The rise of eCommerce has presented businesses with both opportunities and challenges. As more and more people turn to online shopping (and online everything else), companies need to ensure their online presence is strong and effective to stay competitive. If you’re reading this, you probably wonder whether hiring an eCommerce agency is a good idea. We think it is. No one wins alone in the business world, and hiring an eCommerce agency can be a win-win for all parties involved. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your eCommerce efforts to the next level, we believe that working with a good eCommerce agency can help you achieve your goals and succeed in the digital age. Read on and find out why.
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The days of simply creating a website and leaving it be are long gone. It’s a scenario so new that the idea of hiring an agency exclusively devoted to eCommerce would have been a crazy idea. Not anymore. While some customers may still want a quick and easy online shopping experience, the reality is that in today's competitive marketplace, eCommerce businesses need to differentiate themselves in order to succeed. Customers expect more from their online retail experiences, and brands are paying closer attention to the user experience and design of their ecommerce sites in order to stand out from the competition. They also provide personalized and individualized consumer journeys. To achieve this level of flexibility, many brands outsource their eCommerce marketing and web development to third-party providers.
So what exactly is an eCommerce agency...
Very simply put, an eCommerce marketing agency is a specialized team of experts who help promote, manage, and grow your online business by offering services that help accelerate your digital reach through customized campaigns, quality content, automation, and a multi-channel approach to boost sales and conversions. Services provided by ecommerce marketing agencies are vast and can range from basic SEO to comprehensive campaigns that use integrated marketing techniques across multiple platforms. These techniques should combine brand, content, and ecommerce technology with a focus on how your brand strategy performs digitally, and how your content supports this strategy.
An ecommerce marketing agency typically offers strategic planning and consultation, ecommerce software strategy and implementation, discovery and searchability, conversion rate optimization, brand strategy and positioning, creativity and connections with your audience, data and analytics, and more.
But an ecommerce agency isn't just about marketing. They also provide ecommerce website development services. A professional ecommerce website development agency can help ensure your online store is meeting the needs of your shoppers. A great ecommerce development agency will help you tap into market trends, leverage advanced technologies, and infuse creativity into your process. They provide back-end web development, front-end web design, UI/UX design, ecommerce services, app design, digital strategy, custom software development, and more.
...and who needs one anyway?
There are several scenarios in which a company may want to explore hiring an eCommerce agency. For example, if their own marketing team isn't getting the results they're looking for, or if they don't have a marketing team at all, an eCommerce agency could help fill the expertise gap. In-house marketers often have to cover a wide range of responsibilities and may not have the expertise required for ecommerce. Lack of ecommerce expertise is another good reason to explore partnering with an ecommerce agency.
Another possible scenario is that a company may not have enough capacity to handle the workload. There may be too much work to do, or they may not have the appropriate resources. If the workload is just too much for the company to handle on their own, an agency could help shoulder some of the burden. Finally, even if the company is doing well, they may want to work with an agency to explore opportunities for growth. Ultimately, an ecommerce agency can offer a range of services to help companies achieve their ecommerce goals, from strategic planning and consultation to ecommerce software implementation and data analytics.
Nothing to fear
You may have some doubts or fears about hiring an agency to help with your eCommerce business. After all, it’s a relationship, and one that implies working with people you don’t know too well, who may be far away, who may want to do things their way, and their way may differ from yours. Communication and control are common concerns when considering hiring an agency.
Communication with an agency can be a challenge, especially if the agency is located in a different time zone or country. Inadequate communication can lead to misunderstandings and delays in projects, but if you hire a responsible agency, this should not be a problem. The same solution applies to another challenge: when outsourcing ecommerce and digital marketing work to an agency, you may lose some control over the process and execution, so it’s important to find a trusted agency that can work with you to make the best decisions for your company.
Another common fear is that the eCommerce agency won't deliver what you expect and you won’t be able to do anything about it. Setting clear goals and expectations from the start, and choosing an agency that does not require long term contracts can help you mitigate this fear. Moreover, most agencies have a proven track record and case studies to show their capabilities, and give you confidence in their ability to deliver.
With so many changes, developments, new technologies and trends, it's understandable to fear that something you don't really grasp may negatively impact your business. However, by working with an eCommerce agency, you can get experts to guide you through the process, ensuring that you're making the right decisions. This can provide you with peace of mind and confidence in the decisions you're making for your business.
Here, there and everywhere
Many businesses are not comfortable with remote work, but the pandemic has made it the new norm and people have not become less productive from working remotely, quite the opposite. By hiring an eCommerce agency with experience in remote work, you can ensure a smooth collaboration with professionals equipped with the necessary tools and resources to ensure communication and productivity.
While working with an agency that operates in a different time zone may seem daunting, it can actually be beneficial. A team that works while you sleep can help you increase productivity and turnaround time, ensuring that your business runs 24/7.
No price tag
Then comes cost, a critical factor when considering hiring an agency, and a very tricky one to assess too. It’s vital to look at the long-term benefits an agency can bring to the table. A dedicated team of professionals, access to the latest technologies and tools, and digital marketing expertise can help you grow your business and increase revenue. Thus, the cost turns into a worthwhile investment.
