To run your online store, you need an ecommerce tech stack to keep your business ticking and the orders coming in. Your tech stack also keeps you compliant, so you don’t have to worry about a surprise tax bill or audit.
What’s an Ecommerce Tech Stack?
An ecommerce tech stack is a set of platforms, applications, frameworks, and solutions you use to manage your business. Think of a tech stack like a pizza. Certain tools and solutions rest on top of a base and you can add as many toppings (i.e., tools) as you want.
Ideally, the tools all play nicely together, so you can automate many repetitive and time-consuming business functions and sleep better at night.
What to Include in Your Ecommerce Tech Stack
As your online store grows and evolves, your tech stack will grow and evolve, too. While you can always add on to your tech stack as your needs change, using the following from the start will give your online store the best chance of success.
If your ecommerce tech stack is a pizza, then the platform you choose is the crust. It’s the base on which you build your store. All the other tools depend on it.
E-commerce platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, really the list goes on.
Each platform has its unique selling points, and one might appeal to you more than another. But generally, you want a platform that handles transactions, product pages, reviews, and fulfillment.
Another must-have in your e-commerce tech stack is a payment processor. Think of it like the sauce on your pizza.
No one uses cash when shopping online. You need a tool that accepts digital payments, like PayPal, Square, or Stripe.
Your payment processor helps protect your customers from fraud, so review the security features carefully before choosing. Also, check the fees, which can vary.
Sales Tax Software
When you sell stuff online, you usually have to collect sales tax. And, you often need to collect sales tax in more states than you might think, thanks to something called nexus and a 2018 Supreme Court decision.
Sales tax software is the cheese on your ecommerce tech stack pizza. You might think you can do without it, but you’ll quickly realize something’s missing if you don’t have it.
Sales tax software calculates sales tax based on the products sold and customer location, collects it, and can even file your returns for you. The right sales tax solution will also include audit assistance in case you ever need it.
You get peace of mind knowing you’re complying with the 11,000 different sales tax laws, without thinking about it.
Shipping and Fulfillment
Your ecommerce platform might already include order shipping and fulfillment but if you’re not thrilled with how it works, investing in a solution dedicated to shipping and fulfillment can add another topping to your tech stack.
A fulfillment solution steps in and gets your orders shipped out ASAP. Most importantly, the solution ensures the right customers receive the right stuff. And, if shoppers have returns, the fulfillment solution can take care of those too.
You don’t want to run out of your best-selling products or order too much of something that turns out to be a dud. Inventory management software is another topping to put on your tech stack.
It keeps track of what you have in stock and what you sell. It keeps you from ordering stuff that’s not moving and can set up automatic reorders of products flying off the shelves.
Want more toppings on your ecommerce tech stack? You can add marketing tools, customer service solutions, buy-now, pay-later options, and returns solutions as your needs evolve.
Need to add sales tax software to your tech stack? Contact us today to learn how TaxCloud helps you calculate, collect and file sales tax.