Technology moves so fast that it can be hard to keep up with the newest software. With time, developers realised that it was more effective to build robust tech stacks to enhance productivity and user experience. 

Best-of-breed vs. single-vendor

“Best-of-breed” refers to using different vendors to benefit from the leading applications, tools, services or software available in your business area. The “all-in-one” or “end-to-end” tech stacks refer to a more traditional system, where a business’s different product solutions are obtained from a single-vendor.

A best-of-breed approach is flexible, allowing you to create the best possible e-commerce platform for your business needs and adapt it later, by mixing and matching products and technology services. A single-vendor approach is rigid. You’ll find yourself blocked into using a service that essentially you need, but includes perhaps features that are not quite as well adapted to your needs as another. Or indeed, that service or product has not been developed to compete with those that are top of the market.

Using multiple vendors to create your best-in-class technical stack may seem daunting. Points of contact, invoices, systems: these are all multiplied. But in reality, the adaptability of a bespoke tech stack leaves more room for manoeuvre in terms of features, productivity and cost reduction.

Building your best-of-breed stack

When embarking on building a bespoke technical stack, it’s important to take into consideration the following:

Core business needs not just features

Like a child in a candy store, a pic ‘n’ mix tech stack may lead us to being drawn to different services according to their shiny features. In much the same way that certain sweets aren’t always adapted to our taste, not every technology solution out there will make sense for your business. Focus on the business outcome you are aiming to achieve first.

Scalability

Reaching scale is a common business objective that should be kept in mind. Choose applications that are capable of adapting to increased performance (increased traffic, more data) without further development.

Data flows

Beware of the silo! The different solutions put in place work independently from one another and will have their own data flow. However, it’s important to ensure that each solution can communicate with each other seamlessly to collect user data and product usage data.

Make informed choices

There’s nothing worse than implementing a service that either reaches end of life after a year or 2, doesn’t do what it says on the box, or doesn’t adapt to your needs after all.  Take the time to look at reviews, get references or read case studies before taking the plunge.

Is the “best-of-breed” strategy cost-effective ? 

Now we’ve outlined what a best-of-breed tech stack is, let’s get down to the question at the top of our mind: will it be cost effective? 

Implementation, subscriptions, licencing, advanced features .. taking on the composable approach will of course incur outlay costs. But the long term benefits will outweigh these costs.

A “best-of-breed” tech stack for a headless e-commerce will positively benefit many areas of your business, both directly and indirectly. But most importantly it can improve your ROI and your bottom line.

Time to market

Best-of-breed solutions are generally lighter and take less time to implement. Meaning you will not only reduce development time costs but you will also see results, faster.

Your teams will be more efficient

Best of breed also costs you less time because your teams won’t have to maintain multiple codebase and changes will be made in only one place. It consolidates API’s into one and is also naturally flexible, so you can adapt your tools according to your expenses at any time.

Better user experience

Getting each composant to work together to allow for the best user experience possible is easier. Once you get the right stack for your business in place, it’s simpler to react to the behavioural data that you collect and adapt them to your clients and customers needs.

Related article: How a PWA impacts e-commerce ROI

An ROI-maximizing Best-of-Breed tech stack will power your e-commerce

So, single vendor or best-of-breed? It seems like a tough choice. But when it comes down to long term profitability, we’ve outlined what we believe to be the best solution. Can just one company really have all of the solutions you need? 

Talk to an expert today.

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