There’s a popular tech stack being advocated as best-of-breed in the eCommerce space. The combination of Shopify Plus, Klaviyo, REVIEWS.io, LoyaltyLion and Gorgias is championed by many brands and agencies using it to create authentic customer journeys and maximise marketing spend.

When we talk about a tech stack, we refer to the integration of different apps and platforms in one eCommerce space. Instead of an all in one suite from a single provider, you get to pick the right solutions for your business and choose the best-of-breed for each service.

As these SaaS providers offer entry points for every need and every budget, best-of-breed caters for brands functioning at all levels. It’s cost effective, customisable and, since each solution is designed by experts in a particular niche, they outperform those found in a generic integrated system.

Benefits of the Best-of-Breed Approach

First and foremost, it offers a greater return on investment than alternatives like an all in one suite solution. With the latter, you often end up paying for services you don’t want, that aren’t customisable to your individual needs, and offer limited functionality.

With a best-of-breed tech stack, you can choose the best platforms for specific objectives and benefit from their seamless integration with each other. It’s a strategy with a proven return value.

On top of that, the best-of-breed approach comes with multiple benefits:

  • As each of the tools integrate, it gives a competitive edge - integrating the best solutions in each niche allows you to provide an effective customer experience through things like omni-channel management, personalisation, customer service and loyalty.
  • A variety of tools in your tech stack offers greater flexibility - you can add to it or switch providers as your needs change, with minimal implementation time.
  • There’s less risk than with an all in one solution - changes or optimisation of a single  part of your tech stack will not affect others, keeping your eCommerce platform and integrations intact.

We’ve been doing a lot of research on this lately, talking with our own customers, partner agencies and fellow service providers, and the combination of Shopify Plus, Klaviyo, LoyaltyLion, REVIEWS.io and Gorgias has been the common thread. So what is it about these tools that’s resulting in such an uptake?  

What Makes this Tech Stack so Effective?

We should point out here that there are of course alternative solutions for each of these services, including review collection (some providers more trustworthy than others!)

But this particular set up has come up in conversation time and time again, the consensus being that they’re such an effective combination because:

Each provider offers a range of plans suitable for all budgets, with a feature rich platform and good customer support.

Using each solution in combination covers the whole buyer journey - your eCommerce platform, automated marketing, loyalty programmes, review collection and customer service.

Integration across this tech stack is seamless. All of these platforms work incredibly well together, automating processes to create the optimum toolkit.

As a case in point, take LoyaltyLion and REVIEWS.io. The integration offered between these two platforms allows brands to collect valuable UGC, build trust and grow consumer loyalty:

Brands choose to work with platforms such as REVIEWS.io and LoyaltyLion because they understand the power of using user generated content to drive conversion. They see how they can use the two tools together to make the collection of that content easier and less time consuming, whilst also making that advocacy far more rewarding for customers.

Fiona, Head of Marketing
Loyaltylion

Of course, we completely agree. But we also wanted an outsider’s perspective on this particular set up as a whole, so we approached Daniel Höhnke, DACH region Managing Director at digital commerce agency OVERDOSE.

Daniel explained how the best-of-breed approach is new territory for DACH merchants, but it’s gaining momentum, and the tech stack he recommends is the same combination that we’ve seen grow in popularity ourselves.

I saw the opportunities very fast in the best of breed approach… bringing tools to work together where opportunities were nearly endless.

Daniel Höhnke, Managing Director- DACH
OVERDOSE

So how does it work in practice?

Brands Benefitting from the Best-of-Breed Approach

We spoke with one of our partner agencies, Stylewise, whose client list is very much aligned with the best-of-breed approach. Using the combination of Shopify, REVIEWS.io, LoyaltyLion and Klaviyo, brands like Judas Sinned, Golden Equation, and Bellfield Clothing are driving customer acquisition and retention.

For them, it’s all about building on positive brand sentiment and using it to full effect, sharing social proof in the form of UGC, and making use of the [ways Klaviyo supports review collection]https://blog.reviews.io/4-Ways-Klaviyo-Integrations-Supports-Review-Collection):

REVIEWS.io is our gateway tool. It's the glue that holds everything together, and bridges the gap between both new and returning customers. All feedback is re-purposed on-site, in our Klaviyo flows (especially the browse abandonment) and also Facebook advertising.

