No matter what you see or hear about “do it yourself” website builders or $9.99 eCommerce website offers, eCommerce websites are complicated. And when you’re not up to the task, that can be dangerous. Unlike traditional marketing websites, your eCommerce website has a lot of moving parts. It requires solid logic to handle orders, online payments, inventory, customer communication, order fulfillment, and keep everything working smoothly. Working with an eCommerce development agency can be a game-changer.
eCommerce development agencies bring a wealth of value to your business. The following are 4 good reasons to work with an eCommerce agency:
Good user experience is at the core of any successful eCommerce website. In the good old days, all you had to do was buy a template and hire a freelance developer to set it up. Then, you’d throw in some products, and voila.
Nowadays, success on an eCommerce website is not quite that simple. Not even close. If you want your eCommerce website to convert, retain customers, and increase your online revenue, it must provide a good user experience. And that’s a tricky thing to do.
Great user experiences are the ones that people don’t notice. When your website’s user experience is on point, your conversion rates will skyrocket and you’ll create loyal customers that will keep coming back. Strategic and deliberate user experience optimization has the potential to raise your conversion rates by 400%. Just like you, your customers don’t like websites that give them a hard time. Today, there are too many other online retailers that sell similar products, so why should they bother?
Whether it’s the navigation process, product filtering, search capabilities, checkout experience, or any other customer touchpoint with your business, an established eCommerce agency has the resources and technical know-how to analyze and improve your customer journey.
When you do it the right way, process automation will increase your operational efficiencies and make your life a whole lot easier. There are lots of redundant tasks that you have to deal with as an eCommerce business owner. Over half of all B2B companies are planning to adopt automation technology in 2021, and 51% of companies are already utilizing it. Other processes are not necessarily “essential” but contribute to a better user experience when automated. For example, a welcome email, when the goal is to connect with new leads and/or contacts, date-based and education automation can help. In this example, automation utilized to connect with your new contacts has the potential to lead to 16 times more orders.
An experienced eCommerce development agency will know what processes need to be automated and how best to automate them. They’ll also know how to implement these changes without negatively affecting your customers’ experience or impacting the day-to-day operation of your business.
Processes that are better when you automate them include inventory management, abandoned cart emails, and customer support replies. And, of course, there are other industry-specific tasks that lend themselves to automation. When you work with an eCommerce development agency, they’ll analyze your business processes and pinpoint the ones that are better automated.
With proper process automation, you’ll say goodbye to trivial tasks and shipping the wrong products to the wrong customers. You’ll also say hello to lower operational costs and provide a better service to your customers.
An eCommerce agency won’t disappear overnight. Barring a national disaster, the agency you’re working with will be there tomorrow. Even if one of the developers they’ve assigned to your project goes on a vacation, jumps ship, and turns into a full-time fisherman, or anything similar, another qualified developer will step in to continue their work. No matter what happens, there will always be someone available to your project who understands how your store works inside and out.
So, what does that mean for you as an eCommerce business owner? It means long-term technical support and strategic advice that you can count on. Once your eCommerce store is online, established workflows are in place, business-critical issues are resolved and minor fixes are addressed, you’ve got yourself a well-built website. However, don’t get comfortable with “set it and forget it”. This is when you will need to shift the focus and rely on your long-term development agency partner to strategize about site enhancements and continually brainstorm how to optimize for maximum conversion.
Whether it’s ongoing site maintenance, feature enhancements or emergency support because your website goes offline, you won’t have to worry about tracking down a single individual. If you’re working with an eCommerce development agency, you’ll have a team behind you that’s got your back.
The only alternative that’s as reliable as an eCommerce agency is hiring an in-house team. And that’s a costly option. Between talent recruitment, software expenses, employee costs (including turnover), ongoing training, and scalability, an in-house team can cost upwards of $250,000 per year! This pales in comparison to the average cost of $100,00 per year for an outsourced eCommerce development agency. Sure, having a team of developers who work for you and focus solely on your website is convenient. But since you’ll have to hire full-staff employees to do a job that can easily be outsourced to an eCommerce agency, it’s not a feasible option.
To get work quality close to what you’d get from an agency, you’ll need to hire multiple people. And even if you do, you’ll need to hire external experts every now and then to handle more specialized tasks.
This will add to the overall cost and you won’t have the network of contacts that an agency has to reach the right talents. It’s an unnecessary hassle and could result in a costly mess.
In addition to helping you improve your eCommerce business in several ways, working with an established eCommerce agency is a hassle-free success recipe. You know that you’re working with certified developers who know what they’re doing, have done it before, are fast and efficient, and make it a point to keep up on eCommerce best practices.
While working with a less expensive freelancer might seem tempting at first, it’s a high-risk choice with which problems are inevitable. And for an enterprise-level or even a midsize eCommerce retailer, a single site outage alone will be enough to render any savings from the cheaper route worthless, which makes agencies the most cost-efficient option in the long run.