Choosing the best e-commerce agency to help you build a new site, or support an existing one, is a big decision. After all, they are going to be building the very foundation of your sales and marketing platform. With so many agencies to choose from, it can be difficult to sift through all the information out there to find the best e-commerce agency to suit your needs. It is important to rate each company based on factors which will impact your business the most. Here are the top criteria you should consider to make the right choice:
1. Business Understanding
Does the agency you’re considering actually understand business, or are they mostly techies? Do they understand your business? It’s critical that your e-commerce agency have business expertise so you can leverage the technological aspect to grow revenues and reduce operational costs. It’s one thing to know the ins and outs of Magento, but another to design your solution in a way that maximizes all aspects of your business. Start out by having a business conversation focusing on goals and objectives and how the agency can help to increase revenues and reduce operating costs.
2. Technical Skills
It goes without saying that the agency you employ needs to understand the platform you’re building on, whether that be Magento, Drupal or Shopify, etc. Proficiency with operations and hosting is also a plus. There are three main areas which require technical know-how:
Front End: Developers need to be adept at building a clean, useable front end that will run on a variety of devices and browsers and provide a great user experience. Look at the websites of an agency’s existing clients to evaluate the user interface for ease of use.
Platform: Their understanding of your platform needs to be deep enough to provide custom coding to meet specific business requirements when necessary. If you are using Magento, for instance, make sure they have expertise customizing and/or carrying out a replatform by checking previous projects.
Integration: Often the most challenging part of most e-commerce projects, the team you choose must be able to integrate backend systems. Systems need to work together seamlessly or else your business could come to a screeching halt. This is the area where most non e-commerce agencies have the most difficulties.
3. Best Practice Methodology
The best e-commerce agency will follow industry best practice methodologies and employ the most effective tools and templates. These are absolutely critical to making sure that high quality service is delivered.
For new ventures, use of tried and trusted methods reduces risk. Using an agency that has best practice process flows and code around all key elements of an e-commerce site, can ensure they develop and deploy sites faster and more cost effectively. Consider if the agency has well established tools for source control management and issue tracking also.
If your site is already in existence and you want a redesign or replatform, look for an e-commerce agency that has a well developed transition plan, provides monitoring tools and support processes. These are extremely important to both ensure that your site is up and running effectively, and to provide you with support should any glitches occur.
4. Track Record of Great Service
E-commerce is complex, and the best e-commerce agency will have a proven track record of delivering results. They will also have case studies from previous projects and references for you to contact so you can be sure you will receive excellent service. Again, their list of previous clients will reveal a great deal, but you should dig deeper for information about their past performance. Don’t hesitate to ask for technical reviews as well.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you are launching a new e-commerce store or are unhappy with your existing e-commerce partner, these criteria can help you find one. Choosing the best e-commerce agency partner is an important decision and takes time, but the right partner can be a great asset that will help you grow revenues and reduce operating costs.
Accorin has the winning combination of business knowledge, technical expertise and best practices. With an extensive track record of great service, whether you’re planning, opening, expanding, marketing, maintaining or integrating your e-commerce store, we’re here to help you increase revenues and reduce operational costs. Contact us today.