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Making the most of your e-commerce tech stack in 2024

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Making the most of your e-commerce tech stack in 2024


In 2024, Australian businesses face challenges due to cost-of-living pressures, interest rate hikes, and geopolitical conflicts. Amid economic impacts, retaining and attracting customers is crucial. Patrick Deloy explores.

The AI wave of 2022 and 2023 led to continuous innovation, with technology companies launching new products. E-commerce professionals are eager to integrate AI into their tech stack, but caution is needed, especially for brands with legacy systems. Assessing existing technology infrastructure is crucial before adopting new solutions.

Shop your closet

Auditing your existing digital assets and evaluating what still fits before investing in the new is crucial. This process involves assessing your website design, shopping experience, first- and third-party customer data, marketing campaigns, or content strategies, to determine what is still valuable and what needs an optimisation. 

This process enables you to make an informed decision, providing an opportunity to gain a holistic view of the customer journey and understand how diverse technologies orchestrate in the e-commerce ecosystem for desired outcomes. Comprehending the digital commerce engine’s workings empowers chief technology officers (CTOs), managers and marketers to prioritise investments for a tangible, positive impact on customer experience, conversions, and overall business growth.

Assessing your resources involves reviewing the current tech stack and analysing customer data. Brands likely possess essential customer data from various touch points like online orders, in-store point-of-sale (POS) records, website clicks, abandoned carts, and social engagement. Structuring this data with a customer-data platform (CDP) forms a cookieless private identity graph, transforming it into actionable insights for a personalised customer experience that adds meaning to the customers’ interactions.

Reimagining your data and technology

It’s tempting to jump on new technology in hopes that being an early adopter will give you a competitive advantage, but innovation comes with risks. You do not have to throw a bunch of metaverses and AI tools on the wall to see what sticks. 

Ask yourself the following questions when trying something new:

  • Does this innovation create an opportunity for me to engage my customers in a differentiated way? 
  • Can I innovate with the data, technology and personnel I already have? 
  • Are there breaks in my CX journey that I need to fill? 
  • Are there things I wish I knew about my customers?

Innovation can come from throwing out processes or technologies that do not work, so test and learn when implementing any new solutions to see if it makes sense for your business. 

Building out your e-commerce foundation

A challenge for businesses is prioritising e-commerce tools amid constant technological advancements. Decision-makers can feel overwhelmed by innovative approaches. Clarity on the ideal technology is often lacking. Maximising your digital commerce tech stack requires delving into foundational aspects to ensure a groundwork for enabling the technology is in place.

Step 1: Break down organisational silos

Effective technology management relies on skilled personnel. Businesses must scrutinise organisational planning to bridge the tech usage gap across departments. For instance, customer data collected online, like search history, resides with the marketing team, while brick-and-mortar data in enterprise resource planning is managed by key executives. Harmonising these aspects enhances overall efficiency and connectivity.

For a comprehensive 360-degree customer profile and seamless omnichannel experience, companies need to translate their customer strategy into a technical reality using the right technology. Effective collaboration among teams is crucial. By consolidating customer data from online and offline sources into a CDP, the company can generate insights for a cohesive, personalised experience across various touchpoints.

Step 2: Employ future-proof technology

In the rapidly evolving technological scene, companies must prioritise the adoption of future-proof technology to maximise the potential of their tech stack. Concentrate on establishing fundamental integrations between your systems. If the middleware and various components of your tech stack are not seamlessly unified, the innovation potential becomes immediately restricted.

Adopting future-proof technology empowers companies to adapt to emerging trends, seamlessly integrate new tools, and maintain a competitive edge. The rising popularity of headless commerce exemplifies this approach, decoupling the front-end and back-end of an e-commerce store. Through application programming interfaces (APIs), they exchange data, enabling agility in integrating third-party services for marketing, analytics, personalisation, and more.

Step 3: Embrace market nuisances

Businesses must acknowledge the need for tailored market approaches, consider unique regional characteristics and online experiences. Enterprises should display agility in customising experiences and logistics for each region, propelling strategic adaptation. Fortifying the foundation allows businesses to discern technology usage and effectiveness, ensuring the necessary human skills for efficient operation are in place, advancing toward achieving desired goals.

Generative AI for customer-centric strategies 

At the core of any technology investment, prioritising the customer experience is imperative. Understanding your audience is essential, as this knowledge guides the development of business processes tailored to meet your customers’ specific needs. The infrastructure supporting customer experience plays a pivotal role in facilitating effective engagement with the audience. Businesses, therefore, must ensure that these investments result in tangible customer value.

Enterprises rush to adopt generative AI for cost savings and efficiency. In retail, a single stock-keeping unit has numerous attributes, like images and descriptions. Generative AI expedites content creation and adds personalisation for better customer experiences. In commerce, virtual assistants use customer data for precise recommendations, anticipating needs before customers are aware. Organisations not leveraging AI risk lagging in the competitive landscape.

With the buzz around generative AI, it is tempting to splurge on its investment, however businesses should always be cautious about implementing any new technology into their current tech stack. The first step businesses should always take is to take a hard look at their current technological assets and assess what customer value the new technology they’re about to introduce could bring, what pain points it could solve. This comprehension empowers organisations to construct a roadmap detailing all consumer journeys and channels, ensuring they remain at the forefront of effectively reaching their audience. 

As the new year begins, businesses should prioritise a thorough understanding of its existing resources and ensure its tech stack is up-to-date before chasing the latest innovations. Embrace a digitised architecture with simplicity and strategic planning. This foundation involves holistic data analysis, seamless integrations, and market-tailored approaches, ensuring competitive business strategies that efficiently reach your audience and adapt to the evolving landscape.

Patrick Deloy is managing director for experience and commerce at Merkle APAC.


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