Owning your own business makes it hard to imagine not having an online presence. It certainly doesn’t inspire trust in the brand. Therefore, sooner or later, you will need to choose an e-commerce agency or an experienced individual to build your first online store. Choosing the best partner is not the most straightforward task, but running an online store will be much easier if you receive support from an e-commerce agency and establish contact with specialists.

So, what should you pay attention to when choosing an agency? What criteria should you consider? What factors are the most important?

 

 

Why is the right e-commerce agency so important?

 

  • Professional service from specialists – e-commerce agencies employ a team of qualified specialists whose technical skills, knowledge, and professional experience will undoubtedly be useful during store implementation, especially if you have no experience. An experienced e-commerce agency will quickly answer your technical questions or provide useful tips.

 

  • Access to modern solutions – online stores require modern solutions and technologies that are usually out of reach for companies, especially those just starting in the online market. Agencies have these resources to stay up-to-date with trends and follow new developments. Implementing innovative solutions can improve the operation of your e-store. For the agency, this will be a standard service. The technological support provided by the agency after implementation will make managing the store intuitive and effective.

 

  • Saving time and resources – a good agency will assign the necessary specialists from various fields to your project, saving you time by limiting your involvement in making key decisions.

 

  • Competitiveness – an effective e-commerce agency has the experience and skills which, combined with your ideas and needs, can result in a standout store on the market. Moreover, the dynamic development of the digital world requires constant innovation and monitoring of changing market trends. Agencies are prepared and accustomed to quickly responding and implementing unexpected modifications.

Read: What am I paying the agency for? Costs incurred for digital marketing campaigns

 

 

How do you prepare for choosing an e-commerce agency?

 

  • Preparing for conversations with agencies, even preliminary ones, is an important step that can be significant in the subsequent phases of the project. Before making the first contacts, it is worth considering what selection criteria will be most crucial.

 

  • Analyze your current situation — think about where your company stands and what stage of development it is in, what actions are key for it, and which areas need improvement. Check what your competitors offer and where you have an advantage over them. Investigate who your customers are and what their expectations and habits are. Consider what attracts them to your store and what makes them abandon purchases. The e-commerce industry is constantly growing and is worth keeping up with.

 

  • Define your short and long-term goals – that is, your company’s mission and vision. What you want to achieve and strive for will partly define the needs of your e-store. You may plan to expand your business with several additional product categories, which will be significant when choosing a platform for the store, or you may want to enter foreign markets or aim to build a trustworthy brand. Specify your goals as accurately as possible because even the best partner will only be able to tailor services to your new online store with this information. Remember: Business needs to change over time. It’s important to remember this and strive for continuous e-commerce development.

 

  • Consider what you expect (Full-service vs specialized agencies)what e-commerce agency services interest you? E-commerce agency offers vary. Some are 360 agencies, providing a full range of solutions, from setting up the store through UX analysis and advertising campaigns to content delivery and SEO. Others specialize in specific areas and do not provide full-range assistance. It’s up to you whether the cooperation with the agency will be comprehensive or if some work will be done with the help of your internal resources.

 

  • Determine your budget – the budget is undoubtedly one of the most crucial issues from the e-store owner’s perspective. It’s worth considering a realistic budget that can ensure the project’s success and limit potential financial problems while also giving you the sense that the investment will pay off quickly. The budget includes implementation and fees for the domain, hosting, and post-implementation support. Of course, the cost of implementation services will largely depend on the store’s requirements and your chosen graphic design.

Read: Pre-implementation analysis

 

 

What should you pay attention to when choosing an e-commerce agency?

 

  • Experience – it will testify to the agency’s qualifications, project management skills, and knowledge of potential implementation problems. Cooperation with a company that has been in the industry for a longer time reduces the risk of typical mistakes. Check the e-commerce agency’s portfolio, client reviews, and available projects to get an idea of the agency’s work results.

 

  • Market stability – in the era of increasing numbers of startups and sole proprietorships, market stability is no longer a given. A good agency will not leave you due to closing down right after or even during the implementation.

 

  • Sectors in which it operates – specialization in a particular industry may indicate greater knowledge of the industry’s specifics, needs, and unique challenges. This way, the agency can better tailor solutions to your e-shop, ensuring necessary functionalities and meeting customer expectations.

 

  • Agency size and competence – a larger e-commerce agency is likely to better adjust the team size to your needs and provide replacements in emergencies. Your project will maintain continuity. This will also affect the range of offered services and the diversity of specialists.

 

  • Collaboration with the agency and contact with specialistspay attention to the communication method. Technical support is one thing, but the agency’s communication should be clear and accessible. The person responsible for project supervision and reporting results should be available for regular contact, allowing you to monitor progress and increasing satisfaction with the collaboration.

 

  • Post-implementation support – launching the store is just the beginning, so assistance and consultations after implementing the e-commerce will be essential to maintain its functionality. Moreover, an e-commerce agency operating in many areas can offer services in other development categories for your e-store, such as marketing strategy or SEO optimization, as part of ongoing cooperation. They may also provide hosting or help with domain purchases. Implementing the store can be something other than the end of cooperation with the e-commerce agency.

 

A potential e-commerce agency? Valuable tips from an experienced sales representative:

 

  • Be flexible! – e-commerce agency specialists may propose solutions that will work better for your store or be more tailored to your budget.

 

  • Consider what is most important for your online store – these issues will be considered first when designing the site, and less important elements will be adjusted to them.

 

  • Specify the way and frequency of communication – it’s worth discussing the frequency of meetings right from the start to avoid future communication and information gaps from the agency.

 

Summary

Choosing the best partner to set up and run an online store should be well thought out and tailored to your needs. Comparing offers and selecting the right agency should be based not only on the cooperation cost but also on reviews, communication style, portfolio of successes, and team size. Post-launch support is also worth considering, as it can help you quickly respond to market changes and achieve a competitive edge.

Although the challenges of choosing an e-commerce agency can be initially overwhelming, it’s worth persisting because the agency’s actions will undoubtedly support your business.