How to Pick the Best eCommerce Website Design Company
Whether you’re completely new to the eCommerce game or only selling your products through a chain of brick-and-mortar stores, you will, at some point, be looking to launch an online channel. This entails selecting an eCommerce website design company, which will not only make your storefront beautifully crafted, but will also recommend you technology-wise.
Whether you’re completely new to the eCommerce game or only selling your products through a chain of brick-and-mortar stores, you will, at some point, be looking to launch an online channel. This entails selecting a design company for your eCommerce website.
The implications of choosing the right company to build your website cannot be underestimated. Running a well-designed and performant store that delivers impeccable user experience is crucial for ramping up your online presence and boosting your bottom line.
In this article, we offer you a few tips to consider before choosing the right web development team for your needs.
How to choose the right eCommerce development company?
Choosing the right eCommerce website design company is not an easy feat. Granted, there are hundreds of agencies offering web design and development services, but this does not make the choice any easier for you – choosing the best web design company is still a daunting task that requires the careful consideration of some key factors.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. The main thing to remember is that you’re not looking for any company, but one that best meets the requirements of your specific project and has experience in eCommerce. Specialization and a proven track record of successful implementations is the key to success.
With a proper checklist to work with and clear business requirements in mind, you will be able to narrow down the choice to a manageable shortlist and save yourself a lot of hassle finding the right eCommerce website development agency.
How to choose wisely? Here are a few useful tips to get you started.
The portfolio says it all
The portfolio of the company you’re considering should be your first step. You can simply go to their website and take a quick look at the eCommerce projects they’ve successfully delivered so far. Importantly, you should look beyond the screenshots. Go the extra mile instead – click the links and head over to the actual websites they’ve built and see how they feel, as well as what level of user experience they offer. Is this something you’d like to replicate on your website?
A look at the portfolio of the agency will allow you to assess the quality and diversity of the company’s projects, and make for a reasonable sample of the quality of their work. Naturally, a simple look at the website may not suffice to find out how the project really progressed in real life, but it’s a good start. The portfolio can give you a rough idea of what the company really specializes in – but the projects they’ve actually worked on may not often be reflected in their marketing materials and messaging. For example, they may be trying to position themselves as an “eCommerce development company” but in fact be only entering the business and looking for the first client.
So, you're ideally looking for a company that not only claims to be experienced in an area, but has actually done several projects that support this claim. A look at the portfolio offers a bigger picture of the types of projects they’ve handled in the past, and gives you a rough idea of their expertise.
Looking for a trusted eCommerce website development partner? Check Naturaily’s eCommerce development services and get an estimate for your project.
Contact them for more relevant portfolio samples
To save yourself a little work here, you can actually approach the company directly and ask them for any relevant portfolio examples, use cases and success stories that are related to the project you’re looking to develop. Let them impress you. If they’re unwilling to get back to you with additional information, they may not be worth your time in the first place.
Reaching out to the company makes sense because some projects may not be listed on the website due to confidentiality agreements – or simply because the agency hasn’t updated the site for a while. The company may provide you with more detailed information about the work they’ve done in a more specific scope.
The portfolio should say it all. Look for work examples that are most relevant for your project.
Ideally, you’re looking for a solid track record of successful projects under their belt. A strong portfolio is a testament to a great web design company. You can thereby evaluate the portfolio and make the right decision.
A look at a detailed portfolio can help you evaluate usability, functionality, estimated designs and the skills they offer.
Check their own website
Before you even look at their portfolio, the company’s own website can give you a general idea of competence and responsibility. If they’re boasting impeccable design and top-notch talent, you would expect it to be reflected in their own website.
Ask for the team members’ CVs
Hiring the right team is prerequisite to implementing a successful project. When you’re already in the consideration phase, you can ask the company to provide you with blind (anonymized) CVs of the team members assigned to your project. This is an effective way to check if they have all it takes to deliver a successful project.
Check unbiased client reviews
There are websites dedicated to reviews of software development services. Clutch is just one of them – it offers detailed client testimonials, helping companies find the best providers for their projects.
Websites like Clutch are a rich trove of information, allowing you to verify the reputation of the company and check if there are any recurrent issues in the way the projects are handled. The undeniable advantage of Clutch is that their reviews are (typically) unbiased, as the interviews are conducted by their analysts. Clutch conducts client reviews and builds verified company profiles, making it easier to connect service providers and clients.
Clutch reviews are a great source of trustworthy, unbiased customer reviews, helping you make the final decision before choosing the development company to work with.
