Nasdaq previously projected that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce. As the global eCommerce industry continues to grow, businesses are increasingly expected to keep up with the competition by having a strong online presence.
In the digital age, slow websites and poorly-constructed user interfaces can spell disaster for an eCommerce retailer. As people’s attention spans continue to wane, so does the likelihood of them returning to a website if they have had a bad experience. Experts reveal that it only takes a little over three seconds for the average person to abandon a slow webpage — that’s bad news for any eCommerce retailer’s bottom line.
The solution to this problem is simple — hire an eCommerce partner with the right expertise, experience, and skillset to create an amazing online presence that resonates with one’s target audience. An eCommerce partner agency can provide businesses with the necessary expertise and resources to create an online platform that is robust, secure, and suited to their needs.
But how do you find the right eCommerce solution partner? Below, we’ll take a deep dive into the steps to find the best eCommerce partner for your business. Let’s get started.
- What Are the Benefits of eCommerce Outsourcing?
- How to Choose the Right eCommerce Development Partner
- What to Look For in an eCommerce Development Partner
What Are the Benefits of eCommerce Outsourcing?
Choosing the right eCommerce development agency can help an online business transform its operations by highlighting all the features on its website that are driving engagement and sales.
Here are some of the benefits of outsourcing for eCommerce development:
Access to a Variety of Skills and Specializations
Developing one’s eCommerce website in-house can help businesses initially save on costs but investing in eCommerce outsourcing services can give businesses access to a full suite of resources that are not easily accessible in-house.
Software development partners typically have a wide range of skills and specializations, such as UI/UX (user interface/user experience) design, product photography, web hosting, and content writing — all services necessary for creating a strong online presence.
Choosing the right eCommerce partner also means one can rely on clearly-defined cost estimates and project delivery timelines. Outsourced eCommerce development teams typically charge by the hour, depending on the size and complexity of an eCommerce development project. This allows for more effective planning and project management, as well as higher productivity.
Scalability and Flexibility
eCommerce solution providers can also help businesses scale their operations up or down quickly and effectively. This means that businesses can easily adjust to the unexpected challenges of the online business landscape, such as sudden spikes in traffic or customizations in product offerings.
While outsourcing one’s eCommerce development project by the hour may seem costlier, quite the contrary is true, as an experienced software development partner can provide businesses with cost savings and quality assurance in the long run.
As opposed to paying the salaries of full-time in-house developers, outsourcing helps businesses save on overhead costs such as payroll taxes and benefits — especially if one doesn’t need to have developers on board permanently.
How to Choose the Right eCommerce Development Partner
It’s easy to find eCommerce developers promising stellar results — but finding the right eCommerce partner can help take an online business from good to great. Below are some guidelines to consider when searching for the perfect eCommerce web development partner:
1. Check Out Their Website
The website of an eCommerce agency should reflect their own expertise and experience — if they can’t develop their own website effectively, that’s a red flag. Take some time to explore their online presence and assess how well-developed it is. Check for site speed and get a feel for their design skills, as well as the user experience of their site.
Additionally, visit their blog or resource center to see if it’s up to date. A relevant knowledge center proves that an agency is abreast of the latest trends in the industry and is updated on technological developments in the field.
2. Look at Reviews from Various Sources
Online reviews are essential when assessing an eCommerce solution provider as they give you an honest look at what customers and industry experts think about their services. Reviews can provide great insights into the quality of customer service, project delivery timelines, and product capabilities.
Review websites specifically dedicated to reviewing development services and related products may be helpful for this purpose. Check out sites like Clutch, CrowdReviews, and C2CReview for in-depth, reliable reviews about a potential web development partner.
3. Analyze Their Technical Expertise
Make sure to ask potential software development partners for their portfolio as well as additional case studies or samples of their work. This can help gauge their level of technical expertise, as well as the range of eCommerce solutions they are familiar with.
Additionally, find out what processes and technologies a potential partner is comfortable working with. Check through their portfolio and review the types of eCommerce platforms they build on (WordPress, Shopify, Magento, etc.) — and whether or not these platforms align with your technical requirements.
4. Set a Budget in Advance
Begin negotiations from a position of knowledge. Have a budget in mind, and ensure that it is realistic for the scope of your project. Talk about the project’s total cost of ownership (TOC), which will cover all costs arising from the project including post-production upgrades and maintenance costs.
Having a clear budget and timeline well in advance allows you to adjust expectations accordingly and ensures that everyone is on the same page throughout the development process.
