Shopify Ecosystem

A User-Friendly Guide On Ecommerce Tech Stacks

a-user-friendly-guide-on-ecommerce-tech-stacks

Read on to learn everything you need to know about building the ideal ecommerce tech stack for your online store.

There exists today a wide range of software solutions designed to help ecommerce business owners better manage every aspect of their online store. However, choosing the ideal tech stack for an ecommerce store is often easier said than done. To help you develop a technology stack that will be best suited for your unique business needs, let’s take a look at some of the top e-commerce software on the market today, grouped by category.

Table of Contents

  • Ecommerce store hosting platforms
  • Ecommerce marketing tools
  • Ecommerce customer relationship management (CRM) tools
  • Ecommerce sales tools
  • Ecommerce automation tools
  • Ecommerce shopping cart tools
  • Ecommerce payment processing software
  • Ecommerce customer service software
  • Ecommerce returns and shipping tools

Ecommerce store hosting platforms

The first solution that you will need to choose before you can get your ecommerce store up and running is a hosting platform. Hosting platforms allow you to build a custom ecommerce website — regardless of your coding experience — using simple drag-and-drop commands. 

Plug-n-play hosting platforms also offer services such as website hosting, website security, and payment processing on your behalf. If you would like to get started building your own ecommerce store using an ecommerce store hosting platform, here are the top platforms to consider:

Shopify

Arguably the most recognizable ecommerce store hosting platform, Shopify has certainly earned its reputation as a go-to choice for e-commerce sites. With Shopify, business owners are able to create attractive online stores in a matter of minutes by choosing from a broad variety of starting templates, then adding additional design elements and features from Shopify’s ever-expanding library. 

Business owners can also integrate thousands of additional features into their online store by making use of the Shopify App Store — a store that sells thousands of third-party apps designed to integrate with Shopify websites.

Pros

  • Mobile-ready
  • Choose from thousands of third-party app integrations on the Shopify App Store

Unique features

  • Integrated payment processing
  • 24/7 live customer support

BigCommerce

Like Shopify, BigCommerce is a web development solution that allows ecommerce business owners to create their own online stores within a no-code environment before offering a full suite of web hosting services that includes site security and payment processing. 

With that said, there are a few features that set BigCommerce and Shopify apart. For one, BigCommerce offers a long list of built-in sales features that don’t require any additional installation, ensuring that you are ready to start moving products the moment your store goes live. Another nice feature of BigCommerce is that BigCommerce does not charge any transaction fees regardless of the plan that you choose.

Pros

  • The ability to add an unlimited number of product variants
  • Designed for scalability

Unique features

  • Wide range of built-in sales features
  • No transaction fees on any plan

Magento

Magento differs from Shopify and BigCommerce in the fact that it is an open-source platform that is free to download and use. In order to build a website using Magento, though, you are going to need a certain degree of coding experience. The tradeoff for this steeper learning curve is that Magento allows you to build sites that are much more customized than what you could build using Shopify or BigCommerce. Magento also offers hosting services and a broad range of third-party integrations that can be purchased as add-ons.

Pros

  • Unlimited customization options providing you know how to code
  • Comprehensive answers to just about any question can be found on the Magento Forum

Unique features

  • Detailed analytics and reporting
  • Enhanced product browsing (i.e. the ability for customers to zoom in on product images, the ability to display stock availability, and the ability to display multiple pricing tiers)

Ecommerce marketing tools

According to data from The Drum, the total amount of money spent on digital ads increased 41% in the first half of 2021. If you want to keep up with the competition that is increasingly spending more on advertising, it is essential to develop the right marketing strategy for your online store — and a big part of creating an effective marketing strategy is choosing the right ecommerce marketing tools. 

From providing insights about your visitors, to helping you conduct keyword research, to helping you manage your email and PPC campaigns, there are a lot of capabilities that come with developing the right ecommerce marketing tool tech stack.

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is a SaaS solution that automates the process of creating and managing email and SMS campaigns. With Klaviyo, you start out with pre-built campaign workflows that you can customize into your own email or SMS campaigns. From there, Klaviyo allows you to create automated triggers and segmented lists for your campaigns that will completely automate the process of sending the right messages to the right customers at the right times.

