You may be an established brand entering a burgeoning e-commerce business, you may be a new startup working from scratch, or you may be a clueless trading company. Whether you’re an established brand looking to enter a burgeoning e-commerce business or a startup starting from scratch, getting inventory online can be a daunting task. Software development, frameworks, platforms, website management and hosting – the associated tasks and terms are endless. Most people who want to transition to e-commerce end up choosing a partner to help complete the project. However, the number of partners offering such services can overwhelm the options. If you’re just starting out and looking to hire ecommerce web developers to work with, you may be overwhelmed with options. According to a study, around 466,000 programmers and software developers will be employed in the UK in 2021. There are thousands of companies and agencies offering e-commerce services, each promising great results.
But when it comes to something as important as marketing your online business, and choosing the right agency to partner with can be the game changer. After all, e-commerce is complicated. If done well, it will give your business new flexible revenue streams and a brighter future. Failure to do so will hinder growth.
Find out how to determine if an agency is right for your new business.
Dive into Agency Performance
The agency you are considering should have a solid track record of successful partnerships; it is common for companies to post a portfolio of past work along with case studies and results on the website. Take time to read through them and think about the type of work they did and how it applies to your business. If possible, you want an agency with industry experience is.
Also, be sure to ask for recommendations. Reputable agencies will be happy to provide an extensive list of past portfolio work and recommendations on brands they have worked with successfully. If the agency is reluctant to provide this information, it’s a warning sign that you should look for another business partner.
Let’s Take a Deep Look into Their Process
If you find an agency with an impressive portfolio and strong recommendations, don’t pull the trigger just yet. Publishing a company’s products online requires an enormous amount of variables and work. Partnering with an agency means working closely with that company for weeks, months, or even years. You need to review their processes to make sure they know what they are doing and to see what they are doing matches your preferences and organizational processes.
The first thing to look into is how they plan to manage your project. A good agency will show you clearly and concisely how the whole implementation will go. That’s not to say the unexpected doesn’t happen, but you should be aware of the kinds of systems they use and approach to manage their projects. Ask questions such as,
- What projects and development methodologies do you use?
- How are the parts of the project delineated and organized?
- Design, develop, and test?
- How does each phase transition to the next phase?
If you’re in the early stages of consulting with an agency and haven’t met your project manager, lead designer, and lead developer yet, that’s another red flag. Check if you outsource design and development. Outsourcing isn’t a bad thing, but it can cause problems in the process and affect your project.
Agile methods often deliver better software faster. Ask if the agency has Master of Scrum certification and training. These professionals are adept at developing products rapidly, and more and more e-commerce websites are being built as products that need to get to market as quickly as possible while supporting future updates and expansion options. So an agile method might be a good choice.
Design is a hot topic in the online world right now. A good design, and more specifically, a good user experience, can make or break a website. And with online stores, the stakes are even higher.
A good design agency will have a dedicated in-house UX and UI designer with experience creating engaging, result-driven e-commerce websites. According to a research, the global software development market size is estimated at USD 429.59 billion last year and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% from 2022 to 2030. Great agencies know how to have fluent conversations on topics like user-centred design and content-driven e-commerce.
Of course, make sure the agency you’re thinking about has experience building ecommerce products across all channels and devices. Nothing ruins the user experience like not getting started with mobile devices.
Development and Integration
No new business can succeed without a good back-end design. Ask them about your development experience, methods, and techniques. You need to understand what they are using in terms of content management and what framework they have implemented on their core website.
However, getting a few tech buzzwords from them isn’t enough. Whenever you hear terms like headless CMS or React, be sure to ask what, why, and how. A good ecommerce developer will tell you exactly what technology they use and why.
Most importantly, especially if your brand is already well-established outside of e-commerce, you should answer as many of the questions you asked as possible. The development team is responsible for ensuring that current systems, such as POS and inventory management, seamlessly integrate with the new e-commerce platform. And they will tell you exactly how to achieve it.
Maintenance and Support
Often it is easy to get lost in the excitement of starting a new endeavor, and it can also happen after a quick get-lost. However, managing and maintaining your ecommerce platform is just as important as getting started. And it’s a factor that needs to be carefully considered when discussing how to proceed with potential partners.
Find a distributor that offers a level of post-market support that you can rely on. Ecommerce platforms are complex software and often require training to use effectively. A good agency will provide some level of support and training once your ecommerce site is up and running, so you don’t have to hold the reins and wonder what to do.
Another aspect is possible maintenance. Will your company host and maintain your new shop? If so, what is your uptime guarantee and what infrastructure monitoring and management do you use? Practically ceases to exist. Needless to say, this isn’t good for business.
Last but not least is whether your company is culturally compatible with your chosen partner. As we said at the beginning of this post, this partnership is extensive and requires hours of collaboration. It’s very important to find an agency that fits your values and mindset towards business. Do not scrutinize them any more than when you hire your own employees. You’re not just paying for a one-off job here. We are building partnerships that will last for years.
There are a fwe important things to consider when looking for an ecommerce development company to work with to bring your ecommerce platform to life. It is certainly not the most difficult task. But with the right amount of knowledge and preparation, you can choose an agency that can separate the wheat from the chaff and breathe life and enthusiasm into your new e-commerce venture.
If you are looking for the software development services in London at a reasonable price, get in touch with Sky Potentials.