How to Select a Digital Agency for Your Ecommerce Business

Outsourcing facets of an ecommerce company can help management focus on critical areas. It may also deliver innovative abilities and insights which are unavailable in-house.

But choosing the perfect outsourced partner isn’t straightforward. I know. I am a former ecommerce entrepreneur, and I work for a large digital agency.

Agencies offer services which include brand strategy, experience design, technology implementations, online shop optimization, and advertising services. They might also supply change management solutions, content strategy, writing and editing, and native and custom mobile app development.

You will find”full-service” and market agencies. Full-service agencies, while valuable, are often costly and so seek larger clients. Smaller, market agencies often have more flexibility and reduced prices.

Follow these steps to get an agency partner.

Why Invest?

To begin with, share with potential agency partners why you need their help, whether it is a one-time project or an ongoing program. Agencies can be better suited to one or another.

  • Explain why you’re investing.
  • Be clear in your vision.
  • Describe the specific outcomes are you targeting.
  • Describe how you will measure success.
  • Outline the problem you’re attempting to solve.
  • Address deadlines.
  • Explain your budget.

Selection Procedure

Prospective agency partners will need to comprehend your selection procedure. This will impact how they staff the involvement to provide the necessary services. Agencies will often spend much time and money in preparing an approach, quotes, and plans. Knowing a prospective customer is dedicated and has the funds to do will affect their efforts.

Be prepared to disclose who is sponsoring the participation, including the decision maker(s). Also, address your financial plan. Can it be established or would you need help in building a business case?

Often, companies withhold some or all this information from prospective agency partners. That’s a mistake. A true partnership should begin with transparency and trust.

Sign a mutual non-disclosure arrangement upfront. It protects you and the agency and makes sharing information a lot easier. Additionally, it helps both parties to see quickly if there’s a possible fit.

Specifics

Provide prospective partners with as much information as possible about your requirements.

  • Recognized requirements.
  • What you do not know.
  • The way the work is done now, including known interruptions.
  • Tech requirements.
  • Competitor Difficulties.
  • Staffing resources you’d provide.

User stories, use cases, reports, and data may also enable a possible agency. Consider sharing:

  • Style guides and goals for evolving your brand experience.
  • Analytics and information for your online shop and digital channels.
  • Client feedback.
  • Target markets, personas, customer travel maps.
  • Product information, like categories and SKUs.
  • Revenue by station.
  • Sitemaps and taxonomy.

Creating a Decision

In my experience, a scoring method will help identify the ideal agency for your organization. The grading should track with your objectives and how you’ll measure success.

The scorecard might be as straightforward as a spreadsheet, listing objectives and then scoring each agency on its own expertise, approach, and your perception of its ability to execute. Ideally, all internal stakeholders must take part in the scoring.

Ask agencies to provide the following information to help with your decision:

  • Experience in your business and with your engagement requirements.
  • Approach to fulfilling your needs and delivering your job.
  • Projected timeline and staffing.
  • Location of work — local office, regional office, multiple offices, offshore.
  • Internal process — planning, communications, delivery.
  • Reporting, such as frequency. For marketing endeavors, you need to expect real-time analytics and weekly coverage at a minimum. For design work, how many variations are you going to review?
  • Examples of work products, such as search-engine-marketing campaigns and metrics, wireframes, requirements documentation, and manufacturer guides.

In the long run, selecting an agency is often instinctive. But agencies can bring good price. Having a partner with wider experience and expertise can complement your company, to grow and flourish.

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