Pros

  • An incredibly wide range of pre-built email workflows to choose from
  • A convenient analytics dashboard that displays key campaign data

Unique features

  • Multiple automation triggers such as cart abandonment, price drop, back-in-stock, and more
  • A large library of integrations to pull data from other ecommerce tools and platforms into Klaviyo

Postscript

Postscript is a tool that integrates with Shopify stores in order to provide store owners with the ability to create and manage SMS marketing campaigns from one centralized dashboard. 

Given that SMS messages have a 98% open rate according to data from TechJury, SMS can be a powerful medium to manage, and Postscript provides all of the tools you need to develop and oversee effective SMS marketing campaigns: detailed reporting, tools for growing and managing your SMS subscriber list, and beyond.

Pros

  • Create up to 65 different automation triggers
  • Segment your subscribers using 40 segmentation filters, including historical Shopify data, SMS activity, data from app integrations, area codes, and more

Unique features

  • Create multiple “text-to-join” keywords
  • Create QR codes that can be used to opt-in to your subscriber list

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free analytics service offered by Google that is designed to provide real-time insights regarding how users find and use your website. With Google Analytics, you can see where your traffic is coming from, the pages that they visit, how much time they spend on each page, detailed demographics of your website visitors, and beyond. This detailed customer data helps you optimize your online store and marketing campaigns alike. 

Google Analytics can also connect with any ecommerce platform and offers an incredibly wide range of other integrations as well.

Pros

  • Excellent data visualization features
  • Create custom data reports

Unique features

  • Perform keyword research using Google Analytics’s Search Console
  • Segment your website visitors and leads for more personalized and targeted campaigns

Ecommerce customer relationship management (CRM) tools

Creating an optimized customer experience is a vital goal for all types of retailers, and ecommerce stores are certainly no exception. With ecommerce CRM tools, you can ensure that you are managing your all-important customer relationships in a way that is well-organized and largely automated, freeing you up to focus on other important tasks.

Attentive

Attentive is an SMS and email marketing solution designed to help store owners scale their subscriber lists and engage with those lists in a more personalized manner via enhanced segmentation and targeting. If you would like an all-in-one solution to SMS and email marketing, Attentive can offer everything you need to start building your subscriber lists and generating impactful campaigns.

Pros

  • Makes it easy to ensure compliance with SMS and email marketing regulations
  • Strategic guidance and resources designed to help store owners optimize their SMS and email campaigns

Unique features

  • A design editor that allows you to easily create various sign-up units for your website, social media platforms, emails, and product packaging/in-person marketing initiatives
  • Build custom integrations using Attentive’s Public APIs and developer resources

Recharge

Recharge is a subscription billing platform for Shopify stores that allows store owners to sell subscription-based products and services. If you are selling subscription-based goods such as replenishable goods or subscription boxes, Recharge can help you manage the complex billing in a way that is easy and largely automated.

Pros

  • Detailed analytics and reporting
  • ReCharge is the only Shopify Plus partner designed specifically for subscriptions

Unique features

  • A gifting function that allows customers to gift a subscription to another person
  • Upsell workflows to help increase your average order value

Ecommerce sales tools

Ecommerce technologies designed to help you optimize your store’s conversion rate and grow its sales can be highly beneficial. Ecommerce sales tools are able to provide a number of capabilities, such as helping you create the ideal sales funnel for your site, helping your sales staff perform customer outreach, and providing you with a wealth of customer data that you can leverage to boost your website’s sales.

Certainly

With Certainly, ecommerce store owners can create AI assistants that will guide their site’s visitors to recommended products, walk customers through the checkout process, present customers with upsell opportunities, assist with returns, and more. These AI assistants also gather loads of valuable data during their conversations with customers that you can use to optimize the customer experience on your site.

