Companies dealing with e-commerce services often outsource the building of their sites to a website development company. The website development company is entrusted with the responsibility to design, build and maintain these humungous sites.
The pertinent step out here is the selection of the website development company.
This decision will make or break the entire process and will have a long-lasting effect on the viability of the project.
In times of increased mobility, the business has taken a new shape and form. Bricks and mortar establishments are finding increased competition from companies which operate in the virtual world. E-commerce is the new mantra for businesses and given the advancement in technology and greater internet penetration, the ubiquitous smartphone is the new shopping mall.
Tech geeks, intrepid entrepreneurs and investors are all rushing to fulfil this space. The pandemic has also illustrated the true power of eCommerce, with its reach and service delivery. Hence, everybody is now eager to force a share of the pie for themselves.
Building an eCommerce site requires a lot of planning. The categorization of the product line needs to be decided first. Based on that one can now think of the design and the placement of the wares that are to be sold. The most important aspect of an e-commerce site is its ease of usage. If the consumer finds it hard to use then the site may not be able to live to its expectations, no matter how good the products be.
Let us look at a few important points that will help the owner of e-commerce in taking an informed decision about the selection of a website development company.
This is one important indicator which does give a lot of confidence to the investor. Past projects are live examples of work done and are prime examples of technical prowess, experience and the ability of the company to complete projects. These are necessary points that every business leader looks into. However, if the company is a newly established one with not a big body of work, then look for the tech knowledge that the particular company holds. There will be times when startups will be bidding for your project. It is essential that, as a driver of the project, one should look for skills, as well as be confident of the company, the project is being given to.
This is in continuation of the previous point. Past projects depend on the level of skill the company possesses. This, in turn, would mean the presence of developers who can figure out issues about development and navigate their way through this technology maze. The buyer needs to ensure that the company entrusted with the e-commerce project does have a cohesive team. This could be found out from the feedback of the past clients. Check out for the reviews of their work. That is a good barometer reflecting effective work ethics.
It always does, however, it shouldn’t be the case of saving a penny to cost a pound. Not all low budgeted eCommerce projects turn out to be successful. One of the biggest mistakes clients do is run for the company providing them with the lowest quote. While it does make sense to some extent, the project needs to be analyzed in its entirety. There are numerous examples of expensive quotes giving the best Return on Investment. Companies are expensive for a reason. They pay the best remuneration to get the best developers working for them. This has to be factored in too.
One of the easiest ways to decide on a website development company is by asking them to provide a project plan. The design and thought process behind the project plan tells a lot about the capabilities and vision of the company. The deliverables and parameters need to be quantifiable. Each category needs to be explained explicitly. Not all clients will be tech-savvy and would not understand the jargon. An effective business plan is that which helps the customer understand the nuances of a complicated system in the easiest of manner.
A Proper Channel of Communication
This the prime pillar for any business deal. There needs to be a crystal clear channel of communication between the client and the website development company. No false promises will be tolerated and provided too. The correct expectations need to be set and a final list of jobs, authorized by both parties. Projects fail many a time because the parties create a wall around themselves and the flow of information gets hampered. This sound a death knell for the venture. The idea of all the players on the field being on the same page is a necessity for the ultimate success of the business.
Support and Maintenance
Every company have a support and maintenance component inserted in the project details. That has to be read carefully. All the factors in the support and maintenance need to be worked upon. Databases of websites are fragile programs and there are chances of it getting corrupted due to many reasons. The support and maintenance staff has to keep a backup of the database at all times. This is vital. There may be occasions when the database crashes and all the data is lost. The recently taken backup will help the development company retrieve the data at a minimal cost.
Most website development companies specializing in e-commerce services provide post-project support and maintenance for a particular duration at a different cost than development. This can widely range from 6 months to a year or depending on the business needs. An astute client will be able to squeeze the maximum out of a given deal. However, this also depends on the project budget. Big budgets can cater to a few freebies while tight ones have to often undergo the no-frill way.
While it is impossible to evaluate how well that would be implemented unless and until the project begins, the initial conversation and the past feedbacks should be able to provide a certain insight. If a milestone is well managed, then there is a high probability that the project shall get completed on time.
These are bad practices that the client has to be aware of. All the costs involved in the successful completion of the project needs to be established before the signing of the agreement. All the parties involved have to authenticate and approve the final amount and the expected rise in costs and the conditions responsible before the team sits to work. This eliminates any future misunderstandings and the arguments and bad bloodborne out of it.
A detailed project proposal will have every detail mentioned in it. However, extended work or requirements are an additional cost.
The world of tech is a fiercely contested space. With the improvement of technology and its availability, more and more website development companies are entering the fray to grab a share of the burgeoning e-commerce space. This forces many to resort to unfair practices which results in incomplete projects and loss to the customer. The above points illustrate the path that should be followed for a long term professional relationship.