How To Find and Hire eCommerce Developers
In recent years, shopping has become synonymous with opening an eCommerce store's website or app and ordering the desired product. This transformative momentum is only set to accelerate in the coming years, with its share of the total global retail sales forecast to be 24.5% by 2025.
Suppose you are a budding entrepreneur looking to venture into the eCommerce space and ride this opportunity or an established business looking to expand your market share. In that case, you must have an accessible app and a user-friendly website. And for that, you need to hire eCommerce developers.
There are a few ways to do this.
- Hire a team of eCommerce developers in-house.
- Hire a freelancing developer.
- Hire the required resources from an eCommerce development company, i.e., outsourcing.
I vouch for outsourcing because it is the most cost-effective and hassle-free way to get your website or app. This approach offers freedom, a simplified resolution to the biggest challenges in this path, and a great deal of flexibility with budget.
Hiring developers from a company dedicated to outsourcing can help you beat the competition and set the ball rolling on making profitable sales while enhancing your brand presence and value in the market.
If you are unsure about taking the first step, this blog is for you. Continue reading, and you'll find answers to questions like how to identify and hire an eCommerce web development company, the benefits you'll get, the available technologies you can exploit, etc.
What You Should Do Before Hiring an eCommerce Web Development Company
Preparation is critical to succeeding at a task, especially a complex one like finding and hiring an eCommerce app/web development service provider. There are many factors you should consider before you set about determining which service provider will fit your requirements best. Here are some of those aspects:
Define your business objectives
What is the purpose behind starting your eCommerce business? Is it to sell already available products by offering a better deal to customers? Or is it about catering to a niche audience with your exclusive products? What is the path you intend to follow to grow your business? What are your profitability goals and the timelines for them?
It would help if you had the answers to such questions before building your app/website, as they dictate the course of the hiring and development processes and the final product. Proceeding blindly will result in confusion during and after development, leading to cost overruns and delays.
Establish data-sharing rules
Your data is your most valuable intangible asset and should always be under your control. Decide what kind of data and how much of it you're willing to share with the external agency. This will decide the confidentiality clauses you will include in your contract. It's best to keep the most sensitive data to yourself.
Finalise your budget
Your budget will be the most significant factor in determining the kind of app/website you will have and the service provider you can get. So you must be thorough when managing your finances and allocating the share this process requires. Ensure you have sufficient bandwidth to accommodate unexpected budgetary expansions, as things can be unpredictable in this field.
Create a tentative design
You should only hire dedicated software developers for your eCommerce website/app development once you know what you want those to look like and how they should function. User experience is paramount to making good sales through those digital assets, so pay special attention to their user interface. Consider how you will incorporate your brand theme and logo into them and communicate the same with your hire.
Research your target market
Your eCommerce app/website should appeal to your target audience, for which you need to have detailed data about them. Have a market research survey conducted before you start your development project, as you can then fine-tune the app/website accordingly. The more data you have about them, the better you can cater to them.
Partner with a payment processor
Payments are digital today, especially with eCommerce. So it would help if you had a tie-up with a digital payment processing gateway to successfully manage the financial transfers between your bank account and your customers. Their API must be integrated with your website and application for successful transfers.
Tips to Hire the Most Suitable eCommerce Web Development Company for Your Business
eCommerce is booming, attracting many businesses who want to make the most of it. Additionally, support services in droves help those businesses thrive in volatile market conditions. While this may be a good thing since you have many choices when selecting one for yourself, it can also be a pain point.
This is because it also brings in eCommerce support service providers who are not up to the mark regarding quality and the number of services offered. Or they may offer quality and service types that may not suit your requirements.
Thus, finding and hiring eCommerce developers that suit your budget and other criteria is an exercise. But by following the tips below, you'll make that exercise much less strenuous and quickly get your hands on the right service provider.
Go through their reviews and ratings
One of the most significant advantages of living in the modern age is that you know how good a service provider is with just a few clicks/taps. Use this to your advantage when searching for your ideal eCommerce web and app developer. Conduct a search for your shortlisted agencies on sites like Google and Yelp. This process is crucial to validating a potential partner company.
Take a look at the reviews their previous customers have left behind. Make sure to look at both the negative and positive reviews and find out the ratio between the two. If there are more positive reviews than negative ones, that's a vital sign in their favour.
