Nine point checklist: your ecommerce tech stack
To grow your business, a good range of products is only half of what you need. A strong tech stack is a great way to engage with your customers and make their shopping experience smoother and more enjoyable - otherwise they might as well hit the high street.
We’ve put together an essential checklist to keep in mind when compiling your tech stack. You might not need all of them, but get to seven in a year and we’ll be pretty impressed.
- Pay Later
Klarna is perhaps the most well-known provider of buy now, pay later services. They allow customers to treat themselves before their payday if the full price of an item is too expensive.
After all, why should you have to wait for the end of the month to do all of your shopping? Pay later is popular with your customers, too; last year Klarna saw its monthly active app users increase by 204%.
People like it when something speaks to them on a personal level. In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences. When you’re shopping in a store, there’s staff on hand to provide that in-person communication, so how do you capture that online?
Personalising your website to suit individual customers engages them and substitutes the experience you get from being in a physical store. On-site pop ups, geared content, product recommendations and dynamic bundles are some examples of features provided by companies like Nosto or Salesfire. One of our favourite aspects of Nosto is their content personalisation, which changes visuals and layouts to suit each customer - someone with a history of buying climbing equipment might be shown a picture of a mountain, for instance.
A system which automates and personalises the email content you send out to your customers is a valuable addition to your tech stack. Not only does it ease the burden on your marketing team, it targets content so that your followers see products and services which interest them.
Klaviyo is one company which takes email and ad targeting to the next level. They have a whole range of great features, such as price drop triggers, nudges when a customer has forgotten to check out and a series of welcome emails when someone new signs up.
- Cross Border Selling
Just because you’re based in the UK doesn’t mean you need to have only UK-based customers. Online retailing opens up a whole new world of opportunities, and if you want to sell across borders, adding features such as displaying local currency and payment methods are absolutely essential.
Companies like Global-e offer services such as convenient postal returns, multiple welcome languages and local tax calculations. Global-e has a partnership with Klarna, too, so combining those tech stacks should be a breeze.
If you want to hit an international market, it’s sometimes worth going one step further and updating your store page to fit in with local culture and needs. Imagine an electronics store trying to reach out to other countries, but they’re only showing products which fit plug sockets in the UK. International consumers will be likely to close that tab and find a local supplier instead.
If you’re using Shopify Plus, blubolt, Velstar, Code.nl, Onstate, Swanky or By Association Only are good choices to add to your tech stack. They design and optimise websites and are experts at making your store view targeted to the country whose market you want to capture.
It’s one thing to attract new customers, but it’s an entirely different challenge to keep current ones. Studies show that improving customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by between 25% to 95%. Loyal customers will keep coming back, so their spending potential is unmatched.
Besides seamless web design and quality products, one way to keep people coming back for more is a loyalty program. Companies like Swell and Loyalty Lion offer points and rewards systems, premium features and loyalty emails for your customers to keep them engaged with your brand.
- Text Messaging
Email marketing is great for when you want to announce some big events or really go into detail with your customers, but not everyone constantly checks their emails or has the time to read them. That’s where text marketing comes in handy. You can send all of the important details without the fluff, and these days everyone has their phone on them - so it’s more likely they’ll see it.
SMS Bump lets you schedule campaigns, send automated reminders, shorten links, target shoppers and much more. You can even keep a track of your opt-out list, so you know how many people have unsubscribed from your messages.
When shopping online, it’s important for customers to be able to make an informed purchase. That’s especially true for new visitors to your store; your loyal customers might know your products are high quality, but new ones don’t - and 88% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
By making reviews easy to find and post on your website, you can engage with your followers whilst building trust with new customers. Adding Yotpo to your tech stack gives you a whole range of useful features, such as customising layouts and data measuring - not to mention their partnership with Google and Facebook which add a social link.
- Augmented Reality
If you really want to take the next step forward for your business, augmented reality (AR) is the way to go. Say you’re an online furniture store; it’s not always easy for customers to figure out the dimensions of a product, and with AR you could allow a connection to their device which lets them see how that object would fit in a room.
Shopify already has the ability to do this built into its system, so a company such as Solidworks can help bring your vision into a 3D reality
If you’re an online retailer currently thinking about building up your tech stack, our team of experts are always on hand to give out advice. Patchworks can connect your data to different platforms to make sure everything runs smoothly.