logistics

Once a customer places an order, you will have to generate a shipping label, send it to your logistic partner, track the shipping, update inventory and the process goes on – you can’t manage it manually, especially if you are getting a large number of orders every day.

This is where you need shipping and logistics platforms that automate shipping label generations, order tracking, and inventory synchronization. These platforms also provide direct integration with popular logistics service providers, allowing you to arrange order pick-up from your warehouse and delivery directly to customers. 

Such platforms not only improve the efficiency of your team but even reduce your shipping costs as platforms like ShippingEasy and Easyship offer heavy discounts on shipping charges. These platforms also allow you to share order-tracking links with customers, allowing them to track their order status without having to reach out to your team for updates.

Further reading –

7. Analytics and Reporting

In any type of business, you don’t want to make decisions based on your gut feelings – instead, you need analytics tools to track your website traffic, and marketing campaigns to provide valuable insights into your customer behavior, conversion rates, and marketing performances.

There are free tools like Google Analytics that you can use to track your website traffic, but for deeper insights into customer behavior, you will need analytics tools like Triple Whale that consolidate data from various channels and provide detailed insights into sales attributions, ad performance, customer demography, etc. This enables you to make data-driven decisions and optimize.

Further reading –

8. Marketing Automation

Ecommerce is a hyper-competitive space and to succeed, you need to automate your marketing activities. From Email, SMS, and push notifications to customer segmentation and retargeting ads, you can automate almost all aspects of these channels to drive engagement and conversions on autopilot.

Ecommerce marketing automation platforms like Klaviyo and Omnisend allow you to automate your email and SMS campaigns and provide robust API access to connect other marketing platforms to leverage customer segments across all channels.

While choosing a marketing automation platform, make sure that it is compatible with the above-mentioned tools to streamline data synchronization, which enables you to deliver real-time personalized marketing campaigns.

Further reading –

9. Customer Support

An eCommerce site with an efficient customer support system can’t grow much – consumers will always have questions regarding products, order status, returns, etc., no matter how perfectly you have automated everything.

And, if you can’t provide real-time customer support with conclusive resolutions, consumers won’t trust your brand. So, make sure that you offer excellent customer service on your website. You can start with just a live chat and chatbot tool, but for a growing business, you will need dedicated helpdesk software to streamline customer service.

In addition to live chat and chatbot systems, ensure that your helpdesk software also consolidates all the messages from email and social media to a single dashboard and provides a seamless user interface to manage all the conversations.

Further reading –

10. Accounting & Taxation

Finally, the most tiring and boring task of running a business – managing the books. You can manage it manually, but I highly recommend using a robust accounting and taxation tool to ensure that every sale and expense is accounted for & taxes are filed properly.

Accounting tools like Quickbooks can help you track your income and expenses accurately which is crucial to analyzing the financial health of your business. Taxation tools help you stay compliant with tax laws by accurately calculating taxes owed and generating necessary reports for tax filing purposes.

While selecting accounting and taxation tools, make sure it is compatible with your inventory management tools so that the stock value can be accurately accounted for in financial reports.

Further reading –

Wrapping Up

Customer prefer online shopping because of the convenience it brings for them, but for merchants eCommerce is an operation-loaded business. That’s why building an robust tech stack is crucial to ensure operational efficiency and cost-saving on repetitive tasks.

Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind for building your eCommerce tech stack –

  • Thoroughly research available technologies, compare features, and read reviews before making decisions.
  • Prioritize technologies that can scale seamlessly as your business grows
  • Ensure that chosen technologies can integrate smoothly with each other and with third-party tools
  • Choose technologies that offer customization flexibility to tailor the user experience per your requirements
  • Set a budget upfront for the tech stack to avoid overspending on expensive tools.
  • Regularly monitor and optimize your tech stack for performance and efficiency.
  • Stay updated with new technologies and trends to continuously improve and evolve your tech stack.

You should also consider consulting with eCommerce technology experts or hiring professionals with expertise in building and optimizing tech stacks to ensure that you make informed decisions and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your eCommerce operations.

I hope this article provided you with a comprehensive understanding of building a resilient eCommerce technology stack. Now, it’s your opportunity to assess your requirements and discover the optimal tools for your tech infrastructure. At EcomSutra, we’re dedicated to aiding our users in crafting the perfect tech stack for their eCommerce businesses. So, be sure to explore our article, and feel free to contact us for expert guidance.

Finally, I hope this article gave you an overview of how to build a robust eCommerce tech stack. Now, it is your turn to start evaluating your needs and find the right tools for your tech stack. At EcomSutra, we are committed to helping our users build the right tech stack for their business. So, make sure to read our tool reviews and curated lists for specific needs to choose the best ones.

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