Building a new eCommerce store or upgrading an existing one?
Whatever be the case, the challenge is to find the right eCommerce web development agency. Although the web is full of articles talking about the nifty tips to hire an eCommerce developer or development agency, however, at times, it gets difficult to think of questions to ask the agencies before making the decision. You cannot do anything in haste since it is a matter of your entire business.
To help you with this dilemma, we have prepared a list of questions to ask the resource or agency you are considering to hire and compare them to arrive at a wise decision.
The list follows:
- eCommerce Website Development Cost
- Experience with eCommerce Development/Websites
- Steps Involved & Time Taken
- Post-production Support
Let’s have a detailed discussion.
eCommerce Website Development Costs
Once the service provider has provided you with the quotation or the final cost, you should pose questions like:
- How did they decide the particular cost estimate for your project?
- Can they explain their pricing in detail?
- Why is their cost estimate higher or lower (depending on the quote) than the majority of other agencies?
- What is the general Total Cost of Ownership for similar projects done in the past?
It’s important to ask these questions only after you have thought of the available budget. There is no sense in asking for a price if you aren’t sure about your budget.
Here, you are looking for proof of “process” that lies beneath their pricing. If they can’t explain the fundamental behind pricing policy, they are probably unaware of the steps involved in building an eCommerce website and costs needed for each step.
In case you come across such an agency, it is recommended to skip them and search for an experienced one.
Experience with eCommerce Development/Websites
Once you are firm with the cost, move onto knowing their experience and expertise. This can be done by asking:
- If they can provide some of their references?
- If they have served businesses of your niche?
- How many similar projects do they have?
Well, these questions might sound eerie to some. However, there are two major reasons behind:
a) You are looking for their experience, but with businesses similar to yours. Such an agency would probably invest less time getting familiar with your offering and quirks of business.
But, again, here is an extra question to think of. What if they did a bad job the first time around?
Well, the solution to this is quite simple. The solution is simple. Try to contact the former clients and ask them about their experience. Majority of service providers display their portfolio so make sure to reach out to those clients.
b) You are also looking for a similar experience with past projects that somewhat similar workflow and functionalities. In case you are looking for some specific functionality, it is good to ask them if they can do it or have done anything of that sort. This will not only give you a sense of satisfaction but help the agency in doing it faster.
Steps Involved & Time Taken
- This goes without saying. Furthermore, this is indeed crucial. Ask your service provider:
- If they can describe the steps involved in the development process.
- What is the expected time-frame for the project to be completed?
- What happens if the projected time-frame is exceeded?
A well-organized and renowned eCommerce development agency will have a well-defined process that is divided into several steps or phases. By asking such questions you can judge their level of organization.
In addition to this, there are greater chances of getting the job done with a pre-set deadline. If the provider is avoiding giving you a clear deadline or cross-questioning you, they probably do not have enough experience or expertise.
Again one of the most crucial concerns and also the one that most service-providers run away from. They do promise after service but end up denying once you approach them. To avoid this, ask them:
- Do they charge for post-production support? If yes, how much?
- What types of issues will be resolved under a warranty, if any?
- What is their policy for ongoing maintenance and upgrades post-development?
The cost of building a website isn’t just limited to the present but goes on for long. Some agencies charge less in the initial phases and extra for any post-production work. For instance, if you are looking for Magento development, hire a Magento developer who not only specializes in Magento support but gives you a clear quote of the entire process including post-development phase.
Communication is the key and we know this well; So should your service-provider. Before you align any project, make sure they understand the importance of transparent communication and timely updates. You can figure this out by asking questions such as:
- What type of communication mechanism do they follow?
- How often will they inform about your project status and by what means?
- Will they ask before making any new changes?
The agency needs to inform you about its communication channel and project progress. Look at what channel (and how often) they are suggesting. Of course, it would be wrong to ask for daily reports, but once a week sounds fine.
Besides these, you can ask any question that you can think of and expect answers to those questions. A good agency would never run away from any of your doubts, rather will make efforts to clear all the confusions.
We hope this post will prove helpful in getting the right agency for your eCommerce project.