You stepped out of the 9-5 corporate boots, removed your corporate suit, and start thinking.
You have had enough of your boss screaming at your simple mistakes. You want to make it on your own.
So, you want to open an online store on a product you have been working on for years.
Launching an eCommerce business also referred as an online store is a daunting task. Avoiding the tangle between technical workload and business context is nerve-racking.
Starting from developing a business plan to the selection of an eCommerce web design company, building a website needs a lot of thoughts and investment.
This is one of those phases where if you make a mistake, it becomes difficult to recover.
You need to take assistance from a reliable company that understands and values your credibility as well as vision.
However, here are 6 things that can support your decision making.
Design should align with your business strategies
I’m pretty sure you didn’t plan to create an online store based on a fluke. You might have invested hours of your time to come up with the ideas. It’s most likely that you have a definite business roadmap to achieve the goal of your business.
This is why it’s important to select a company that understands your ideas and vision. This is really important as you need to know that your design company can replicate the exact process you have in your mind for your business.
Now, one way to do that is by monitoring the portfolio section and communicating clearly with the responsible company. You need to be able to share clear information on what you want to achieve from them. Check if the portfolio has the designs that connect with your business ideas in some sort of form. It doesn’t guarantee that they will do a good job, but it’s clearly an indication that they have an experience of working in those fields.
Make sure they can do both design and development
I have seen many clients coming to me and say, “Can you convert this PSD of ours into a fully functional site.” I’m amazed at how people talk big things about eCommerce web design and know nothing about development procedures. If a company is offering eCommerce design services, it should cover everything from PSD design to development. You can always get some basic information from their business site. However, you can go one step further and start asking a question with few of their recent clients.
Know the platform that they use for development
If you have a technical knowledge, you can skip this part. But if you don’t, you may need to research the platforms on your own or ask the design company straight hand. It’s important to have some basic understanding of the technology that makes your website.
Ecommerce development can be done on various platforms. From BigCommerce to WooCommerce every platform has its own pros and cons. It doesn’t matter the platform you choose till it meets your business requirements. Whatever platform you go with make sure they have a proven record of successful website completion.
Client communication skills
This is one of the most important skills a company should have in its arsenal. It should be experienced enough to deal with even a layman who doesn’t have any sort of knowledge on web development.
Before dealing with any company, you should make a checklist of questions you would ask a web design company. Understand the process in which they communicate with you. Ask them what tool or software will they use for client communication. This should be the baseline of every effective web development.
The clients I have worked with use tools like Skype and Gmail for immediate communication. And Trello, Wunderlist for evaluating site progress and management. Working on this stuff does take your web design process to a comfort level.
A web design company should always meet the deadline. That’s the rule every company should understand. There can be a slight delay at times but the time period should never cross more than few months. Businesses are built with ideas. And ideas are created with variables that can be overtaken by any other businesses.
You don’t want to end up waiting for a website that took you 1 year. And one of your competitors made the website with a similar business module like yours in relatively quick time. This could only mean you would be wasting your time as well as money. Hence, meeting deadlines are necessary for every business.
Consistent and reliable support
Having a website ready is never a job done. As a website owner, you will continuously need a support of your design companies for necessary changes. You don’t need a company that shuts down its contact after the site is live.
If you need to update your site’s content or add functionality, you need the help of your eCommerce company. Ask them if they offer customer support on a regular basis. More often than not the answer will be yes. There will be an additional cost for every update but it’s worth it because your website is better when it’s handled by the developer that created it.
Hiring a right development company can make or break your business. So understand the above 6 things before you jump into the conclusion.