If you’re looking to start an online store through your own website, you might consider hiring a professional eCommerce development agency.
These agencies can help you create a secure and functional online store for your business, but not all eCommerce development agencies are the same. They vary greatly in their development styles, previous experience and the overall cost of their services.
It’s projected that around 1 in 5 of all retail sales for 2023 will take place online, so developing a quality eCommerce website is more important than ever. Read on to learn the steps you should take before hiring an eCommerce development agency to create your online store.
Before you can start picking out agencies, you need to choose the right eCommerce platform to host your online store. This is the software that will power your store and handle its many features, from adding to the cart and checking out to processing all orders, returns and customer support.
There are many important factors impacting your choice of eCommerce platform, so be sure to research as much as you can and properly weigh up every option – that way you’ll choose the platform that best meets the scope and requirements of your eCommerce website development needs.
The size and scaling needs of your eCommerce website will depend on your business overall. Are you a small business looking for a basic online store, or are you a growing business needing an eCommerce platform to scale up with you as you grow?
Once you’ve determined how big your website should be, you’ll be able to seek out an eCommerce development agency with the skills, expertise and experience needed to develop a site on your chosen platform, meet your exact scaling needs and keep your business running smoothly as you integrate eCommerce sales.
Once your eCommerce platform and website scope are decided, you can figure out the exact functionality you’ll need for your eCommerce website. Start deciding the priorities for your online store such as mobile design, security features, UX design needs and additional content like blogs.
It’s important to properly define your needs before seeking out an eCommerce development agency – you’ll need to be sure the team can achieve everything you want for your eCommerce website.
It’s time to shortlist the eCommerce development agencies that are best suited to your project! The most effective way to do this is by researching the important aspects of each company and evaluating everything you find.
Let’s go over some of the crucial factors that will impact your choice of eCommerce development agency.
Look through an agency’s portfolio of previous work. Have they worked on your chosen eCommerce platform before? Assess their design style, the functionality of the sites they’ve created and if there are any standouts of highly successful eCommerce development projects they’ve worked on.
One great strategy is to choose an eCommerce website that impresses you, then work backwards to seek out the agency that developed it for them.
After assessing the agency as a whole, it’s helpful to zoom in on the specific strengths of their team. Look through client reviews for positive comments about a strong work ethic, going the extra mile, if they felt heard as clients and if they enjoyed their time with the agency.
Are the team fully accredited, highly educated or award-winning? Any of these achievements could be the difference that sets one eCommerce development agency apart from the rest!
Different agencies will have different pricing models for their eCommerce website development services. Look into the average cost of an agency’s projects, and if they charge on a fixed cost or hourly rate.
Consider your own budget and scaling needs – does this agency typically work with businesses of your size and create websites of your desired scope? Be wary of over-paying for an agency who only works with larger clients.
Research the development style that each eCommerce development agency prefers, and decide if that style is a good fit for your project. Do they use a fixed model like Waterfall, or a more open methodology like Agile?
Think about how much input you’d like to bring to development. A flexible process like Agile allows you to make changes or add and remove features on the fly during eCommerce website development, so you’ll benefit from a more direct influence on the project as a whole.
Look into the specifics of an agency’s technical skills and experience. Are they a big enough development team to handle your project? Do they work exclusively with eCommerce development, or do they bring other skills to the table?
Consider every aspect of eCommerce development – will they be able to provide adequate security, a great design and all the functionality you need?
Once you’ve shortlisted every eCommerce development agency you’re interested in, make sure you go over their contract terms. Are they flexible or will you feel locked in? Are you able to change the direction of development - or cancel entirely – without paying the full fee? Make sure their contract terms are flexible enough for your eCommerce project.
That’s it! If you’ve reached a final choice, go ahead and engage with the eCommerce development agency via direct contact or a referral. Make sure you provide a clear outline of everything you need, and ensure that the agency can deliver the scope and functionality you require.
When it comes to eCommerce development for Australian Business, iVersion is an excellent choice of agency! Check out our custom eCommerce development service to learn how we can help you build the ideal eCommerce website for your business.
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