Pros

  • Create AI-assistant-guided sales funnels for your site
  • Access much more detailed customer data that is acquired via customer conversations with your AI assistants

Unique features

  • Certainly Webhook Builder allows you to completely customize your AI assistants
  • A wide range of pre-made templates to speed up your time to market

EasyCall

Even in today’s digital age, contacting customers by phone remains a lucrative sales strategy. With EasyCall, sales teams are able to manage every aspect of phone-based customer outreach from a single centralized dashboard. EasyCall also makes it easy for customers to get in touch with you by making it simple for you to create a business phone number and web-based call center.

Pros

  • EasyCall can easily integrate with almost any CRM tool
  • An intuitive call center tool allows for effortless collaboration between your sales and customer support teams

Unique features

  • Create a web-based call center without the need to purchase any hardware
  • Make international calls without paying international calling fees

Ecommerce automation tools

Automating time-consuming tasks such as managing email marketing campaigns or building new features into your website can free you and your team up to focus on other responsibilities. If you would like to leverage the power of automation on your website, here are two great automation e-commerce solutions to consider.

Mesa

Mesa offers a wide range of automation solutions, including automating customer returns, order tracking, creating customer support tickets, and beyond. With Mesa’s large library of pre-built automation workflows and its no-code workflow editor, you can build and customize just about any automation you can imagine — regardless of your coding experience.

Pros

  • Makes it easy to build customized automations using only drag-and-drop commands
  • A well-regarded support team for helping you make the most of Mesa’s many features

Unique features

  • A no-code workflow editor that allows you to customize Mesa’s pre-built automations or create your own automation from scratch
  • A vast selection of pre-built automation workflows

Ecommerce shopping cart tools

Once you successfully direct a customer to the checkout page of your online shop, the battle is still far from over. In fact, the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is right at 70% according to data from Baymard Institute. Thankfully, utilizing the right ecommerce shopping cart tools can help you optimize your customers’ checkout experience and keep your cart abandonment rate as low as possible.

Shopaccino

One-part shopping cart tool, one-part plug-n-play ecommerce platform, Shopaccino allows you to turn any website into an ecommerce store by providing features such as payment processing, campaign tracking, inventory management, and more. If you are looking for an all-in-one solution for creating and managing your online shop but would rather use your existing website, then Shopaccino is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • Provides the ability to turn any existing website into a fully functional ecommerce store
  • Provides APIs for connecting any ERP, accounting system, or other software solution

Unique features

  • A large selection of free responsive themes to help you get started building your online store
  • Automatically or manually generate coupon discount codes

Ecwid

Ecwid is a tool that makes it easy to add products and a checkout page to any website or social media profile. Like Shopaccino, Ecwid can be used to turn your existing website into a fully operational online store. Ecwid also makes it easy to sell across multiple sales channels and platforms, including in-person, on your website, or on your social media profiles.

Pros

  • Easily add products and a checkout page to any existing website or social media profile
  • Completely free to use

Unique features

  • In addition to turning any website or social media profile into a point-of-sale. Ecwid also allows you to easily process and manage in-person sales and accept credit/debit card payments on the go or at your brick-and-mortar location
  • Provides automated marketing features such as automated abandoned cart emails and automated PPC advertising

Ecommerce payment processing software

The ability to securely and conveniently accept payments from customers is a vital capability for any online store. Thankfully, these payment processing solutions make it easy for you to provide your customers with multiple payment processing options.

PayPal

Once integrated into your online store, PayPal allows you to accept both credit/debit card payments as well as payments that are made using the customer’s own PayPal account. PayPal also offers convenient point-of-sale devices that enable you to accept credit, debit, and PayPal payments at your brick-and-mortar location.

Pros

  • Robust security ensures that your customers’ sensitive financial data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands
  • PayPal speeds up the checkout process for customers with an existing PayPal account, making it much easier for your customers to complete their purchase and thus reducing your cart abandonment rate

Unique features

  • PayPal Checkout allows customers to complete their checkout without having to fill in information such as credit card numbers and shipping addresses
  • PayPal Marketing Solutions provides insights into how your customers are shopping

Square

Like PayPal, Square offers both ecommerce and in-person payment processing solutions. While Square is best known for its point-of-sale devices that make in-person payment processing secure and convenient, Square can also be integrated with your online store to allow you to easily accept credit/debit card payments.

