What to look for when choosing an ecommerce agencyIn such a competitive market, finding the right agency to build your ecommerce experience can feel daunting. Here are four things to consider to make sure you choose the right one.August 08, 2022
Ecommerce grows with each year, with the industry set to make up over 20% of global retail sales by the end of 2022.
To stay ahead of the curve, businesses need to keep up with changing market trends and connect with their audiences through personalized, immersive and unique shopping experiences.
On top of this, they need the right platform with the capabilities to support them. If you’re just getting started with your brand, this can quickly become overwhelming.
Partnering with an ecommerce agency with the experience, knowledge and skill to implement cutting-edge tech from the start can help you launch your brand fast and capitalize on the growing market.
So how do you know which agency is right for you?
Know the ecommerce market trends
As ecommerce becomes increasingly competitive, it's important to keep up with emerging trends and offer these to your customers to meet their expectations.
The following trends should shape the shopping experiences you build in 2023 and beyond, and your agency should support you in exploring them.
Social selling driving a need for nurture
Today, 30% of internet users in the United States purchase directly from retailers through their social platforms. Social selling is growing in popularity too, with the numbers expected to almost triple by 2025.
But this isn’t neccessarily great news for ecommerce businesses. With increased advertising costs and reduced campaign effectiveness (especially across highly-saturated platforms like Facebook), it’s increasingly difficult for brands to get in front of new customers.
As a result, it’s more important than ever to build and nurture relationships with existing customers. Customer loyalty can help to counteract high customer acquisition costs and plummeting return on ad spend.
You can find out exactly what your customers like through quiz buying flows. With Swell's upcoming storefront theme Horizon, you can use the native quiz builder to ask a variety of questions about your customer's needs.
The data is clear: customers want the ease that comes with the recurring delivery of their products and services. Think about how you might offer service subscriptions, subscription boxes, digital content subscriptions, and more.
Beauty, personal care, food and beverage, fashion, entertainment, and health and fitness are the most common industries we see subscription offerings from, but with a little creativity and the right agency, you can come up with new ways to incorporate a subscription model into any industry.
Try Before You Buy
Data tells us that incorporating a try before you buy sales model can give your bottom line a much-needed cushion. The global pandemic has forced in-store shoppers to become online ones, even for those who held out as long as they could as the internet landscape broadened. But if there’s one thing they hate more than anything, it’s the hassle of purchasing an item, returning it, and then having to wait for their money to be returned to their account. To win the hearts and minds of the most hesitant online shoppers, TBYB is the way to go.
But how do you mitigate the risk that goes into shipping out products before they’re paid for? An agency experienced in this crowd-pleasing model can help curb these worries with a tried-and-true strategy.
According to Google’s 2019 AR Survey, data shows that 66% of people are interested in using augmented reality to help them make purchasing decisions. When it comes to ecommerce, AR allows customers to preview products in their own home or office, on their own time, before whipping out their credit card.
As an interactive element, AR makes it easy for customers to get hooked on your site and develop a lasting relationship with your brand. Care to avoid a costly return and refund process? By using AR, your customers will be more likely to pick the right product the first time.
Agencies equipped with this kind of revolutionary tech can take the headache out of adding augmented reality tools to your site, and create an engaging experience that will keep your customers coming back for more.
The most popular websites in the world are marketplaces, and it's easy to see why.
A multi-vendor marketplace allows your customers to shop a wider variety of products without needing the extra inventory or warehouse space. They're a win-win setup for everyone involved—businesses reduce their costs, suppliers grow their business, and customers have access more products.
The most successful ecommerce businesses are building omnichannel presences to combine in-person and online shopping.
Omnichannel commerce increases customer lifetime value, boosts conversion rates and helps you play the long game by attracting out-of-market buyers. Agencies such as Assemble Inc. are prioritizing omnichannel experiences to keep up with this trend.
Four things an ecommerce agency should have
To keep up with emerging trends, partnering with a trusted agency can be the best way to navigate the competitive ecommerce landscape. Here are four things to look for when choosing one for your brand.
The right experience
You’ll want to choose an agency that’s been around the block a few times. A good partner should have the right industry experience to empathize with your customers, understand your business, and anticipate your industry’s trends.
They’ll have done their homework to understand your unique needs and challenges, and will have an intimate understanding of how to prioritize their initiatives. Barrel, for example, has been around for nearly two decades. In the world of ecommerce, that wealth of experience can be a game-changer.
Up-to-date and relevant tools
Your agency should have a wide range of technical expertise and be ready to adapt to any of the tools you have in place for your business.
TVP NYC is an agency that emphasizes their technical savvy, and for good reason. Any seasoned entrepreneur will caution you against wasting your time or money on an agency that will require you to switch between and reintegrate tools based on their own comfort level. The right agency will be solutions-oriented, and provide you with best-in-class recommendations based on your business’ unique needs.
A great roster of previous clients
Do your due diligence on any agency you’re considering to get an idea of the quality of work. They should be able to provide you with samples, references, case studies, and reviews that speak to their performance. Have they already worked with the innovators and MVPs in your niche? If so, there’s a good chance they’ll be able to help you come up with creative ways to attract and delight your customers.
Half Helix boasts an impressive list of health and lifestyle brands, from Peloton to Shen Beauty. This gives prospective clients a glimpse at the level of expertise the agency will bring to the table.
Transparency on costs and progress
Beware of agencies that are secretive about their costs, contracts, fees, and projections. They should be able to clearly articulate their processes to increase your return on investment, while being clear and upfront about the resources it will take to complete your project.
This might sound like a given, but there are plenty of agencies that will try and avert your attention in favor of being vague about the figures and collecting their monthly fee. The right agency will be transparent about all of this from day one. They’ll treat you as their partner and foster open communication with your specific goals and outcomes in mind.
Swell partners with top agencies to take your business to new heights
We've partnered with even more of the world’s leading agencies to bring your ideas to life with best-in-class design, development and branding.
Ecommerce agencies to bring your ideas to lifeAugust 01, 2022
right to your inbox