5. Beware of “Yes-Man” Agencies
Finding the right eCommerce agency also means not going with the first agency that promises to deliver on every technical requirement you have with zero questions asked. By nature, an eCommerce developer will have the expertise needed to provide you with salient advice on what can and cannot be done within the time and budget you agreed on.
This means they should be vocal about their opinions and provide constructive feedback to help you develop a better website. If an agency only says yes to everything, it could be a sign of inexperience or lack of knowledge.
6. Revisit their Core Values
An agency’s core values should be in line with your own values and goals. Consider if they are offering the same level of commitment, accountability, and professionalism as you expect from them. If their core values don’t feel like a match, it could be challenging to build a successful and productive working relationship.
7. Pick an eCommerce Partner that Understands Your Business Goals
A proactive eCommerce development agency should take the initiative to understand your business before offering any solutions. This includes assessing where you are now and helping you determine the strategy to get from here to there.
Rarely is eCommerce development ever disconnected from a brand’s larger goals, so if you find that your development agency only treats your project as a one-and-done task, then it’s time to look for a more suitable partner.
A strong eCommerce partner should have a clear understanding of your brand, target audiences, and product offerings in order to provide effective insights into how best to launch or grow your online store.
What to Look For in an eCommerce Development Partner
Finding the right eCommerce development company is easier when you know what to look for in a provider. These include technical expertise, clear communication, realistic pricing, and a shared understanding of your needs.
Here are some things to look out for when searching for the best eCommerce service provider:
eCommerce is an ever-changing field, and your chosen eCommerce development team should have a solid track record of success with a wide range of clients and platforms. Look for an agency that:
- Has significant technical experience from delivering successful B2B and B2C eCommerce projects across various industries;
- Has ideally delivered local and global eCommerce projects using a range of technologies;
- Is well-versed in providing effective eCommerce development services — from website design to hosting and integration.
These attributes will ensure that your chosen vendor is capable of delivering meaningful value from their eCommerce development services.
A Proactive Approach
There are few things more frustrating than working with an agency that doesn’t take the initiative to understand your business. You want an eCommerce development team who takes ownership of their own responsibilities and is willing to go the extra mile for you, even if it means taking on additional tasks or offering fresh perspectives.
Ultimately, you want to work with an agency that understands your needs and objectives from the start and is willing to provide the level of planning and support necessary to ensure success.
Excellent Communication Skills
The best eCommerce agencies have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. They should be able to clearly explain their processes, procedures, and decisions in ways that are easy to understand.
Confusion or miscommunication can quickly lead to a breakdown between client and agency, so make sure to vet the communication skills of any potential eCommerce partner.
While it may be tempting to choose an agency based on cost alone, it’s important to remember that you usually get what you pay for. It’s better to invest in a quality eCommerce development team than settle for a lesser-quality solution that’s cheaper in the short run but will cost you more money and time in the long run.
Make sure to evaluate all of your options before committing to an agency, as this will ensure you receive value for every dollar spent.
Openness to Innovations
Developers should always be open to new ideas and be willing to experiment with the latest technologies. The best eCommerce development teams are always looking for ways to improve their services and provide value to their clients — whether that’s through experimenting with different platforms or integrating innovative features into your existing store.
A successful eCommerce partner should be open and honest with their clients throughout the development process. They should provide regular updates on progress and be willing to answer any questions you may have in a timely manner.
Furthermore, they should also offer access to project timelines and other documents so that you can easily track the status of your store.
Responsibility for Results
Related to transparency, a good eCommerce development team should be willing to stand behind their work and take responsibility for any issues that may arise during the course of the project. They should also be open to discussing how they can fix them in order to ensure the best possible outcome.
As previously mentioned, a reliable eCommerce development provider should keep your business goals in mind throughout the entire process. They should have an understanding of your target markets, and use this knowledge to create a user experience that resonates with customers.
This also means giving you expert advice on features you may want added but may not necessarily be the best solution for your business.
Ultimately, finding an effective eCommerce development team or vendor is essential for achieving success in the digital economy. Taking into account all the factors listed above can help you make informed decisions when selecting a provider to work with.
If you’re looking for an experienced and reliable vendor providing e-commerce development services, WebMeridian is here to help! We are a full-service Magento development agency comprised of eCommerce experts and tech professionals dedicated to helping clients build successful online stores.
With years of experience in this field and well-established processes, our team has the skills you need to make your digital store a success. Contact us today to get started!