Their ratings should support that ratio with four or more stars. You should also go through professional review sites and consider the points mentioned there about your prospective hire. Also, look at the ratings your potential business partner has earned there.
Peruse their portfolio of services
Once you've defined your business objectives and the blueprint for an app or website that can help you accomplish them, you can list the services you'll require to realise them. Once finished, use that list to compare the portfolio of services your potential development company offers. You can further establish a deal with them if they check all the boxes on that list.
If you find this step difficult due to a lack of understanding of the technicalities involved, you should bring a consultant. You can get an independent one for the task or check if the development companies you have shortlisted also offer such consultancy.
Evaluate their employee credentials
A crucial practice you shouldn't miss once you hire dedicated software developers is peering into the credentials of those professionals. Those with the appropriate qualifications and experience will make the development process a breeze and give you a product that's to your liking and problem-free. Those same factors also help in reducing the turnaround time of the project.
You can learn about such credentials by directly asking for them from your point of contact with the agency. Refusing such details from their end should be considered a red flag. If you are familiar with it, ask technical questions to get a complete picture of its capabilities.
If possible, interview those professionals directly. Go with those who can add their input to your briefings because they listen to your requirements and evaluate the best course of action.
Consider their communication methodologies
Communication is vital to the establishment and progress of a business relationship. It gains particular importance with outsourcing your eCommerce app/website development since many aspects need to be communicated frequently and clearly between all parties involved. This communication shouldn't just end upon product delivery but continue during the post-sales support phase, as it's critical to refining the product for greater effectiveness.
Ask how often they will communicate with you regarding your project right at the start. Mention your demands and check to see if they can cater to them. If you must compromise on something, evaluate how much it will impact your desired outcome.
It will help immensely if you can establish a fixed routine and means of communication along with the contents to be discussed. Have a backup process in case of emergencies and off-schedule meetings.
Confirm their turnaround times
Getting your product/service out on the market before your competitors is the difference between staying ahead of them and falling behind. So, confirming your potential app/web development partner's turnaround times is one of the most critical steps in learning how to hire eCommerce developers. Many factors determine how quickly they will be able to deliver the product.
Their size is a good indicator, as the more people can work on your project, the sooner it will be finished. The personnel's quality also matters; the better it is, the easier it will run through their tasks.
Ask your point of contact about your project's most likely delivery times once you've given them its particulars. It helps if they have an international presence since they can work on your project even when it's a night on your side of the world.
Check their pricing strategy and packages
Cost is by far the most crucial factor you'll be evaluating when you're looking to hire eCommerce developers. It would be best to remember that pursuing service providers on either extreme of the price spectrum is wrong.
Going for the lowest available option means a potential compromise in output quality. Going for the most expensive could bleed your budget dry without making much difference in the outcome.
Its overall value proposition is the key to selecting the right one for your budget. The company must create the product within a stipulated timeline and budget while keeping it as user-friendly and high-quality as possible. If you feel that stretching your budget is justified because the result will give you the ROI to compensate, it makes sense to go ahead.
The kind of packages a service provider offers influences the final price too. Combining their services as a single package can be a bargain. If your service provider-to-be is flexible regarding the contents of their packages, then you can lower your costs further by removing the services you don't need.
On the other hand, if the provider offers those services individually or in packages consisting of only a few, your costs will be high.
The payment mode also has a bearing on your costs. Hourly and other such subscription payments can lower the upfront costs and distribute them over a long duration. But you could be vulnerable to price hikes that ultimately cause budget overruns.
Paying upfront for the entire project can be costly in the short term but may prove effective throughout the whole project. So, if you want the most cost-effective deal, immediately negotiate on all the above factors.
The Benefits of Hiring an eCommerce Web Development Company
The debate between going in-house to develop an eCommerce app/website vs outsourcing is always a hot issue. You may have many questions running through your mind like, “Will I have the kind of control over the project when I outsource it like when I have it done in-house?”, “Do I derive better value by outsourcing it?” etc. When you consider the benefits that outsourcing offers, you will find that it is the better choice of the two.
Managing an in-house team is not a cost-effective option in the long run. You will be spending money to hire the talent needed for the job, their salaries, and other reasons like travel.
