Marketing Foundations: The Right Tech Stack with eCommerce Tech’s Derric Haynie (episode 028)

by April Buencamino-dy

Derric is the Chief eCommerce Technologist at eCommerce Tech, Since 2014 he’s worked across the eCommerce world – he’s been a marketing agency CEO, and been in house running the marketing for a beauty box subscription box called BoxyCharm (recently sold for $500m to Ipsy) and helpdesk service Gorgias (recently closed a series A funding for $14m). Derric is all about getting the right tech stack in place for your business.

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About Derrick 

Derrick says he got into eCommerce via so many different paths including building a $10,000 Magento 1 website for his wife’s art.

At the time Derric was a professional high stakes poker player and at that time had no idea how to drive traffic and the whole thing was a bust. A few years later, after launching a solver for an online card game to help people improve their game play.

Derric and his wife actually started a marketing agency. They eventually pivoted to serving eCommerce including BOXYCHARM. They realized that they should focus fully on eCommerce.

Eventually BOXYCHARM pitched Derric to work in house, and everything has unfolded from there.

Getting your tech stack right

Early on, business owners have really limited resources. Derric says you want to make sure you use tools that scale your time. Anything that’s very manual is difficult to scale.

There are a lot of spinning plates and Derric says that the most important thing to focus on is that your technology is talking to each other. 

Foundations for Risk Mitigation

The companies who had foundations in place fared the pandemic better than others, like good conversion rate optimization, split testing, and strong analytics that allowed them to see the change in consumer behavior.

Good integrations and smart automations are another part of that. 

What to Look for in a Website Platform

  • How is this platform going to integrate with the tools I want to use to get the goals that you want
  • All platforms are the center point of an existing tool network
  • Understand what else the rest of your stack will look like
  • Shopify probably has the best app ecosystem available
  • Many platforms have built solutions for very specific problem without better perspective

Some platforms might be better for some things but not do others well at all. Derric says that sometimes you really don’t need all the extra clunky stuff.

Magento 2 for instance is incredibly powerful but it will take 200,000 to do the same thing a Shopify can do for 2,000.

Platform and Integrations 

The goal of integrations is really meant to reduce the use of tools. It’s not about getting more tools, but rather using them well.

Choosing a platform does require you get deep in the weeds with not only the platform itself, but all the surrounding tools. List out your must haves and then shop for your platform. 

Best for MVP or Testing

For MVP or testing a market, Derric says you can do something as simple as a landing page on GoDaddy. Shopify and WooCommerce are both great easy start tools for building out easy, usable web platforms.

If you have no money for investment, Derric says your best bet is actually to save and learn rather than try and do it with no resources. 

What pieces of tech does everyone need?

  • Email provider
  • SMS provider
    • These should be closely linked through a tool like Klaviyo
    • Set up automated  sequences for each of these channels and make sure they link together well
  • Review Tool for social proof. Should be image enabled
  • Loyalty tool like Yotpo (higher end)
  • You may need a subscription tool like recharge 
  • Upsell tool. Good for capturing info, creating bundles etc.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with eCommerce Foundations Marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Everything Derric mentioned has a direct correlation to your relationship with your customers. Understand the emotional triggers and responses that are causing people to buy from you.

Never forget you’re selling an experience. Avoid being feature driven. 

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve eCommerce Foundations marketing performance?

The only way to properly improve performance is by running A/B testing. Get the proof of which performs better. 

  • Critical when you hit 10,000 visitors
  • Test big things first
  • Use proof to drive optimizations
  • Don’t be a Hippo

If someone listening wants to learn more is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

When you are vetting the tools you are interested in, take the training first.

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in eCommerce Foundations marketing?

There will likely be a move into SMS. Consider text first. Only collecting phone numbers and consider how 

Txtfi automated bot for texting with customers

Pay attention to chat formats and how to engage people in new ways around that. Check out the app visual storyteller.

Interview Links

Derric on Social media:

Sponsored by…

Klaviyo is a leading customer data and marketing automation platform dedicated to accelerating revenue and customer connection for online businesses. Klaviyo makes it easy to store, access, analyze and use transactional and behavioral data to power highly-targeted customer and prospect communications.

The company’s hybrid customer-data and marketing-platform model allows companies to grow by fostering direct relationships with customers, without giving up their valuable data to popular big-tech ad platforms. Over 80,000 innovative companies like Unilever, Custom Ink, Living Proof and Huckberry sell more with Klaviyo. Learn more at

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