The eCommerce industry is thriving at a greater pace than ever before. The eCommerce retail revenues are expected to be 5.4 trillion US dollars worldwide in 2022.[i]
It clearly states that there is undoubtedly fierce competition among eCommerce owners. And knowledge and experience are what can give you an edge over your competitors.
This is where an eCommerce partner can help you.
An eCommerce partner with demonstrated experience in a B2B environment can help you get scalable results. However, choosing the right partner for your business is a challenging task.
A lot of factors are involved in choosing the right partner for your business, which often makes the process overwhelming. But we have got you covered!
In this blog post, we are discussing some effective tips to find an eCommerce partner for your business.
Examine Demonstrated Experience
Given the complex nature of eCommerce, it is important that your partner has demonstrated experience in the eCommerce landscape as a whole.
To find a partner with demonstrated experience, ask yourself questions like:
- Does your prospective partner have experience in delivering projects in B2B or B2C industries?
- Do they have enough resources to cater to your needs if you decide to go global with your business?
- Do they have a portfolio to demonstrate their services?
You should spend time thoroughly researching to acquaint yourself with your partner’s experience, the clients they have worked with, what their clients have to say about them, etc.
Expertise in Integration
eCommerce integrations help in improving business efficiencies and enhancing the customer experience.
PIM, ERP, POS, order management, CRM, search, loyalty programs, payment gateways, user-generated content, and personalization are some of the integrations that help eCommerce owners scale their business.
Integrations can transform your eCommerce business, but if not done correctly, they can turn your business upside down. So, it is essential that your prospective partner has the experience and specific skills in integrating the different systems you work with.
Knowledge in Strategic Planning
Your eCommerce solution is the foundation of your business, and thus you should take every decision strategically.
This is why you need a team that has sound knowledge of both operations as well as management of your eCommerce solution.
The right eCommerce partner involves all the right people in the project from the beginning, which reduces the risk of overlooking important aspects of the project later.
For example, your marketing team will have a better outlook on modern-day marketing strategies, whereas the sales team will help close crucial leads.
Look for Development Skills
Every business is unique and has its own needs and challenges. So, it is important that you choose an eCommerce partner that can give the most appropriate advice at every step of the way.
Your eCommerce partner should understand your solution requirements and the tools you need to implement.
It is important to understand that developing an eCommerce solution is more than choosing an eCommerce platform and implementing the basic integrations. Other things involved in solution development are:
- Transforming your website for a seamless customer experience
- Building a scalable growth engine for your business
- Implementing a robust CMS to give you an edge over your competitors
Explore Managed Services Options
The eCommerce market is huge, and delivering a seamless customer experience can help you stand apart from the crowd. Your business should understand and also cater to the demands of the customers.
It may seem an easy task in the beginning, however, in the long run, you need the expertise to meet the needs of your audience.
Therefore, choosing the right eCommerce partner that offers managed services can help you deliver a personalized experience to your customers.
Check Credentials and Accolades
Put on your detective hat when you are digging for information about your potential partner. Get to know about their reputation among clients and other providers from the industry.
Try to find answers to the following questions when you are delving into the information:
- Do they have a reputation as a partner with your preferred eCommerce platform?
- Are they recognized as one of the top-recommended solution partners?
- How long have they been delivering eCommerce solutions on your chosen platform?
Besides, you can also look if they have been appreciated for their work with awards. Awards are a great way to determine a company’s competence, capabilities, and strengths.
Tip: Online communities, websites, LinkedIn, etc. can be of great help when determining the credentials of your partner.
In today’s fast-paced world, a website is just not enough to meet the expectations of the consumer.
You need to build your brand presence on every channel and ensure that you provide a seamless customer experience on every channel.
Therefore, the partner you choose should have an in-depth understanding of omnichannel marketing to help you provide an augmented user experience.
Reliability and Support
Your eCommerce website is the backbone of your business. So, you need to make sure it is always performing at its best.
If your website crashes or fails, it can have an irrevocable impact on your business in terms of loss of customers and orders.
Your eCommerce partner should have a dedicated team for the support and maintenance of your website. This ensures that even if you don’t have the resources to ensure your site’s healthy, your partner does.
Focus On Their Work Culture
Your association with the partner you choose is going to last for years. It is important that you pick a partner whose work culture aligns with yours.
This is undoubtedly hard to measure, however, you can trust your instincts when it comes to making this decision.
Here are a few questions that can help you make an informed decision:
- What is their definition of success?
- What are their core values?
- Do they consider your opinion when making a decision?
- How can their expertise add value to your business?
Results are one of the most important parameters to judge your partner’s expertise and competencies.
When we talk about results, it is just not limited to the number of websites they have catered to, but, the impact those websites have created.
For example, how their solutions impacted their clients’ traffic, conversions, sales, purchases from mobile, growth, revenue, etc.
This will help you get clarity on whether a particular partner can deliver tangible results for your business or not.
Now, price is the final deciding factor that will influence your decision. Every business has a fixed budget when it comes to pricing. But, there are a few things that you should consider before making a final decision.
Every eCommerce partner’s pricing plan is different from others. Let’s discuss two scenarios of the pricing plan:
- One partner offers you a fixed quote and gives you an estimate of what your expenses will be throughout your association with them.
- Another partner gives you a lower price than the previous one. But, sometimes there are hidden costs involved in such pricing plans.
Though there is no direct comparison involved here, it is advisable that you go with a pricing plan that is transparent.
No matter what your business size is, deciding on a partner can be a tedious process sometimes. It can become even more challenging for you if you are new in the business.
But, keeping these factors while choosing a partner can help you tremendously in making a wise decision for your business.
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[i] WorldWide Retail eCommerce Sales
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