What to Consider When Choosing an eCommerce Consulting Partner

Posted by Hannah Gierosky

April 11, 2018 | 10:30 AM

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ecommerce partnerDo any of the following statements apply to your eCommerce site?

  • Your eCommerce site attracts visitors who are jumping ship before check out.
  • You have a high percentage of non-repeat customers.
  • Your site has a slow page load time or out of date images.
  • The product catalog is difficult to manage.
  • Your site revenue is not meeting business goals.
  • Your back office is overwhelmed and unable to keep up with orders. 

If so, it may be time to evaluate your eCommerce platform and possibly replatform. This type of project takes a significant amount of consideration, as its results will have long-term influence on the company. Given the time, budget and human capital invested, this is not a project undertaken lightly. Replatforming is a complex journey, from strategy to development to post-launch. It requires a well-developed roadmap to help mitigate risk and a partnership with the right consultant for your project. These two aspects can make the difference between success and disaster. 

So, how do you know which eCommerce partner is right for you? Harvard Business Review discusses the typical search and selection process for those looking for an eCommerce consultant. The most obvious components of the search process include asking for recommendations, reviewing portfolios and targeting those with industry expertise and experience. However, there are two aspects highlighted in the blog that companies often overlook when making their decision: compatibility and a results road map.  

Reviewing portfolios, asking for recommendations, and targeting those with industry expertise

This information should be readily available on a potential implementation partner’s website. If it isn’t, that should be your first indication that maybe this organization is not a good fit for your project. 

For a client considering a consultant for an eCommerce project, expertise and experience can be evaluated in part by reviewing certifications held by the development team. These certifications validate all of the hard work and experience team members put into their job so that they can provide the best possible solution for clients.

Determining Compatibility – What makes a good fit?

Once you have determined that your potential consultants are in fact capable of the job, it is important to consider compatibility. Would you hire a new team member without first considering their cohesion with the rest of the group? Probably not. The same consideration should be given to a potential consulting partner.

Beyond making sure personalities mesh well is ensuring that development styles are similar. You don’t just want a great result; you want a pleasant experience throughout the process. As the Harvard Business Review blog points out, this is a crucial aspect of the success of the project that many clients don’t consider prior to choosing a consultant.

Once the compatibility of your two teams is determined, you need to consider a results road map. The question is no longer can they get the job done, but how will they get the job done? How are they going to take your plan from point A to point B? Although you and your consultants may be in tune where the results are concerned, you will want to make sure you are on the same page as far as the process as well. Remember: your consultants can’t read minds! Discuss what you want from them and ask questions about their strategy.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for eCommerce projects, it’s important to choose a consultant with a general process or framework for their strategy; a repeatable but customizable approach to implementing, consulting and working towards eCommerce success. It is imperative to have a baseline of topics and areas of discussion, as opposed to an unorganized approach to the process. A roadmap that determines what will be achieved in each phase is helpful for outline purposes, but it is equally important to view each phase as a time to discuss a topic and derive a strategy to achieve the set goal. A consultant that uses this type of approach to a project is extremely beneficial for success. 

As the Harvard Business Review blog said, “It’s hard work to vet consultants before you hire them. But it’s not nearly as hard as suffering through a costly multi-month project that…doesn’t even solve the problems you wanted to fix.”

5 Questions to ask when looking for a Consulting Partner

So, now that you know what you’re looking for, what questions should you be asking a potential consulting partner? We suggest starting with these five:

  1. Can they provide you with documented success stories that relate to your situation?
    Seeing how a partner has solved issues in previous situations can give you a better idea of how they will help to resolve your challenges. Learn how our customers have improved their online sites using these solutions.
  2. Would they be considered a thought leader in the industry?
    Working with someone who is not only knowledgeable but a leader in the industry gives you access to a wealth of techniques and information. Read a few of our published articles here.
  3. Does their industry experience match your situation?
    Would you hire a world-renowned chef to repair your car? Probably not. Make sure that your potential partner doesn’t just have experience, but the appropriate experience for your challenge. Take a look at our industry experience.
  4. Do they have a documented project management methodology and communications plan that fits your company’s culture?
    Learn more about the Scragilefall methodology used to manage our projects and provide the best outcomes for our customers.
  5. Do they come highly recommended with a positive reputation in the industry?
    Joan Jett may not give a damn about her bad reputation, but your consulting partner certainly should. 

Briteskies – a Magento Professional Solution Partner

Along with our knowledge, training, and experience, our continued focus on the customer enables us to earn trust that lends itself to creating long-lasting relationships. Experience in enterprise, back office, order to cash, and interactive marketing gives us the capability to support the entire continuum of eCommerce services.

By choosing Briteskies, you gain access to:

An official Magento Professional Solution partner.

Being a Magento Silver Solution partner provides us with exclusive access to resources such as regular business and technical training sessions, as well as constant support, which in turn brings you additional value. It also enables us to host training sessions for our clients so that you can further enhance your eCommerce experience for your customers.

Certified Magento developers, educated with the only Magento-recognized curriculum.

Our development team holds all of the current Magento offered certifications, which include: Developer, Developer Plus, Front End Developer, Solution Specialist, and Magento 2 certifications. These accolades show the breadth and depth of our knowledge and experience in Magento. Additionally, our team was in the initial group of 80 worldwide companies that received Magento 2 certification

Knowledge acquired through years of experience in eCommerce and ERP integration.

Our longevity in a sometimes-volatile industry and our years of experience in other tech areas, allows us to adapt to and support the changing needs of our clients.

Our Magento Managed Services Agreement.

Our Managed Services Agreement can protect your site from unintended downtime, security threats, or performance hazards. Your site receives the necessary updates in a timely manner and at a lower rate and you get back to business as usual.

When it comes down to it, working with the right partner can make or break your Magento project. Are you ready to learn more about how our team can help your organization? Contact us.

value of certified developers

Topics: Magento, eCommerce

About Hannah Gierosky

Hannah is a Marketing Specialist at Briteskies and is a proud graduate of Ohio University. When she isn't writing and learning about the eCommerce industry, Hannah spends her time binge-watching television shows and playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Cricket.

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