The shift to eCommerce
Taking your business online is one of the best ways to increase sales and brand awareness. Whether you are a household staple, part of a niche market or an emerging start-up, the benefits offered by eCommerce are immense. Companies can access markets all over the globe, increase visibility, and do business at all hours of the day without the hassles of opening a storefront—saving money. Increasingly, businesses of all sizes and types are going online as both retailers and customers alike are discovering the benefits of online shopping. In 2014, eCommerce sales in the UK and other European countries are predicted to rise to over £111 billion! But tapping into this takes more than setting up an eCommerce site. Having the right eCommerce platform and implementation partner will truly make or break a business in this highly competitive online forum.
Finding the right partner/vendor
Magento is one of the best eCommerce platforms available. That being said having the right Magento implementation partner or vendor is crucial. The Magento developers will not only customize the online store according to your needs, but also provide support, design, hosting, system integrations and more. In choosing a Magento implementation partner or vendor, there are five steps that you can take to ensure that they are the right fit for you.
- Educate yourself- Talk to other business owners that you know. Learn what issues they have had and what worked for them. Often, word of mouth is one of the best ways to start. Once that is done, check out the information online. Look at different Magento eCommerce websites and note what kinds of features they have that you think might work for you.
- Determine your needs – Are you looking for an eCommerce developer to help build and design the site using Magento platform and customized as per your company’s objectives? Will you need ongoing support? What kind of features will you want the website to have? Know ahead of time what you will need to cut down on frustrations later.
- Research– Check out the Magento vendor’s website. If they have been around for a while, they should have a list of past/present clients available on the site. Check out their clients’ eCommerce websites and see how functional/ appealing they are.
- Contact the Vendors– Ask them for a list of references that you can call and check them out. Try and narrow down your choices to 2-3 and go from there. Ask them questions. Not all vendors for Magento store implementation are created equally, and knowing what kind of support they offer, their qualifications, the software features they offer, how long the project will take, etc. is crucial. For example, when they create the site, who will own the site and graphics will be important later down the road. What kind of control the content management system will give you is another important thing to know. Will they be outsourcing the work or doing it themselves? Find out who is responsible for setting up all the initial site content and products.
- Get it in writing– Once you have chosen a Magento eCommerce vendor; make sure that they are aware of exactly what their role is and what you expect of them. In return, they should be clear on costs, project length, ownership issues, and other pertinent issues.
Creating an online store is the greatest boon to a business, but choosing the right eCommerce implementation vendor makes a world of difference.