{# Cookie Consent Banner #}
Register Now
Request Demo
    Hero Shape

    How To Build a Winning Ecommerce Tech Stack

    7 minute read
    How To Build a Winning Ecommerce Tech Stack

    No tech, no sales.

    For ecommerce brands, technology enables everything from initial customer engagement to product research, comparison, and eventual purchase. On its own, however, “technology” is too broad a term. There’s no single, monolithic solution capable of handling every task and solving every problem.

    Instead, digital retailers rely on technology stacks — interconnected layers of systems and solutions that enable specific functions. As noted by data from Statista, investment in ecommerce tech stacks is rising, with spending on business-to-consumer (B2C) platforms expected to reach $5.7 billion by the end of 2025.

    The challenge? Building an ecommerce tech stack that balances cost, complexity, and the customer experience. Here’s what brands need to know about building a tech stack that helps win sales and keeps buyers coming back.

    What Is an Ecommerce Tech Stack?

    An ecommerce tech stack typically combines servers, storage devices, applications, and programming languages. These stacks also include front- and back-end components.

    Tools on the front end help build and refine user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) components, while back-end tools are used to create, run, and optimize applications. In addition, tech stacks may include business intelligence or technology monitoring tools that help teams monitor and manage performance.

    Consider a small-to-midsize ecommerce company.

    It might use a combination of cloud-based server solutions such as Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS) along with on-site storage databases for critical company and product data, then leverage application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect storage and servers.

    Web design and development tools help build out the ecommerce site, which links to payment gateways. In addition, the company uses a data analytics platform to track visitor numbers, inventory levels, and sales volumes.

    The result is a multi-layered stack that sees each component connected with multiple other components to create a functioning whole. 

    Challenges in Ecommerce Tech Stacks: What Factors Matter in Choosing Solutions?

    While ecommerce technology allows brands to conduct business online and capture consumer interest, tech stacks also come with challenges: complexity, sprawl, and visibility.

    The biggest obstacle to effective use? Complexity.

    Given the number of solutions available to store, process, and analyze data, the number of necessary connections and interdependencies to effectively leverage these solutions rapidly increases.

    The result is a tech stack that becomes increasingly difficult to navigate, even for experienced staff.

    Another common challenge is sprawl. As brands see online success, they often add more solutions to better manage specific functions.

    Over time, however, this can lead to the rapid adoption of new tools that slightly outperform current technologies or that offer cutting-edge features, in turn creating a fragmented IT environment that contains many solutions but few answers.

    Visibility rounds out the list. Put simply, more tools make it harder to see what’s happening, where, and how it’s impacting performance.

    Minimize the impact of common challenges and maximize the output of ecommerce solutions by asking three critical questions.

    1. Where Are the Gaps?

    Start by identifying what solutions aren’t doing. For example, if current payment platforms don’t offer enough choices for customers, it may be worth bringing in a new solution to bridge the gap.

    If tools simply provide different versions of functions that already exist, they may create more problems than they solve.

    2. What Are the Benefits?

    Solid tech stack solutions should deliver clear and measurable benefits. If value is predicated on situations or conditions that don’t yet exist, brands are better off waiting to deploy solutions until needs are clear.

    3. Who Has the Skills?

    Different tools require different skill sets. Some are accessible to users of all levels of tech expertise, while some require more specialized knowledge. Before buying in, brands should ensure they have the skills required to maximize solution value.

    It’s worth noting that there’s no one-size-fits-all technology stack solution. The ideal mix of tools and technologies varies considerably based on what tech brands currently have in place, what their sales and strategy goals look like, and what their budgets can accommodate.

    How Do Brands Build an Effective Ecommerce Tech Stack?

    Building an effective ecommerce tech stack is a step-by-step process. While expanding solution markets makes it tempting to implement everything all at once, this can create more problems than it solves. In practice, a three-part approach can help build better stacks.

    1. Start With Stability

    The “stack” in tech stack is about architecture. Tools and technologies are layered on top of one another to create a cohesive whole. Like a tower of blocks, however, a stable base makes all the difference.

    While you can build a stack using legacy storage tools and on-premises hardware, brands may instead create top-heavy architecture that can’t support new solutions.

    As a result, it’s worth creating a stable base of critical IT infrastructure before moving on to more specialized solutions.

    2. Think ‘Best Fit,’ Not ‘Best’

    Building an effective ecommerce tech stack is about finding what works best for a given brand in a given situation. It’s about finding and implementing tools that are fit for purpose.

    Consider a best-of-breed data intelligence analytics platform.

    The platform’s features and functions might be unmatched by other tools, but it may also require specialized skill sets to use effectively. As a result, brands are often better served by prioritizing tools that deliver specific outcomes and integrate easily with other solutions.

    3. Stay Ahead of the Curve

    Tech stacks aren’t static. Instead, they constantly evolve to meet new business challenges and address customer expectations.

    For example, while many brands are familiar with tools such as enterprise resource management (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and digital asset management (DAM), ecommerce companies now need product experience management (PXM) solutions to create and maintain product pages that capture customer interest and drive steady sales.

    PXM solutions aim to provide channel-specific product experiences, evolve with changing buying habits and markets, and rely on complete and accurate product content.

    Getting the Win

    Tech stacks underpin ecommerce success. For brands, however, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees as solution sprawl and complexity ramp up.

    Thankfully, the key to building the best ecommerce tech stack is simple: Whatever helps brands win.

    Systems and solutions that make it easier for companies to capture consumer interest and drive steady sales are worth the investment. Those that don’t — even if they’re well-priced or high-performing — won’t help brands win.

    Bottom line? By starting with stability, bringing in best-fit solutions, and keeping pace with market changes, brands can build tech stacks that deliver immediate wins and long-term victories.

    Drive Ecommerce Sales With Your Tech Stack

    Download this guide to learn the essentials of building a winning tech stack.


    Written by: Doug Bonderud

    Doug Bonderud (he/him) is an award-winning writer with expertise in ecommerce, customer experience, and the human condition. His ability to create readable, relatable articles is second to none.

    Recent Posts

    Subscribe to the Below the Fold Newsletter

    Standing out on the digital shelf starts with access to the latest industry content. Subscribe to Below the Fold, our monthly content newsletter, and join other commerce leaders.

    Drive Ecommerce Sales With Your Tech Stack Download this guide to learn the essentials of building a winning tech stack. DOWNLOAD GUIDE