The Roles of Technology in Ecommerce | Digital River
Ecommerce Technology: 8 Technologies to Grow Your Online Business

Ecommerce Technology: 8 Technologies to Grow Your Online Business [Part 1 of 3]

By: Mike Penterman
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Like a car, your ecommerce site is powered by multiple components and technologies that all work seamlessly to create a great customer experience.

In this three-part blog series, we’ll look under the hood of your ecommerce site to reveal:

  1. Eight ecommerce technologies necessary to grow your business
  2. How ecommerce technologies work together to fulfill orders
  3. Why brands partner with experts to simplify back-office complexities

Must-have ecommerce technologies and the roles they play

Choosing the right technologies in ecommerce can be overwhelming for many brands. The type of technology you need depends largely on your individual business and how much growth you are expecting. While there are full-stack solutions available, brands today are taking a more modular approach for greater flexibility, speed, innovation, and scalability.

When you have multiple technologies working together, it is important to understand the roles each system plays in getting your product to your customer’s doorstep. Let’s take it from the top.

Ecommerce Technologies

1. Experience Platform (CMS & DXP)

To manage content on your website, you might use an open source content management system (CMS) like WordPress or a digital experience platform (DXP) like Adobe Experience Manager. These solutions allow you to control written content, images and videos to attract and engage customers as they browse your online store.

2. Commerce Platform

Often paired with a CMS or DXP system, the commerce platform you choose has a major impact on the profitability and scalability of your online business. It is a vital tool allowing you to control shopper experiences, from product information to merchandising, pricing, promotions, the shopping cart, and checkout. A few popular enterprise commerce solutions include Magento, Salesforce, and SAP Hybris.

3. Payment Gateway

In order to accept customer payments, you’ll need to integrate a payments solution into your store’s checkout experience. It is important to look for a payments solution with the ability to display and transact in local currency and payment methods. If you’re looking to optimize your ecommerce revenue, a localized checkout experience is extremely important for converting international shoppers.

Up to 50% of shoppers will abandon their cart if they are shown a foreign currency or an unfamiliar payment method. And if you plan to sell in multiple countries, it is important to know that payment preferences are as diverse as the shoppers who use them.

With a variety of payments solutions out there, the key is to find one that will work with you to maximize your conversion rate. One way they do this is by routing transactions through local banks in multiple countries.

4. Fraud Prevention Platform

Fraud management is often included in many payment solutions, but if you experience a high volume of chargebacks, you may need a more specialized fraud solution. Solutions like Riskified, Ekata, and NuData Security use automated workflows, machine learning, and insights from multiple online merchants and transaction types.

5. Tax Management Platform

Managing taxes on a global scale is a major headache for most online businesses. As you enter new countries, the time, effort, and resources required to scale your operations to manage ever-changing tax laws can be daunting. The U.S. alone has 12,000 tax jurisdictions, each with their own unique requirements. And in the EU, there are 28 member states with VAT rates ranging from 17-27%.

Even the biggest companies find value in adding a tax management platform to their ecommerce tech stack. With Digital River, a single integration provides a global ecommerce solution for simplifying taxes, payments, fraud and regulatory compliance. Our solution calculates rates, files and remits payments, and even handles tax registrations on your behalf.

6. Order Management System

You are looking for an order management system (OMS) that enables flawless customer experiences by orchestrating order fulfillment, while providing your customers the true landed cost and real-time order information. Having an effective OMS means less manual work, increased order accuracy, and better tracking of online orders.

You may not currently have an OMS if you are a smaller business and your site is closely aligned with your inventory. But if you do have multiple sales channels, expect long-term growth, or fulfill orders from many different warehouses, you’ll want an OMS to keep orders running smoothly.

7. Fulfillment Integration

Whether you own and manage your own inventory, or partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) solution, you need an efficient way to ship orders on a timely basis. A fulfillment integration connects the front-end shopper experience to your back-end inventory and shipping. When an order is captured, the appropriate warehouse receives the order details, prepares the shipment, and coordinates with the carrier who ultimately delivers the shipment to the customer’s doorstep.

8. ERP System

The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system plays a key role as the “system of record,” ensuring that all customer data is accurate and consistent. However, ERP systems lack certain capabilities that an OMS can provide to help you keep up with dynamic customer expectations. For that reason, many online businesses today use an OMS that is closely integrated with their ERP system. Together, ERP and OMS systems enable agility in day-to-day operations without having a major impact on your accounting processes.

How ecommerce technologies fulfill orders

Now that we’ve established all the components that power an ecommerce business, the next step is to understand how they all work together to create seamless shopping experiences. In the next part of this three-part blog series, we’ll unveil what happens behind the scenes of an ecommerce order, from checkout to delivery and all the back-office complexities required to reconcile sales and comply with regulations.

To learn more about how Digital River can simplify back-office operations and optimize your global ecommerce revenue, connect with us today.