You may also need to train those employees as and when required due to the ever-changing nature of the technologies used for the development. And if your business is not concerned with the industry, then you'll likely not even know how to hire eCommerce developers, which means you'll be spending even more on consultants.
Outsourcing solves all of these issues in one go. The development agency saves you money by bringing in economies of scale. Scaling also won't be a problem financially since it is easy for them to add more members to your project development team without substantially escalating costs. You can also enjoy savings from currency exchange values if your outsourcing agency has an international presence.
Another cost-saving factor is their established operational protocols. Being a professional web and app development company, they will have protocols to manage daily operations and troubleshoot outlier events efficiently. These can bleed your budget when you choose to go in-house due to your lack of experience.
Quick turnaround time
The ability to scale quickly, the efficient operational protocols, the experience and expertise of the personnel, and many such factors will contribute to the quick delivery of your work when you hire dedicated software developers externally. And as mentioned before, the sooner you get your eCommerce service out in the market, the greater your chances of high ROI. You will get the competitive edge you need, particularly if launching a new product.
This won't be the case with your in-house team, as you'll have to go through a learning curve that can bottleneck your market entry times. They are also better poised to handle disruptions in the development pipeline, like employee exits, further contributing to keeping the project on schedule.
Instant access to expertise
Experts are always in-demand and hard to find, and proceeding to do so with a lack of experience won't work out well for your in-house team-building plans. Any delay caused by this will have a cascading effect on the development pipeline, slowing progress and hurting your chances of getting to the market in time. You may not even know the kind of experts you will require for the job, further compounding your woes.
Outsourcing offers the best solution here, as app/web development agencies are a hotbed of such expert talent. You will access their talent when you agree to work with them. Their experience and knowledge about your requirements help them pick the best personnel for the job. And those experts can provide the guidance you need to understand better how to proceed with your app/website development.
Application of the latest technologies
With eCommerce being an online business model, technology plays a significant role in its success. Your app/website should always be made using the latest development technologies. Otherwise, you risk financial and brand reputation losses and security issues.
But by choosing to hire eCommerce developers for your in-house setup, you're tasking yourself with keeping them in line with the latest technological developments needed. And this technological landscape is dynamic, making this process all the more challenging. You may not even know the tools you need for the job, adding to the risk of falling behind the competition.
On the other hand, professional eCommerce website development companies prioritise keeping up with the latest technological developments in the field and applying them all the time. Thus, you will get the disadvantages that come with the latest web and app development technologies backing those assets of yours. You don't have to concern yourself with keeping up with the latest developments in the field, too, saving you precious resources that you can spend on your core business.
Robust data security and privacy
Enterprise data is under increased threat from cyberattacks in today's world. Data security and privacy become top priorities with a data-driven venture like your eCommerce business. With an in-house setup, you may have adequate measures to protect yourself from such attacks, especially since they are increasingly sophisticated. The possible lack of use of the latest technologies also threatens data security since it is necessary to remain protected.
Since they handle projects of various companies, professional web/app development companies pay much attention to keeping their clients and data safe. They put strict protocols like selective access to personnel to prevent loopholes in data access security, one of the significant causes behind data breaches.
They also keep their data security and privacy software up to date to offer the best chance against cyberattacks and have backups to prevent data loss, should there be one.
Their familiarity with various cloud services gives them the knowledge to implement these measures beyond their system's best, which can cause difficulties when you go in-house. You can even include confidentiality clauses in your contract if you have something you want to be protected, like the code in the app that manages your financial processing.
Customer outreach and satisfaction form the core of a successful eCommerce venture. And neither of those is possible without an app and website catering to your customers' every need. Outsourcing those to an external agency gives you the development and maintenance life cycles necessary to sustain such high-quality service.
It also adds to your ROI if you hire eCommerce developers in India, the Philippines, or other nations with cheap resource costs. Therefore, hiring eCommerce developers from an outsourcing-focused IT company is your best decision to grow your business.
Author Bio: Rohit Bhateja is the director of the digital division at SunTec India, one of the leading IT outsourcing companies providing data, photo editing, app development, and eCommerce website development services. He is a technology enthusiast who writes about trending technologies and transformative solutions. He keeps tabs on the latest web and app development technologies and trends shaping the industry.