Rohan Anand, Director
Styleiwse

We also had the privilege of hosting a video Q&A with Kevin Urbaum of VAAY. This particular brand faces some tricky obstacles owing to the restrictions around their market, and finding the right tech stack has been both challenging and crucial to their success.

Unable to promote their CBD and hemp products, they turn to the customer voice to educate, inform and attract new business. Again, they do this through the use of Shopify Plus, REVIEWS.io, LoyaltyLion and Klaviyo.

These tools form the foundation of their communications. Reviews are collected and used to educate their audience, customers are rewarded in return for their feedback, and all interactions are automated and personalised through Klaviyo flows.

VAAY are one of the many brands expanding their approach to rewards, customer acquisition and retention, something which LoyaltyLion are very much championing:

It's really great to hear that people are thinking beyond loyalty and discounts, that's a huge topic of conversation for us this year!

Fiona, Head of Marketing
Loyaltylion

These use cases prove just how powerful a best-of-breed tech stack can be. Essentially, if you’re using any one of these tools you should seriously consider using them all to improve your customer experience and boost profitability.

Why Make REVIEWS.io Part of your Tech Stack?

Online retail has evolved, and new trends have emerged over time. A particularly pertinent trend is how consumers gage the reputation of a brand by referring to the experience of others. This was a topic of much discussion at Accelerate 2021, recently hosted by LoyaltyLion, and demonstrates how a review collection platform is now an essential part of any eCommerce tech stack.

Screenshot 2021-03-30 at 16.47.35.png

A best-of-breed solution should be accessible, feature rich and user friendly, and that’s exactly what we aim to provide. Most of our customers use platforms like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify that adopt a no code required process, so our own platform is built in the same vein.

As a review provider we are making bigger strides within the competitive market, as we develop and increase the number of features for our merchants to use enabling them to collect and show user generated content from customers to increase brands’ Google visibility.

Callum, Founder and CEO
REVIEWS.io

You can easily incorporate our widgets and social proof features without code, and our tools are designed to meet the needs of our customer base. As an example, our new customisable product review widget gives both brands and those on our agency partner programme the functionality they need to make effective use of customer reviews without a single line of code.

Of course, that’s what we have to say about our platform. And as a review collection provider, it’s only right we share feedback from those that are using REVIEWS.io as part of their own tech stack:

The Agency:

OVERDOSE share our company ethos in that they look to be the best at what they do by offering a service that’s unrivalled. For Daniel, it’s all about having a product he’s proud to pitch to clients:

REVIEWS.io makes publishing easy, have good features for social media and they have thought about how to make it easy for merchants to use by being agnostic.

Daniel Höhnke, Managing Director- DACH
OVERDOSE

Whilst OVERDOSE are new to the review space, we’ve been working with Stylewise for many years, over which time they’ve consistently used our platform to drive both customer acquisition and retention for the brands they support:

REVIEWS.io is usually one of the first recommendations we make to all clients - it's an essential piece of the jigsaw when building your brand.

Rohan Anand, Director
Styleiwse

The Client

A lot of the brands we work with have switched over to us from another provider. This was the case with VAAY, who were looking for better customer support and increased functionality:

Your team is really reachable, works super fast and easy to integrate.

Kevin, Head of Tech
VAAY

The Integrations

Then there’s our integration partners - those who form part of this best-of-breed solution. What makes this tech stack so powerful is that each service provider recognises the significance of the other:

If you're not yet using a reviews provider, then you are missing out on the opportunity to build trust with consumers you have not yet met and may incur greater acquisition costs as a direct result. Equally, you are missing the opportunity to turn reviews into powerful onsite or social content that could drive the conversion of both new and existing customers.

Fiona, Head of Marketing
Loyaltylion

How Does Your Tech Stack Up With Your Competitors?

A powerful tech stack is a critical piece of the puzzle for any brand looking to grow. With the right tools working together, you can streamline operations through automation, understand your market on a deeper level, and gain a holistic view of business performance.

For eCommerce brands in particular, choosing the best-of-breed approach allows you to create an authentic customer experience that carries fluidly across the entire buyer journey. Your storefront, customer support, reviews, loyalty programmes and marketing efforts all work together harmoniously, driving sales and giving you a greater return rate on your tech stack investment.

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2021 State of Reviews

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