However, the cost of hiring a specialized eCommerce agency can be higher than maintaining an in-house team. This can be a disadvantage for companies with limited budgets. The cost will vary depending on the services you choose and the amount of time spent on your account, but it's important to look at the long-term benefits an agency can provide. And to weigh it against the cost of not hiring one.
Doing the tricky math
Developing an eCommerce website can be complex and time-consuming, requiring a team of developers, designers, and digital marketing specialists. Hiring an eCommerce agency can be more cost-effective in the long run, as you only pay for the services you need when you need them. The average salary for a marketing manager in 2020 was $141,490, which doesn't include additional overhead costs such as office space, utilities, and equipment. Even if your marketing team works remotely, these expenses still add up.
While the cost of in-house developers can often be higher, an agency can potentially provide much more value with a dedicated team of professionals, access to the latest technologies and tools, and digital marketing expertise. Ultimately, cost is yet another area in which one-size-fits-all approaches don’t work, as each company will have its specific needs. However, bear in mind you will only be paying for billable time, or the hours that the agency spends working for you, which can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to maintaining an in-house marketing team with the cost of salaries, benefits, and overhead expenses. Moreover, the freed-up budget from your web development costs lets you take that money and apply it to anything else you may need.
Choosing a digital agency requires research to ensure that you choose a trustworthy company with proven experience in similar projects, and research requires additional time and effort on your part. But it's definitely worth it to find the right fit.
All the upsides
We’ve covered some of the fears about hiring an eCommerce agency. Now, let’s dive into the many benefits it may bring.
Access to Ecommerce Experts
Ecommerce agencies have a team of experts with specialized knowledge and experience in eCommerce, including website design, development, maintenance, digital marketing, paid campaigns, social media, and email marketing. By hiring an agency, you gain access to a wide range of skills and experience that you may not have in-house. Building an internal team that possesses all these skills can be expensive and time-consuming.
One of the benefits of hiring an eCommerce agency is that they can take care of the marketing tasks, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business. This means you can still be involved in the process, but not have to dedicate all your time to it.
Another benefit is the ability to measure real results, as agencies have the tools and expertise to analyze data and provide insights that can help improve your marketing strategy. Additionally, when working with an eCommerce agency, your investment is closely tied to ROI, ensuring that you get a return on your investment and valuable data to make informed decisions and adapt your strategy as needed.
Access to tools
Hiring an eCommerce agency gives you access to the latest tools and technologies. Most businesses find it challenging to invest in training and implementing new tools for their in-house team, and it's hard to determine the success rate of such strategies. However, by hiring an agency, you can have access to new products and upgraded tools without having to invest in costly equipment and software. Agencies invest in automation tools, SEO optimizers, and content research tools that can make campaigns ultra-specific on Google, Facebook, and Instagram. This provides practical understanding and customized strategies that meet your business requirements, saving time and boosting marketing productivity.
Efficiency and Productivity
Agencies are used to working with a variety of businesses and can quickly understand your needs and how to fulfill them. They frequently purchase new tools and resources, such as software and training, to stay ahead of the curve. They also stay up-to-date with the latest eCommerce marketing trends. By outsourcing your marketing to an agency, you can keep momentum and ensure stability, regardless of any changes to your team.
One advantage of hiring an eCommerce agency is the increased security they can provide for your online business. With the help of an agency, you can improve the security of your website and customer data. They can assist you in implementing security features such as SSL certificates, two-factor authentication, and secure payment processing, as well as providing the necessary updates to keep your site secure. Another advantage is the ability to track and measure real results. A good agency can help you develop a marketing strategy to achieve your goals, increase your visibility, and ultimately improve your return on investment.
Maintenance and Support:
Every online store or website requires constant support and maintenance to provide users with a good experience. Hiring an eCommerce agency means you can have access to a dedicated support team to ensure your eCommerce store is running smoothly. Good support is essential to building a strong brand, reaching new customers, and achieving your business goals. Although the cost may be higher, working with an agency can be considered an investment in growing your business exponentially.
An eCommerce agency can provide a fresh perspective that you may not get from your internal team. The agency can offer new insights and their experience across different industries and types of businesses. They can help in-house teams become more efficient by reprioritizing their workload to concentrate on core tasks and offer creative solutions to issues you may not have considered. This also brings flexibility, as agencies can adjust marketing efforts based on changes in your business or brand.
Everybody needs somebody
Overall, the advantages of hiring a digital agency outweigh the disadvantages, especially if you partner with a reliable agency that aligns with your company’s needs, but the ultimate advantage is that with a good digital agency, your success is their success, which means they will be committed to help you achieve your goals and will work hard to ensure that you do. It's a win-big-together situation. If you partner with a solid team that solves problems and fights good fights with you, you can achieve your business goals faster, more efficiently, and with fewer setbacks, stay ahead of the competition and adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape.
We know choosing an agency can be a tough decision. If you have further doubts or questions, let us know. Also, stay tuned for an upcoming post with useful guidelines to pick the best eCommerce agency for your business. Or just book a discovery call with us and see if we're a good fit.