The ultimate tech stack for eCommerce businesses 2023
An eCommerce tech stack is crucial to the success of your business. It provides benefits ranging from time savings to financial and customer insights that will drive your future business decisions.
But with so many eCommerce use cases and SaaS providers, where do you start?
To help you make the right investments, we’re reviewing everything you need to know to build the best tech stack for your eCommerce business in 2023.
What is an eCommerce tech stack?
Simply put, an eCommerce technology stack consists of the technologies businesses use to run their operations. eCommerce tech stacks typically include the following:
“Stacking” these technologies on top of one another helps businesses run more efficiently and effectively. Expect automated workflows, optimisation and helpful insights in all areas of your business, from website hosting to payment processing.
In fact, finding the right tech stack is so important that they can make or break your success as an eCommerce business. They’ll improve your financial performance, customer satisfaction and more.
Building the best tech stack for eCommerce
So, what makes an effective tech stack? How do you know which tools live up to the hype?
We have eight rules for you to follow.
Check that the tools and platforms you’re considering are compatible with one another and with any solutions you already use. Some solutions simply won’t work well together, which will cause you unnecessary issues down the line.
Consider your time to market
How urgently do you need the solution to be up and running? Many apps require little onboarding time, but some software solutions could have more complicated integration processes.
Whatever you choose, make sure it meets your needs and expectations.
Make sure it scales
Your business will grow, and so will your needs. If you don’t choose eCommerce solutions that offer quick and easy scalability, you’re setting yourself up for stalled growth that will cost you.
Avoid monolithic solutions
Monolithic solutions are all-in-one software applications. They combine both the data access code and user interface code into a single program and platform with tightly coupled components. As such, making changes to one component will likely affect everything else in the application, which makes innovation difficult.
Opt for composable architecture
Unlike monolithic architecture, composable architecture lets you select and combine individual components. When you choose software options with easy-to-use and well-documented application programming interfaces (APIs), you can customise and change your application to meet your specific business needs.
Choose headless solutions
Headless solutions separate the customer-facing front end from the technical back end. This means you can change one without affecting the other. As a result, you can be more flexible and agile.
Prioritise ease of use
An eCommerce solution may seem like a perfect fit, but if it’s complicated or requires extensive training to use, it’s probably not worth the investment. Before making the final choice, consider the learning curve, and check whether the company provides documentation and customer support.
It goes without saying that your tech stack won’t be free. However, you’ll need to consider more than the initial purchase price to budget effectively.
For instance, do you have to pay more for additional features? And how much money will the solution save you by automating tasks that you’d otherwise have to pay someone to do?
You should also consider the individual needs of your eCommerce business. For instance, if you plan to sell overseas, you can save big by choosing a multi-currency online payment solution, like Airwallex, which allows you to collect global customer payments without being subject to forced FX or high international fees.
Essential elements of your eCommerce tech stack
Now that you know what to consider when building your tech stack, let’s look at the core business functions to focus on.
While these functions will vary depending on your business’s specific needs, most eCommerce retailers build their tech stacks around the following areas.
Creating a functional, easy and pleasant online shopping experience is absolutely crucial to your sales.
After all, the shopping cart abandonment rate for retail averaged over 71% in 2022. People abandon their carts for many reasons (wishful shopping, anyone?), but a clunky shopping experience shouldn’t be one of them.
As such, an eCommerce store is often the first thing businesses add to their tech stack. These are some of the best commerce platforms:
Shopify: It’s specifically designed for eCommerce, so you know Shopify will offer the functionality you need. It also offers website hosting, useful plugins and an intuitive site builder which requires minimal web development. You have access to editable CSS and HTML for greater customisation.
WooCommerce: This is the eCommerce platform of choice for any businesses that use WordPress as their content management system (CMS). You can turn your WordPress site into a fully functional online shop with a single click.
Adobe Commerce: Formerly Magento, Adobe Commerce is an open-source platform with maximum customisation potential. That customisation makes it one of the most flexible and scalable options out there.
Pro tip: Improve your online shopping experience by integrating Airwallex online payments with your eCommerce platform. Localise your checkout, offer 70-plus local payment methods and protect against fraud — all with flexible integration methods, no monthly fees and no hidden costs.
If creating your own online store isn’t possible right now, or if you simply want to expand your reach, another option is to sell on a marketplace. Some of the best online marketplaces for selling internationally include these sites:
These marketplaces are popular with customers worldwide, so you can vastly grow your customer base.
If you are selling globally, you will need to open foreign currency accounts in the markets you expand to in order to collect global revenue without being subject to excessive fees. You can open 12 foreign currency accounts online in minutes with an Airwallex Global Account, making it easy for you to expand your eCommerce business across borders.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software
As the name implies, CRM software helps businesses manage their customer relationships. It replaces the numerous apps, spreadsheets and databases businesses often make do with. And that makes it easy to track customer data and communications in one place.
