The days when we could make websites maintenance-free are long gone. There will always be customers who know what they are looking for in your online store . They only need a few clicks to complete an order, but what do we do with the rest? The increasingly competitive market makes us fight for customers, win them over and be sure that they will not shop in another online store.
You, as a seller, have high expectations for your online store . In order to differentiate your brands, pay more and more attention to the design, the customer experience of your online stores, offering personalized experiences to each customer.
One way to create a more powerful customer experience is to focus on building an online community. Here are some examples of how to do this:
- Reviews: A survey of 1,000 US customers shows that the higher a product is rated, the more likely customers are to buy it. Тhe price doesn’t even matter.
- Customization: Offering products that the customer would like, customizing the content they see raises sales. 90% of retailers believe that this attracts more users to visit their online store .
- Current content: Do you always want to have new customers? Current content is like a magnet that attracts and retains consumers.
Often companies do not have a team that builds the online store and they hire agencies or freelancers. This begs the question “Who should I choose, an agency or a freelancer?” How to find the right partner to provide services for the development of my online business? With so many choices, the answer is not easy.
Let’s look at the similarities and differences and together find out which is the best option for your business model.
Types of services that agencies for online stores provide
The agency that professionally creates online stores can make you sure that your online website meets all the needs of your clients. Agencies are very competent in following the trends and through their extensive experience and a large team of specialists, they will always know how to make the best decision for your business.
Here are some of the specific services that agencies provide:
- Back-end programming
- Front-end programming
- UI / UX design
- E-commerce services
- Mobile application design
- Digital strategy
- Custom software development
Advantages of web agencies
Outsourcing some of your business operations to a third party e-commerce development service is often a surprising experience. Whether you are the decision maker or part of a team trying to get a development agency fee, consider these benefits as а part of the journey.
Often handing over your online store for construction to an agency is a surprising experience. Whether you make the decisions or you are a part of the team responsible for the task, you will like the advantages of the agency.
The benefits of using an agency are like the benefits of hiring an accounting firm to do your accounting or a legal team to deal with your legal issues. This is what we do, all day, every day.
1.Build a faster and better experience for your customers
When you hire an agency to build your online trading solution, know that developers know online business like the back of their hand. This will save you time without having to train an in-house developer on all the intricacies of your business.
An agency that is dedicated to creating e-commerce solutions will provide a super user experience and thus stimulate higher engagement and sales.
2. Access to knowledge outside your circle
Hiring an agency with business-specific knowledge is a good way to stick to the industry best practices. Hiring an agency brings more than just a set of skills. A good agency has people organized to work as a highly efficient team.
A hybrid between a team in your company and an agency is also popular. At the very least, it is important that the agency has a contact person who is responsible for your online store . If you have time, workers and budget, this option is the best. At the same time you have a team, the agency that takes care of your online store and employees to fix the small problems.
3. You pay less than if you hired a new member of your team
The cost of in-house developers is often higher than hiring an agency, but the agency gives much more benefits than а new person on the team.
Having an agency build an online store helps you move projects forward efficiently and with a diverse set of skills, a team with great knowledge, the abilities of one person. Think about all the roles in a project, such as project manager, art director, system architect, developer, and more. It is impossible for a person to be great in every role. Hiring an agency for your online store in the long run saves you resources that can be invested in other areas of the company.
4. Consider your business processes
When you hire an agency to build your online store , you hire a team with years of experience that does exactly what you wished for. Imagine all the experience that they will give you. You get their experience and you can use it to rethink your own business.
Imagine the institutional knowledge that all the projects in the last 15-20 years that have passed through their hands have. This is very difficult to find in a new hired person.
Pros and cons if you choose a freelancer
Freelance developers can also be an option for your online store. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using a freelancer instead of an agency.
There are several potential benefits to working with a freelancer:
- Costs: A freelancer’s time usually costs less than working with an agency. But even if the percentage is lower, do not forget to take into account everything you get, and what will be done.
- Communication: Working with just one person can be an advantage if you want to know how the online store is evolving, while agencies have several people working on the site and communication is slower.
But there are some potential drawbacks to choosing a freelancer instead of an agency:
- Skill: If the freelancer is not familiar with your field of activity, this is a big drawback and it may be that the created online store does not meet your needs.
- Experience: Regardless of the described experience of a person, it may not be relevant and they may not have enough knowledge
- Accountability: Because freelancers work only for themselves, if you are dissatisfied with the product, you have much fewer ways to do changes than if you work with an agency
Before choosing an agency to build your online store
Think about all the points listed before choosing the best agency to build your online store:
There is a programmer who can work within your budget; you just have to find the right one – and remember that you (usually) get what you pay for.
When conducting interviews with potential developers, it helps to take into account the budget. Do not forget to think about the total cost of ownership, including costs after manufacture, maintenance or adjustments.
If face-to-face meetings are important to you, consider hiring a local or one in an easy-to-access city where you can move to, if needed. If you are more focused on a set of skills or specific niches, you may need to expand your search.
Reviewing agencies’ previous work is one of the best ways to get an idea of what they can really do. But don’t just look at the end result – ask questions and look at all aspects of their work. You want to see not only the product, but also the results that your business will get.
Gain an even deeper sense of satisfaction from previous clients by looking for references. You will get the best idea if this is the best agency for building your online store from their past customers.
Building an online store takes time and will be a challenge to do it yourself. If you are looking for a freelancer or an agency to build your digital identity, we hope the tips above have helped you.
Agencies have so much experience – that means you can get a better final product, often from a team of people who know the industry and online stores much better than the typical freelancer.
This strategic partnership will be vital to the progress of your business. You want to make sure you have a team you can trust and count on to be there when you need them.