The 4 Fits: Choose the right tool for your online store

Are you an online retailer trying to meet the demands of your customers? The only way to do that is to understand them by collecting and analyzing customer data.  A personalized shopping experience isn’t a fancy extra anymore — it’s the standard your customers expect. That’s easier said than done, though: without IT expertise, attempting to manage volumes of data and linking different data points and sources is daunting. Fortunately, customer data platforms and other helpful tools for personalizing websites are now widely available. If you’re looking for a suitable tool for your store, you have a ton of choices. So the challenge is in deciding which tool is right for you. That’s where the four fits come in handy!

1. Budget Fit: Calculate ALL your costs

It’s a no-brainer: one of the most critical factors in your decision will be your available budget. Before implementing a tool, marketers should take a close look at the costs they can expect. Ask yourself: Are the basics of the tool sufficient for your company or do you need additional services that are more expensive? Customer service also plays a decisive role in the overall cost. Depending on the billing model, tool providers charge different prices for their assistance. Some providers charge by the hour, others charge extra for each individual request, and still others have a fixed price. Make sure you know what you’re getting for the price you’re paying. 

Since tool implementation is often complicated and time-consuming, you can end up incurring high sums here too, which you should find out about in advance. To put it simply: Make sure you have the budget to cover the license costs and all extra costs involved in using your new tool.

2. Tech Fit: Consider your current tech stack

Other than calculating your budget, you should take a careful look at your existing tech stack — not every system is compatible with every tool. You’re going to need the right interfaces in order to work swimmingly with a new application. It’s also essential that you set up your new tool cleanly right from the start. This is the only way that you can exploit its full potential later, since a tool can only work as well as the data it’s supplied with. Setting up the application can be time-consuming, so make sure to have enough time (and patience) during implementation.

3. Resource Fit: Analyze available resources

Congrats, you’ve successfully set up your new tool! The next step is to train your staff to use it. Your company’s employees need to familiarize themselves with the new application in order to use it to its full potential. After all, the most elaborate dashboards and analyses are useless if there is no one who can interpret them and draw the right conclusions from them. 

To achieve this, you should bear in mind that introducing the tool can take some time, depending on your employees’ previous knowledge. Taking more time to get everyone on board will pay off down the line when your new tool gets you the results you’ve been hoping for.  

4. Personal Fit: Find a provider that matches your values

If you’ve chosen the right tool for your needs, your relationship with your tool provider should work seamlessly. Users and providers who talk past each other quickly build up frustration rather than getting anything done. Speaking of communication, customer service is crucial as well. Do you need customer service to speak a certain language? When do you want it to be available? An American company, for example, will probably be available at different times than a European provider. Another factor you should consider is how quickly your company needs support requests to be handled by the tool provider. Make sure to tick all those boxes before making a final decision.

Of course, your staff should also be able to work with the tool. It is not uncommon for a tool to be unpopular at first, as employees are afraid of being “replaced”. Your company should be able to provide sufficient justification for its use and, above all, make it palatable.


There’s a lot of research and consideration involved in choosing the right tool for your company’s needs. Before implementing a new tool, make sure your research points you in the right direction and compare several providers. Make a precise plan before shopping around that considers what the tool should be able to do and what resources are available. And don’t forget: there aren’t many tools out there that will add value and justify costs if your employees don’t actually use them. That’s why seamless interaction between tools and the people that use them is essential.

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