How to select a software provider for eCommerce website development - A complete guide
Businesses around the world have already realized the importance of being online, especially in the time of global pandemic and social distancing. If your company is limited to brick-and-mortar stores, chances are you may face significant financial and operational risks. To prevent negative impact on your business, it’s a good idea to build a user-friendly eCommerce website, which will help you get more leads and boost your sales.
However, developing a eCommerce website is quite a daunting task which involves multiple stakeholders. Before you get down to this process, you should decide who your software vendor will be. In this article, we outline some useful tips on how to approach your choices.
What are the options?
One of the main misconceptions among business owners is that creating an eCommerce website is a piece of cake. Many guides on the Internet promise to provide you with know-how, and many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe it is enough to get the job done.
However, even if you possess the required technical skills, building a website yourself is quite risky. In case you fail to handle it properly, you might end up with wasted resources and a low-quality website. That’s why it is better to rely on a professional with expertise in eCommerce website development.
If you do some research on the net, you’ll see there are three main options you can go with:
- Hire a freelance developer;
- Make use of outstaffing;
- Use services of an outsourcing company.
Freelance Website Developer
The best way to find freelance developers is to search for them on different freelance platforms. Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal are among the most popular platforms for hiring software engineers. Look at the features these websites offer to find the right match. You can check clients’ feedback, search for a specialist with experience in your field and chat with him/her before hiring.
But this option also has a set of pitfalls, including:
- Freelance developers are less reliable compared to a software company;
- You won’t have other employees to back up your project in case a freelancer isn’t able to finish it;
- There is no management support;
- Communication might be distorted as there is no project manager to oversee the development process;
- You need to be fully involved every step on the way to get a good result.
Before you select a software provider, make sure you have enough time and knowledge to keep track of the website development process.
If you can’t find the right developer on freelance platforms or you don’t have time for an extensive search, you can contact an outstaffing company which will shortlist the right specialists for your project. Here are the pros and cons of this option:
- You get access to a vast pool of talent;
- Outstaffing companies offer lower prices compared to outsourcing ones;
- You receive full administrative support from your software partner;
- Time to market is significantly shorter;
- You have daily control over the development process.
- Since you lead the project, you are the one responsible for the outcome;
- If you don’t have relevant project management experience, you might not be able to build reliable communication channels.
In this case, the hiring process is smoother and faster. You don’t need to do the research and recruit candidates as your partner does it for you. In short, if you need to create an eCommerce website quickly, this option is probably your best bet.
Software development outsourcing
This is one of the most popular options for eCommerce website development. Having distance employees is no longer a problem, especially in times of crisis, when most of our communications have shifted online anyway. Here are some benefits and drawbacks of building an eCommerce site with a software vendor:
- Your developer takes full responsibility for the quality of your website;
- You can delegate management of the project to your partner;
- Your partner can consult you on the choice of a tech stack and other issues;
- Most outsourcing companies also offer marketing services, which means they can guide you from the idea stage to the final launch of your website.
- Outsourcing might appear to be more expensive than outstaffing. However, with a reliable outsourcing vendor, you won’t be wondering how to build a good eCommerce website. Your software partner will make sure the website aligns with your business goals and appeals to the customers. It is one of the most reliable ways to create an eCommerce website that converts.
How to select a software provider?
After you decide on how you are going to build your website, it is time to choose a software development vendor. With so many providers out there, it’s easy to get lost. We shortlisted a set of factors you should consider before making the final decision:
Portfolio is a collection of cases where a vendor tells about their experience and expands on the project details. During the negotiation process, it is a good idea to ask your potential software partner to provide you with some examples of their work to make sure your vendor has already successfully completed similar projects.
There are a number of platforms where you can find lots of software development companies with detailed descriptions of their services, operations, values, etc. As a rule, you can also find customers’ feedback. Visit Clutch or GoodFirms to get such information.
Before you get down to eCommerce website development, you should choose the technology you’re going to work with. You can ask your potential vendor if they are familiar with that particular tech. For instance, if you want to build your website with Magento, ask if the developer has already worked with it.
Building an appealing website for your business is just halfway to success. You should constantly maintain it to ensure it runs like clockwork. Before you choose a service provider, ask if they can provide high-quality maintenance after your project comes to an end.
Whether you run a small eCommerce store or operate a large chain of shops, communication is vital in any business endeavor. Make sure your partner can keep in touch with you daily to provide relevant updates on the project status.
Contact Mementia to build a great website for your eCommerce business!
With extensive experience in the eCommerce industry, Mementia stands out as a reliable eCommerce consulting agency. Reach out to us and our manager will analyze your request to provide you with top-notch service.