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In episode 48 of the Customers Who Click podcast, I had a great chat with Deri Jones about the use of tech stacks in ecommerce.
If there’s a way to complete a task without getting a team of developers involved, you’d probably jump right onto it - I know I would (and I do!). Sometimes there really is no need to reinvent the wheel, especially when a single widget or a plugin can do the job, right?
But, with so many options available to marketers today, choosing the right solution can be a bit of a nightmare. There are literally thousands of them out there and they all promise to help you solve your problem.
Then you have the ugly consequences of adding various plugins and widgets, load after load - think sluggish site speed and technical glitches that hugely impact the user and customer experience and eventually, your revenue. So although adding them is super simple and usually requires just a few clicks on your part, they stack up pretty quick and you’re left with chaos… (pun intended).
Deri started studying electronics at Cambridge University, and went on to be a serial entrepreneur, involved at the earliest days of the Internet in the UK: running the UK’s first Internet service provider, then in the late 90’s founding and exiting one of the first internet security companies, and most recently founded and heads thinkTribe; working with over 50 UK blue-chip retailers and other sectors. He is a father of 2 sons, plays the guitar and follows the news on electric cars, Space-X, Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or head over to www.thinktribe.com
06:22 - 12:21 - Pros and Cons of Tech Stacks - Pros: Great for those not wanting to involve their tech teams to implement small changes. Cons: The law of unintended consequences. You might be adding a better feature, or better search function or improving personalisation. But you can end up making the overall customer experience slower and error-prone. So as much as you want to solve a certain issue as quickly as possible, it’s always worth consulting with your tech department to ensure plugins aren’t clashing.
29:41 - 34:14 - Biggest Mistakes Brands Make with Tech Stacks - Poor communication - marketing teams don’t speak to tech teams often enough. Ideally, every campaign should be consulted BEFORE they’re live so that tech teams can ensure things go smoothly before it’s too late and the damage is done. Also, tech teams should be made aware of every plugin or widget you’re about to install so they can keep track of any updates you’re probably unaware of.
34:59 - 40:17 - How to Better Qualify and Choose New Tech - Test early. Consider all benefits and drawbacks, compare and contrast all your top picks so that when you implement, there are no nasty surprises for you and your users. Make sure you test every new plugin on your staging site. It’s done by the tech team, but marketing often skips this step and assumes the plugin will work as it’s ‘reliable 3rd party tech’.
40:44 - 46:36 - Upcoming Trends with Tech Stacks - Customer experience. Consumer behaviour will undoubtedly change again in the post COVID world but an excellent CX is what will give your brand an edge. One thing to be conscious of though is mindlessly copying what your competitors are doing to improve their CX - while you should, don’t let it become an obsession and implement what works for your brand.
44:57 - 37:45 - Deri’s Marketing Pet Peeves - Companies expect too much of marketers. They’re responsible for all marketing communications, improving customer experience, merchandising and so many other aspects at the same time.
47:37 - 49:20 - Deri’s Underrated Aspect of Marketing - Focusing too much on averages. The problem with that is if you stack together a few really well performing campaigns with a few poor ones, you’ll still get a decent average so many problems go unnoticed.