There are tons of eCommerce agencies out there—how to pick the best one for your business? If you haven't worked with an eCommerce agency before, understanding what we do and how we do it often leads to a number of questions:
What is an eCommerce agency?
How can an eCommerce agency help?
How to choose the right agency?
At Story of AMS, we build and scale leading eCommerce brands with the likes of Bols, Intersport, Signify, and many other big and smaller companies. We believe it’s essential for a company to choose the right agency partner and understand how they operate. That’s why we’ve outlined some essentials to help you understand what makes a great agency and how to choose the right one for your business.
An eCommerce agency is an external team that partners with your business to solve complex problems and help you achieve your goals. eCommerce agencies can help you with your branding, website development, and marketing. Agencies often achieve this through the strategic use of creative, technology, and marketing services.
Every agency operates differently. At Story of AMS, we use a full-service model. This means that we offer strategy, branding, marketing, and technology services under one roof. We build scalable and bespoke eCommerce websites with our technology partner Shopify Plus. And we help brands scale by increasing conversion and customer retention with our marketing services.
Lead the way: A successful eCommerce agency knows what’s happening now and what’s next for eCommerce. They have their fingers on the pulse of industry trends, systems, and software to help you succeed. Whether you're looking for help with your branding, web design, or customer retention, a qualified digital eCommerce agency will demonstrate a clear understanding of where eCommerce is headed and how they can help you lead the way.
Technical Expertise: Business strategy should drive technology decisions, not the other way around. A qualified eCommerce agency partner won't sell you generic technology out of the box. Rather, they'll start by understanding the ins and outs of your business and provide a tech stack that directly relates to your objectives.
eCommerce agencies often partner with technology platforms, such as Shopify Plus or BigCommerce. When choosing an agency for the design and development of your new webshop we recommend choosing an agency that is specialized in the technology you are already working with or want to work with. At Story of AMS, we build solely on the Shopify and Shopify Plus commerce engine.
Outside perspective: We believe an outside opinion can always provide value. A successful eCommerce agency offers fresh perspectives on your current situation and can set out in-depth strategies to help you go to the next level.
We view our client relationships as partnerships. Meaning, we become an extension of the in-house team to provide insights, strategies, and tactical support.
Choosing the right eCommerce agency isn’t rocket science, it does require the right information and a bit of discipline. Your eCommerce agency should provide you with the information you need to evaluate their capabilities. You’ll want to ask for this information upfront:
A proven track record: An agency should be able to provide you with samples, references, case studies, and reviews to document their performance. Showing that they have the knowledge and experience needed to build and or scale your business.
Clear milestones showing progress: An agency should provide the clients with a clear timeline, showing you how they approach the project, how long it will take to get everything done, and when they expect that you’ll start seeing results.
A list of their credentials: Ask your agency for a list of certifications or credentials that communicate expertise, if they have any. This will verify their experience and knowledge in several areas. For example, if they’re a Shopify plus partner or a Klaviyo partner. If that’s the case you know that they have a specific amount of clients, revenue, and some financial stability.
Agency people and procedures: An agency needs to show you how they plan on approaching your project. Ask them to outline their process, show how they’ll manage your budgets, and how they’ll manage their people. You should know who’s assigned to your account and their backgrounds.
Communication guidelines: When and how will their team communicate with you. Who will be your point of contact? Are you free to call your point of contact whenever you need help, or is there a specific time they’re available? Is support included (it should be).
eCommerce agencies are designed to help businesses grow. Whether you're unhappy with your current partner or looking to engage with one for the first time. Do your research, it’s no rocket science but choosing the right agency partner is critical to your company's success.