Pros

  • Slightly lower fees than PayPal and other payment processing solutions
  • Exceptional point-of-sale devices for in-person sales, including a free card reader

Unique features

  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Square offers a feature that allows customers to book appointments with your company through its website

Ecommerce customer service software

Excellent customer service is a key pillar of ecommerce success. With these ecommerce customer service software solutions, you can integrate live chat customer support into your website, create automated chatbots for handling common questions and customer support issues, and automate other time-consuming elements of customer support.

Gorgias

Gorgias is an all-in-one customer service solution that provides live chat customer support capabilities and self-service options such as a dedicated help center and knowledge base. This platform also offers a wide range of automations and macros for automating much of your customer service responsibilities. If you are looking for a comprehensive solution to ecommerce customer service that will save your customer support team time and resources and give your customers the help they need, Gorgias is an excellent solution.

Pros

  • Gorgias centralizes all of your support tickets in one place, allowing your customer support team to edit orders, modify subscriptions, and refund payments without leaving the helpdesk
  • Can connect with Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento stores to bring your products and shopper history right into the helpdesk

Unique features

  • Live chat customer support with the ability to automatically message customers first during key events
  • Macros and rules that allow you to automate customer service tasks such as providing shipment updates or creating customer support tickets

Stella Connect

Stella Connect is a tool designed to help business owners manage remote customer support teams. With Stella Connect, you can manage your entire customer support team from one centralized dashboard, or integrate with Gorgias for an even more robust solution for remote teams. You can also schedule one-on-one meetings with customer support agents, provide agents with real-time customer feedback and more, making Stella Connect an excellent choice for business owners who rely on remote workers as their customer support staff.

Pros

  • Centralizes and streamlines all aspects of remote customer support team management
  • Provides detailed customer data that you can use to improve your customer support performance

Unique features

  • Create and implement automated customer support workflows
  • Create rewards and incentive programs for customer support agents

Ecommerce returns and shipping tools

Managing returns and shipping is a hassle that most online store owners would rather do without. Fortunately, there are high-quality tools available that allow you to automate many of the responsibilities associated with handling shipping and returns. By providing customers with self-service return options, automatically sending out shipping updates, and more, the following two tools can go a long way toward streamlining the logistics side of your business.

ReturnLogic

ReturnLogic is designed to automate the entire returns process by enabling you to create automated return workflows, automatically updating your inventory, and making it easy for you and your customers alike to track the status of returns. ReturnLogic also provides complete visibility to your customer support team, making it easy for them to access a customer’s purchase history and issue refunds and returns.

Pros

  • Creates a completely transparent returns process that is easier for both your customers and support agents to navigate
  • Provides analytics on your returns that you can use to lower your return rate

Unique features

  • Barcode scanner functionality that allows you to update the status of a returned item with a simple scan
  • 3PL and ERP integrations that allow you to seamlessly connect ReturnLogic with your existing inventory management systems or logistics provider

Wonderment

Wonderment is an order-tracking platform that seeks to reduce customer support tickets regarding order status by providing customers with automated shipping updates. With Wonderment, you can automate shipping notifications via email or SMS, send internal notifications regarding delayed or lost orders, and create custom, fully-branded shipping alerts.

Pros

  • Seamless and customizable shipping update automation options
  • Helps stores be more proactive about resolving issues that could otherwise lead to customer support tickets

Unique features

  • View the status of all of your shipments from one dashboard
  • Integrates with Klaviyo, making it easy to send customized and automated shipping update emails

Implement Gorgias to your ecommerce tech stack and provide your customers with the service they need

From boosting your sales to streamlining the customer support process, creating a tech stack for your ecommerce store that is complete with the best ecommerce solutions can offer a wide range of advantages. At Gorgias, we are committed to helping our clients improve the quality of their customer support while at the same time making their entire customer support process more efficient with our industry-leading ecommerce customer support solutions. 

See for yourself how Gorgias can help you provide your customers with the service they deserve — try out Gorgias today!

Special thanks to our friends at Gorgias for their insights on this topic.
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