At Naturaily, we’ve recognized the benefits of Clutch and know many of our clients do their initial screening by reading the reviews on the website – looking for unbiased information on past projects. Clutch’s analysts spoke directly with many of our clients and learned more about the services we provided. With 13 reviews and an overall 4.7 rating, we know we’re doing an amazing job! You can check our profile here.
On top of looking around the Clutch profile, you can ask for testimonials. This enables you to learn from their present and previous clients’ experience. It will make it easier for you to decide whether you want to work with them or not.
Consider nearshoring or offshoring
Your concerns about nearshoring or offshoring should be well put to rest by now. With COVID-19 in full swing, remote work and collaboration tools have not only evolved rapidly, but also served as a great field test for many businesses using them. As a result, modern companies are still able to do amazing work in spite of not being clustered in the confines of physical offices. The pandemic has helped to reinvent collaboration in general and prove that every company is, in fact, a remote company these days – and almost every worker is a remote worker.
Many big and successful companies are still able to provide their services and deliver projects in the COVID-19 reality without much disruption. What’s more, although there could be some caveats, you should not fear nearshoring or offshoring. The actual location of the software development company may not be as important as the specific business needs or project requirements involved.
Outsourcing the development to an offshore team based in Europe is not only cheaper, but also more effective if you’re looking for talent qualified in specific technologies. Not without reason, Poland has grown to achieve the status of the leading software development hub for countries such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States.
There’s also the option of simply hiring a software development company operating within the same country as you—a practice called onshoring.
Onshoring – when the software development company is located in the same country
Nearshoring – when the software development company is based in a neighboring country. This usually implies you can pay your provider a visit to talk face-to-face when needed. This arrangement may be particularly important in large-scale eCommerce projects which require constant feedback and close collaboration
Offshoring– when the software development company is located in another country. This usually implies remote locations overseas. This will naturally lead to a time zone difference, making quick-fixes or real-time communication nearly impossible. On the plus side, offshoring companies can help you keep the development cost low
When building an eCommerce website, you should think long term and take on a broader perspective. It’s important to realize that you may not only be on the lookout for a development team alone. Your website might need some extra services like UX experts, graphics designers and SEO specialists to take it to another level. Picking the services of a company that offers all these services in bulk may save you a lot of trouble coordinating the work of many disparate specialists working in different time zones or workplaces.
By saving time, you can focus on your core business and leave all the rest to the experts.
Cost and Quality
It is natural that you are looking for affordable prices, but the savings may often reflect in the quality of the final product. Excessive focus on price is a dead end and may cost you more in the long term.
Be wary of companies which overpromise and offer services at a very low price. A well established and professional company will always charge you a bit more than the newly launched web design agency, as they abide by strict quality standards.
Bottom line: aim for the affordable, but stay away from the cheap.
Maintenance and support
Make sure to enquire what level of maintenance and support the company can provide pre and post-launch to ensure optimal performance. Because technical issues directly translate to lost revenue, this consideration is especially important for big-scale eCommerce projects.
Ask the agency if you can count on a support team round the clock in case of any problems.
Are they familiar with design trends and technologies?
The UX and design of your eCommerce website has to be up to par with modern trends and practices. Web designers must always be on top of their game and up to date with the current trends.
To determine the capabilities of an organization, browse through its portfolio and check what eCommerce platforms they build upon Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopify etc. Their understanding of the leading eCommerce platforms and modules will have an impact on the performance of your website.
Ask about their development process
The software development process can tell you more about the company and usually takes experience to get right. Therefore, it lends well as part of your assessment. Ask the agency to guide you through the individual steps of the process if you want a better idea of how it’s organized. If the process is well designed, it will increase your confidence in the project and ensure its timely implementation. If the company has the process worked out and all the recent trends and strategies are followed, it will show.
Why you need a great eCommerce website
eCommerce websites have evolved over the years and today they serve a purpose much greater than just letting people order products from you. In fact, the experience your eCommerce store offers may make or break your success. Choosing the right web design and development company that will build it for you can save you a lot of trouble.
The website should offer a frictionless, immersive shopping experience that is a value for the user in itself, helping you cut bounce rates. Choose the best web design and development agency that offers an effective design which increases the visitor traffic and improves retention rate.
Running a great eCommerce website will generate more returning customers who will help you maintain a healthy bottom line. Of course, offering products at competitive prices is a great short-term strategy that will attract customers, but returning customers are after the actual experience the website offers.
Sub-par website design is something you certainly cannot afford these days – especially when online shopping is booming in the post-COVID reality. Compromising on the quality of development services will have a negative impact on your success.
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