The Pros and Cons of All In One Platforms vs. Composable Stacks
Home » Podcast library » Platform selection » The Pros and Cons of All In One Platforms vs. Composable Stacks

The Pros and Cons of All In One Platforms vs. Composable Stacks

In this podcast, James & Paul explain how you evaluate the different approaches and sensible decision criteria to help you make the best decision for your business.

Watch the video

Listen on your favourite player

There has been a lot of change in the ecommerce and marketing tech landscape in the last few years. Leading vendors seeking to expand market reach and increase the LTV of existing customers have broadened their feature set, resulting in trend of tech stack consolidation.

For example, Yotpo now offers loyalty / referrals / SMS / UGC / subscriptions (for Shopify), Klevu has enhanced its core search & merchandising toolkit with personalisation, product recommendations and an AI chatbot for product discovery, and Nosto has bolstered its core product discovery engine with a content personalisation module.

We spend a lot of time advising ecommerce businesses on replatforming and their wider tech stack selection. There are nuances to deciding which platforms to select, and the additional 3rd party tools that are required on the selected platform to deliver the required business functionality and operational gains.

A common challenge is deciding whether to invest in an all-in-one vendor that can offer a pre-connected set of capabilities out-the-box, or building a best-in-class stack using leading vendors for each capability. For example, a Shopify merchant using Yotpo to do all of their loyalty / referrals / SMS / UGC / subscriptions vs. using Yotpo for loyalty & referrals, for reviews and Skio for subscriptions.

There is no single right approach. The optimal tech stack is dependent on many factors including size of business, complexity of requirements and available resources.

Make sure you’re following Inside Commerce on LinkedIn and have subscribed to the Inside Commerce newsletter.

Key discussion points

  • Let’s start with why we’re talking about this, why it’s important:
    1. Cost
    2. Maintenance
    3. Performance
    4. Admin
    5. Reporting
  • And let’s give some examples:
    1. All in one for loyalty/referrals/UGC is Yotpo and Stamped, vs. platforms specialising in one or two core areas like Smile (Loyalty/Referrals but not UGC like reviews) and (reviews only but building integration with for loyalty)
    2. All in one for product discovery = Klevu, Algolia, Nosto
  • What are the pros / cons of buying-in to an all-in-one platform?
    1. Pros: single partner to simplify project delivery / single integration point for devs / single interface (usually)
    2. Cons: feature compromise for some parts of the platform / roadmap not likely to be equally compelling across all areas of the product
  • What are the pros/ cons of a specialist e.g. Powerreviews / Feefo
  • What about building something yourself e.g. extending native theme to enable basic personalisation of content
  • It’s increasingly hard to differentiate between vendors as everyone wants to be a DXP: let’s talk about how you figure out what they’re really good at, where things are add-ons but not mature feature sets
  • Now let’s explore what influences your decision path:
    1. Business needs: what’s most important to you and your customers?
    2. Admin tooling: how intuitive is the back-end, how easily will your team make use of all the features
    3. Resourcing: can you leverage the full feature set, do you have the bandwidth and skills to make use of what you’re paying for
    4. Advanced features e.g. personalisation: what do you really need vs. what’s a vanity play?
    5. Roadmap and pace of change
    6. Ecosystem: how well does it play with your wider ecom tech stack? How good is the API?
    7. Integration and maintenance complexity / cost
    8. Licence fee cost

Want to suggest a topic or guest for a future episode? Contact us via the website or on LinkedIn.


Listen / Subscribe