As a result, you can streamline the steps in your sales cycle and better nurture customer relationships. You can also expect greater organisation, efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Here are some of the top CRMs to consider when building your eCommerce tech stack:
Salesforce Customer 360: Many business owners consider it the best CRM. Salesforce Customer 360 is a suite of products that link your marketing, sales channels, commerce, service and IT teams.
HubSpot: It offers the best-rated free CRM software, and you can add up to 1 million contacts at no cost. Email templates and tracking are some of HubSpot’s top features.
Klaviyo: With marketing automation designed specifically for eCommerce, Klaviyo makes it easy to create personalised shopping experiences. One of its best features is historical viewing, which allows you to see every interaction a customer has had with your site.
How will you accept payments from customers?
You have many payment processors to choose from, so pay attention to each one’s specific features. Consider the types of accepted payments, fraud protection and ease of integration. And most importantly, don’t assume a payment processor is right for your business just because you’ve seen a lot of other companies using it.
For instance, Airwallex's online payments API has gained popularity for its ability to create a localised checkout experience. With Airwallex, you can accept local payment methods such as ApplePay, Klarna and Alipay, in addition to Visa, American Express and MasterCard payments.
On top of that, Airwallex has a 3DS fraud engine for built-in protection and flexible integration methods.
Great customer service is crucial for brand loyalty for 95% of buyers. So, investing in effective customer service solutions is one of the best ways to ensure customers come back, increase their customer lifetime value and even boost positive word of mouth.
Of course, poor customer service will lose you customers both now and down the road. Don’t underestimate how harmful negative reviews can be.
Consider one of the following customer service solutions to add to your eCommerce tech stack:
Intercom: An all-in-one customer communications platform, Intercom’s major selling point is its ability to connect you with customers when they’re already using your eCommerce website, app or product.
Totango: You can design, optimise and automate your customer journeys with Totango’s easy-to-use interface.
Sprinklr: Its unified customer experience management platform (Unified-CXM) and industry-leading AI help keep customers happy.
Your financial tech stack needs don’t end with a payment processor.
Although a payment processor will help with incoming payments, if you sell internationally, you’re also likely to make international payments yourself. For instance, you may have to pay international manufacturers, suppliers, vendors or contractors.
Unfortunately, money transfer platforms tend to have high exchange rates that eat into your profits. With a Global Account from Airwallex, you can collect payments from customers in their local currency, hold those funds and then take one of two steps:
Convert them into your home currency with Airwallex’s market-leading FX rates.
Use the funds to pay suppliers in their local currency, avoiding double currency conversion and lengthy processing times.
It’s the easiest (and most affordable) way to do business anywhere.
Gone are the days of tedious, error-filled spreadsheets — accounting software is a crucial element of your eCommerce tech stack.
With the right accounting solution, you can expect automation, tax regulation compliance and even insightful data that drives your future business decisions. Here are some examples which we recommend:
Xero: Helps you automate bookkeeping tasks, such as categorising and reconciling transactions across multiple currencies. If you have an Airwallex Global Account, you can sync it directly to Xero and automatically reconcile global transactions in your chart of accounts.
A2X: The app automatically categorises sales, fees, taxes and refunds across marketplaces such as Amazon, Shopify, Etsy and eBay
Next up is logistics, which involves everything needed to get your products from their origin to customers.
Naturally, logistics and order management is essential — without it, your supply chain will come to a complete halt. But it’s also incredibly complex, involving numerous processes, parties, networks and resources.
Your eCommerce tech stack will have to cover all the different areas of logistics. We recommend starting here:
Order and inventory management
Fulfilment and shipping
Rakuten Super Logistics
Product information management
Enterprise resource planning
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Marketing is the final link to ensure all your other efforts actually pay off. With the right solutions in place, you can expect to boost your brand awareness, engagement, conversions, sales and revenue.
After all, numerous other brands are competing for potential customers’ attention. You need to convince them that your product or service is superior.
Like logistics, marketing is a very broad area. In fact, it might warrant a tech stack of its own. With that in mind, we recommend looking into the following tools and solutions:
HubSpot Marketing Hub
Affiliates and influencers
The best financial infrastructure for your eCommerce tech stack
Managing your eCommerce business may feel like an uphill battle. But the right eCommerce tech stack can simplify your efforts — and guarantee your hard work pays off.
When you’re ready to start adding financial infrastructure to your tech stack, Airwallex is here to help. We offer a suite of user-friendly solutions to meet your eCommerce needs and help you scale your business globally:
Global Accounts: Open 12 foreign currency accounts from the comfort of your home and start collecting and sending payments globally — with no monthly fees.
Online Payments: Accept payment in multiple currencies online. Plug our payment gateway directly into your eCommerce store and offer 60+ local payment methods at your checkout, including Visa, American Express, MasterCard, PayPal, Klarna and more.
Borderless Cards: Enable your team to pay for their business expenses with virtual and physical multi-currency cards. Capture receipts on the move, approve expenses in a tap, track spending in real-time and automatically reconcile transactions in Xero.
International Transfers: Bypass the SWIFT network for faster and cheaper global payments, and enjoy our market-beating FX rates.
Signing up is free and easy — get started today!