The Smart Post

What Does an Ecommerce Agency Do?

February 12, 2021

If you’re an eCommerce business owner, you probably know that eCommerce agencies exist. You also understand that scaling your business requires working with one. What you’re not 100% sure of is what exactly an eCommerce agency does. Of course, it’s a no-brainer that eCommerce agencies serve eCommerce businesses. The real question is what kind of services they offer and how those will benefit your business. And that’s what we will cover in this blog post.  

“Working with an eCommerce agency gives you access to a wealth of practical experience that’ll give your business a massive boost. We live and breathe eCommerce. It’s what we do.” 

— Lisa Alexander, COO at Smart Solutions

If you’re looking for professional help but don’t know what services you can get from an eCommerce firm, here’s a crash course. The following are the six most common services that eCommerce agencies offer:

1. eCommerce Strategy

Developing a coherent strategy is the first step for the success of your eCommerce business. Without a strategy, your business is like an orchestra without a conductor, the Lakers without Lebron James, Linkin Park without Chester Bennington…you get the point. 

Having worked with dozens of eCommerce clients allows eComm agency leaders to see the big picture for your business. And that helps them develop the strategy that you need to take your business online or boost your current eCommerce store to increase revenue. 

While experienced consultants charge a premium, the value they add to your eCommerce business is worth every penny. By allocating your business resources properly, you’ll maximize the ROI for the money you invest in your business and earn back the consulting fees in no time.

A good eCommerce strategy would include everything from user interface and user experience design, product catalog development, projected growth rates, and revenues to a detailed marketing plan and a social campaign strategy. It’s basically an actionable plan that’ll help you reach your goals as quickly-and efficiently-as possible.      

2. eCommerce Development 

Most of the ‘tech stuff’ that your eCommerce business needs to function falls under the umbrella of eCommerce development. The following are the most common eCommerce development services that agencies offer:

Ecommerce Website Development

This service covers everything you need to sell a product online. An eCommerce agency will first help you choose the right eCommerce platform to support your current needs and future goals. Then, they will design, develop and implement your website on this platform. 

The development process will cover both the front and back end of your website. And in case you don’t know, the front end is everything that customers see and interact with on your website, and the back end-as the name implies-is how things work behind the scenes.   

Plugins and Development of Apps

Ecommerce websites use apps, plugins, and extensions to add extra functionality for both the users and the store owners. Whether you want to reward your customers or improve your shipping and inventory management, these add-ons will help. 

Of course, the type of add-ons that you can use differ across eCommerce platforms. If an agency is developing your eCommerce website on a specific eCommerce platform, they can handle any custom development or add-on functionality you need for your website.    

3. Tracking and Analytics Setup

Accurate data helps you make better decisions in any industry, and eCommerce is no exception. Data on product performance, CTA effectiveness, conversion rates for different customer groups, and any other type of data you can collect from your website will help you improve your business.

Data-driven decisions will enable your team to double down on what’s working and fix what isn’t. By setting up tracking and analytics tools properly, your eCommerce organization will reduce the risk of inaccurate data that might point your efforts-and money-in the wrong direction. 

4. UI/UX Design

Not a very long time ago, the term ‘web design’ was replaced by something fancier: UI/UX design. In addition to sounding cooler, UI/UX is a more accurate representation of what websites-and digital products in general- are about today, which is user experience. Out with ‘web design’, in with UI/UX.

UI stands for User Interface, and UX stands for User Experience. These two elements pretty much sum up the client-facing side of any website: an intuitive user experience that doesn’t make people want to stomp on their phones and an interface that won’t make their eyes bleed.   

In addition to making your eCommerce site appeal to your customers, better UI/UX design means higher conversion rates, more people returning to your website, and a positive impact on your bottom line. It’s good for business. 

5. Website Performance Optimization

When your website goes live, you need to keep it running smoothly by constantly improving its performance. And that’s what website performance optimization is all about. Things like slow-loading pages and clunky checkouts affect your website’s conversion rates and its overall performance. 

For websites with lots of traffic, a slight performance improvement can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased revenue. And since there is always room for improvement on any eCommerce site, performance optimization is an ongoing effort, carried out by an eComm agency that knows what it’s doing.

Keep in mind that performance improvements like faster-loading websites don’t just mean better user experience and lower bounce rates, it’ll also affect your Google rankings. The Google search algorithm considers things like page load times and a website’s overall performance to determine the order in which it will appear in search results.   

6. Back Office Integrations

Nothing sounds as trivial as a back office. It’s an office, which means that customers never go there. And it’s ‘in the back’ somehow, which makes it sound even more irrelevant. It’s this room with white neon light and stacked cardboard boxes with mysterious contents. 

It would be ideal if back-office processes didn’t affect your customers. However, the back office is where most client-facing problems start. All client-facing problems-from delayed shipments to shipping the wrong products to the wrong customers-result from failure in back-office processes. And that’s the problem that modern, scalable, and reliable back-office integrations will help you solve.  

By bringing your back-office processes together as integrated systems, an experienced eCommerce agency will help your business work more efficiently and provide a better service for your customers. 

7. Making Life Easier for You

While making your life easier is not exactly a service, it’s one of the main benefits of working with an eCommerce agency. Experienced agencies have probably already done whatever it is you’re trying to do for another client. 

Even if they haven’t implemented exactly what your eCommerce store needs to do, they’ll have the processes, procedures, and expertise to get your eCommerce business to where you want it to be as quickly and efficiently as possible. When working with a freelancer, you’ll oftentimes have to forgo things like verifiable experience, accountability, and a full design and development team, which could have a severe impact on the successful delivery of your project. 

TL;DR

Most eCommerce businesses will have to work with an eCommerce agency at some point. This is how you can scale your business without hiring your own internal design and development team and wasting too much time worrying about technical issues. You can expect the services that an eCommerce agency offers to cover all the functional, technical, and marketing aspects of your business. These agencies have the background, skills, and experience to help you achieve your eCommerce business goals faster.