Getting external help from a digital eCommerce agency is a must for eCommerce businesses that want to scale. While small eCommerce businesses can hire a freelancer to keep everything running smoothly, this one-man-show approach may not work for a high-volume, enterprise-level eCommerce business.
If your eCommerce website is run as a hobby or provides auxiliary income, that should not be a problem. But if an enterprise-level eCommerce website that generates a significant amount of its total revenue online goes down for any reason, that is nothing short of a disaster.
That is why working with a digital eCommerce agency is a must for enterprise-level eCommerce businesses. The question is, how exactly can these agencies help? And why not just hire a less costly freelancer to keep things rolling?
Before we explain the benefits that an eCommerce agency would bring to the table, let’s have a look at the most common services that these agencies offer:
Strategy and Consulting—instead of wasting time and resources on something that may or may not work, you can hire eCommerce experts to evaluate your online strategy and point your business in the right direction.
eCommerce Development—this covers all the technical aspects of your eCommerce website, from assessing your technical infrastructure to developing the website itself to building custom features and deploying your site.
Tracking and Analytics—setting up tracking and analytics tools correctly will enhance the insight gleaned from your website and enable you to make data-driven decisions. When tracking is set up correctly, you will gain insights into shopping activities like product page views, adding/removing products from shopping carts, and initiated/abandoned/completed transactions.
UI/UX Design—UI/UX is short for User Interface/User Experience and this service covers everything related to how your website looks, how it behaves on mobile devices, and how your customers interact with your site.
eCommerce Website Optimization—optimizing your eCommerce website is the best way to ensure that you keep getting better results. This includes everything your website needs to rank better on Google, from on-page content optimization to technical optimization and page load speeds.
Back Office Integrations—by integrating all your back-office systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), POS (Point of Sale), and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) with your online store, your business will become more streamlined, improve operational efficiencies, and provide a better service to its customers.
Now you know what kind of services eCommerce agencies offer. The question is, why don’t you just hire a freelancer to do all the work?
Freelancers are typically less expensive on an hourly basis, and if you really need an eCommerce expert, why not just hire someone in-house and save the agency’s overhead? While this argument sounds reasonable, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
The following are the top reasons why an eCommerce agency can help you better than freelancers or your own in-house team:
There are many skilled freelancers out there. And when you’re hiring freelancers for your eCommerce business, you have two options. The first option would be hiring an expert in every service you need. The second option is to hire a jack-of-all-trades.
As you’ve probably guessed, the jack-of-all-trades option will usually give you unsatisfactory results. Let’s just say that people who are ‘good at everything’ are a rare and elusive species.
The second option when hiring freelancers is to hire an expert for every service you require. So, if you need a UI/UX designer, a developer, and a Google Analytics expert, you’ll need to hire three people.
Aside from the significantly increased cost (that defeats the cost of hiring freelancers in the first place), those freelancers will need someone to manage and coordinate between them. That’s right, you’ll probably have to hire a project manager as well, or take the cost-savvy route and try to do the coordination and management yourself. It could be lots of fun or more often than not, a total nightmare. And in both cases, if you’re running a business or managing an eCommerce store, it’s something you don’t have time for.
A digital eCommerce agency, on the other hand, will have a team with expertise in every discipline you might need. And since those people are used to working together as an agency, you’ll get access to the specialized technical experts you need. Like a well-oiled machine, agencies have processes and procedures in place to work together. They have the resources to pull in subject matter experts when needed to support and assist.
An agency is not a one-man-show. There are teams of people working on many different projects. For an agency to deliver consistent results and control the quality of the work produced, there have to be specific practices and procedures in place for its employees to follow.
So, if the developer who wrote the code for your custom eCommerce extension is gone for any reason, the replacement should be able to pick up where they left off. And as a result, your business won’t be affected, as long as you’re working with the same agency.
In the case of working with a freelancer, you’ll always be at the risk of having this one person go “off the grid” for any reason, at any time. And when that happens, you’ll scramble to find someone else to step in fast before the whole thing comes crashing down. Anyone new coming in will experience a steep learning curve when trying to figure out what’s been done and how to learn the environment and business processes. Crisis situations often can’t be managed optimally when the one managing them has recently stepped into the job.
At first glance, freelancers seem like the cost-efficient option. The hefty price tag on the services of experienced eCommerce agencies might be off-putting for some business owners.
However, while it’s true that the services of an eCommerce agency are more expensive than similar services offered by freelancers, the agency’s services are by far the most cost-efficient.
As you probably know, cheap and cost-efficient are not the same thing. It’s also important to note that an agency’s prices may be higher but more often than not they are faster at what they do (having a team of resources to pull from) so ultimately this results in a lower cost. While you’ll be paying more for an eCommerce agency’s services, encountering fewer—and less severe—issues with your eCommerce website make this the most cost-efficient option.
The bigger your eCommerce business is, the more costly even the slightest mistake can be, and the more it makes sense to work with an experienced eCommerce agency.
An experienced digital eCommerce agency can help your business in different ways. They’re a one-stop solution for all the services your eCommerce business might need. In addition to providing you with high-quality services that you can rely on, eCommerce agencies bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a team of resources to the table unlike hiring freelancers or building your own in-house team.