Launched in 2007, as an open source online eCommerce platform, Magento has grown many fold. Magento Versions 1(x) topped the Internet Retailer Top 1000 – 2015, IR B2B 300, IR Hot 2015. Now, Magento is reaching for new heights, with Magento 2 as a Digital Commerce platform.
For 240,000 merchants, Magento is their choice for business whether they want to build an online store or improve the existing one. There are hundreds of web design firms that purportedly implement Magento sites, and it is difficult for Merchants to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Here are some tips to keep in mind, as you work through the process of selecting a Magento Agency.
Web design firms that are serious about implementing Magento solutions, with visible references, will tend to partner with Magento. This is an indicator of commitment and expertise of the agency. Depending on the expertise and experience, there are Gold Solution Partners, Silver Solution Partners and Associate Partners. You can choose an agency based on your needs.
One of the key differentiators for a Magento Agency is the number of developers/analysts who have earned the Magento Certified Professionals certification. The Number of certified developers is an important differentiator because it shows that the developers have an outstanding understanding of the Magento platform, web development, and a deep grasp around eCommerce. Always ask about the specific people you’ll be working with. Are the people working on your project certified in their area of expertise?
If you are planning to develop your store in Magento 2 or contemplating to migrate from Magento 1.x to Magento 2, then look for a Magento 2 Trained Solution Partner.
Loyal Clientele Matters
A Magento Agency worth its salt will have a list of active clients, some of them reputed and known in the industry. It is not easy to win clients who already have established themselves in the market. The Agency must have passed the ‘test of fire’ to attract and retain such clients. Loyal clients are a powerful indicator. It means that the agency has generally delivered as promised, and served their merchants well.
Double check to see if an agency’s website has testimonials from reputed clients. Only happy clients provide testimonials.
Has the agency experience in implementing projects from scratch to finish? Can the agency take up projects at any stage of implementation and complete it successfully? Has the agency handled complex projects that involved customization, data migration, reports, upgradation, and integration with other systems like SAP or Oracle?
Having a wealth of experience in demanding projects, skilled workforce, and an impressive project track record is definitely a great asset for any agency. “The best indication of future success is past success.”
Thought Leadership Matters
If an agency is a thought leader in its industry or domain, it generally means their people are passionate about what they do (that caring, thoughtful attitude may well translate nicely over to your project). Thought leaders, who stay on top of emerging trends are more likely to understand the issues you are facing and will actively seek out emerging trends and technologies to help solve them.
How to identify a thought leader? They innovate, inform, instruct, inspire through blogs, answers in technical forums, articles and interviews in industry publications, tweets etc. Prioritize firms with a point of view you can understand, one that resonates with you. You will find them exhibiting, attending and speaking at Magento and Retail conferences.
Account Management Matters
Account Management is the highest layer of the orchestration of all work done by the agency for a client. Great Account management means many things including responsiveness, relationship building and great client service.
A good Magento Agency will have great Account Managers who contribute to realizing the service trifecta – that is positive results for customers, investors, and employees.
Great Magento Agencies are many things – they
- Take steps to ensure repeated memorable service experiences
- Foster winning operating strategies
- Are great places to work
- Develop a core of customers who are owners
- Learn, innovate and adapt
Best of luck on your Magento Agency hunt! Hopefully, these tips are of some help. We would love to hear from you, and are always glad to act as a sounding-board – regardless of your ultimate decision.