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It’s widely accepted that Magento is one of the top eCommerce platforms of the decade: The software boasts robust feature sets, unlimited hosting control, unrivalled site customization, tons of extensions, and much more. While some smaller eCommerce stores don’t require the wealth of features that Magento has to offer, it’s definitely the platform of choice for big retailers. As of now, over 320,000 online websites have been registered under Magento and many more retailers are switching to the platform every day.
With such a massive community behind Magento, how should you choose the right Magento Development Agency? Choosing the developer solution is a crucial step in building the perfect online store.
This blog will offer some helpful advice that you can use to determine which agency you’ll be working with.
Choosing the perfect Magento Agency – A few pointers
Determining Your Needs
Before reaching out to a potential agency, a retailer should have a clear understanding of their requirements. Determining the requirements is of paramount importance before anything else, so better write it down from scratch. The requirements include a basic idea on the Product Range, Market Insights, Customer Needs and Competitors. Analyzing your business based on these data points will speed up and improve the process when working with a development team.
When the needs and requirements become complex, it is necessary that the merchant sets up a solid team with an eCommerce and marketing background for taking care of the online business.
Create a Budget Estimate
At the end of the day, it all comes down to money, anticipating how much business the eCommerce venture can generate and the budget required for building the website. It would be absurd if a company doing $50M per year just spending $50K on a website; Spending 3 to 5% of your online revenue toward building a stupendous website should do good.
Merchants should also understand their licensing and hosting costs in case they decide to choose the more expensive Magento Enterprise Edition. A sales forecast on the eCommerce venture will provide a few numbers on the budget limit.
Scout Agencies Carefully
Now, the merchants would want to scout the agencies based on the needs and budget. There are a few categories on how Magento Agencies are classified.
These are the full-service system integrators, consultancies or agencies who work with many well-known brands across the world. Many of these agencies work primarily on Magento Enterprise with huge teams of certified developers, managers, and consultants. These agencies operate across different continents and are popular in the Magento community. Global Elite partners show exemplary in the digital commerce domain, spanning UX/CX design through the management of complex programs and a robust 24/7 managed service/support offering.
The downside of this category of agencies is that you can’t maintain a good rapport or contact their development team so often.
These are consulting firms that offer full-service offerings (strategy, design, development, implementation, optimization and managed services). These companies have strong proven commerce capabilities, strong vertical expertise and have delivered on a large investment in the Magento platform.
Also one should understand that these agencies are expensive and unless the merchant has a sizeable budget, it is tough to afford the services from these agencies.
These are companies that have an established commerce practice area across a defined geographic area. They are adopting Magento as a key technology offering and are expected to stay current on the latest innovations delivered by Magento and have access to channel support in abundance.
Being smaller is an advantage for these agencies because merchants can get a focused team of a few people who can work on the project on a regular basis. The merchants can also personally interact with the development team which may not be possible in bigger agencies. Since a lot of Magento agencies fall under this category, their price points are usually competitive to the market.
Business partners are companies focused on implementing Magento Open Source, or have a primary focus on servicing existing Magento Commerce clients. Business partners are interested in developing their Magento Commerce skills as often as they are just starting their partnership with Magento.
When the requirements are minimal and the budget is comparatively low, it’s better to find a single Magento developer who can handle the requirements. While scouting for an individual developer, it is crucial to check their expertise, references, and certifications. Though these developers can give a personalized service to your needs, the disadvantage is that the merchant is completely dependent on this individual. This situation puts a lot of eggs in one single basket which is a delicate proposition.
Request A Quote
Once the initial agency scouting is done, the merchant will need to provide the requirements to the shortlisted agencies/developers and request an estimate. Once the estimates are analyzed, then the merchants should get an idea of what these agencies can do.
Look out for the following details:
- Clientele: Understand the existing projects or clients that they have handled in the same industry. For example, if the merchant is into fashion, understand how many fashion projects the agency has handled. Have a look at those websites; it would give an idea of how their end product would be.
- Workforce: Get a deep understanding of the workforce who would handle your project. Get their expertise, certification details and if possible set up a discussion with them. This would bring the merchant closer to the developer and close the communication gaps.
- Cost: Estimate how much it would cost and how profitable this partnership would be for the business.
- References: Ask for references and cross verify, this would help gather unknown details about the agency
Decide As a Team
Before deciding, you should always reflect upon the vision for your eCommerce business as well as the potential of the development agency to achieve it. This will provide a clear path to eliminating unsuitable agencies and allows you to understand the agency that is right for your project.
We understand that the relationship between a merchant and an agency is an ongoing process. It doesn’t end with a single implementation project. Rather, it continues with upgrades, maintenance, support, and many other activities. With a constantly changing online landscape, it is critical to partner with the right Magento agency to work on your eCommerce projects.