Ecommerce websites currently make up 10-12% of the internet. If you’re hoping to stand out from your competitors, you need an ecommerce website that will keep visitors clicking (and buying).
But with so many ecommerce development companies to choose from, how do you avoid ending up with a lemon?
Choosing the wrong company can impact your bottom line. Not to mention, a website that’s delayed, poorly implemented, or not user-friendly can impact your reputation and ability to scale.
Luckily, we’ve got some top tips so you’ll know how to choose a reputable, reliable company for your ecommerce website. Read on to learn what they are.
Choosing a company to build your ecommerce website is just like choosing a builder for your home. You probably wouldn’t hire a builder that’s newly qualified and missing solid experience in the industry.
There’s a big difference between a standard company website and a website that will allow customers to purchase goods or services.
Regular websites give your customers information about who you are and what your business does. But ecommerce websites allow your customers to use that site to conduct business by making purchases.
The ecommerce part of your website is the most important aspect. That’s why it’s vital that the ecommerce development company has an established history of building intuitive, secure, and functional ecommerce solutions. These include websites that are optimized for mobile and SEO to help you attract customers.
Most of the time, your developers should be able to build your ecommerce website according to your exact needs and specifications. However, different ecommerce development companies will display certain styles.
That’s why it’s a good idea to look at the portfolios of several firms before you make your decision. This will allow you to see which developers fit the overall aesthetic and style you’re hoping for with your website.
Ownership and Maintenance
Often, businesses overlook a critical component of ecommerce development: Who owns and has access to their website? If a design firm keeps ownership of your website’s design after it’s finished, you may face issues when it’s time to refresh your design or rebrand.
You should be able to update your site 24/7. You’ll need to be able to add and remove items, update prices, and introduce promotions and deals.
If you need to hire your developers every time these things need to be updated, the cost of your website will go through the roof.
Testimonials and Reviews
It’s always a good idea to look for reviews about an ecommerce development company you’re considering working with.
These days, you can usually find a wealth of information about a particular company online on websites like Yelp and Glassdoor. Any company worth its salt will also have a number of testimonials from real clients on their website.
Don’t hesitate to ask for references from clients that have worked with the company in the past to discuss their skills and service.
A company should be able to handle every aspect of your ecommerce website, including:
- Initial strategy
This means you can just use one development company instead of multiple companies who may not be able to collaborate well with each other.
One thing that many business owners fail to consider? After sale support. This is one of the main reasons why companies are likely to express dissatisfaction with web firms.
Obviously, your business should be top-of-mind during the development process. But what about after your ecommerce website is completed?
Do they offer training to get you and your team up to speed on your new website? Will they be available to answer questions after you’ve paid the final invoice?
These are crucial considerations, especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT team. Be sure to ask about after-sale support, you may also want to see how many of the company’s clients are repeat clients and if they have a long list of long-term clients.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search based on the above criteria, it’s time to reach out. It’s important to consider how responsive each ecommerce development company is.
They should follow up with you within 24-48 hours.
But what if a company that ignores your questions? Maybe they won’t give you a ballpark figure for your ecommerce website? And maybe they never get back to you, or you have to chase them?
That company is also unlikely to be responsive while actually developing your website. And unresponsiveness is likely to lead to delays and frustration.
This may seem like a frivolous consideration. But once you’ve logically chosen a few top firms, you should speak with them face-to-face to determine how they would tackle your project.
You may find that your gut instinct is suddenly telling you that you shouldn’t hire a particular company or vice versa. If you’ve satisfied all the above criteria and you’re ready to move forward, consider these points:
- If you have specific ideas, will the company work with them or clearly explain why they’re not feasible?
- Does the team seem enthusiastic about your ecommerce website?
- Do they have a system in place for updates and are they ready to accept feedback on initial prototypes?
You’ll probably be working with your development company for at least a few months while your website is being developed. That’s why it’s a good idea to get to know the developers and the way the company operates to see if they’re the type of people you can have a business relationship with.
Why is price last on the list? Because when you make your decision solely based on price, it’s easy to end up paying more in the long run.
Unfortunately, when it comes to ecommerce development, there’s no universal price guide to help you know what to expect. This will vary depending on the complexity of your website and the web development company itself.
Often, a larger company will build your ecommerce website from scratch instead of offering you an out-of-the-box solution. This means that although you’ll pay more, it will be customized for the specific needs of your business.
Have You Chosen Your Ecommerce Development Company?
As you can see, there are numerous things to consider when you’re ready to develop a new ecommerce website. But if you use the above list, you’ll be able to narrow down the best development companies for your business.
Want to learn more about building a website for your business? Check out these blog posts today.