Top Ecommerce Web Design & Development Companies

The right E-Commerce website design agency can significantly boost your bottom line. Here are some of the best out there.
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Top Value Propositions and Differentiating Factors of the Best Ecommerce Design Companies

Overview

Your website is one of the most important branding elements you have. As an ecommerce business, it’s also the sales engine that powers your business. Your ecommerce website has to make a powerful, positive, and memorable first impression on users, and it has to work hard to turn visitors from casual browsers to engaged shoppers.

Where once ecommerce was a novelty, online shopping has quickly become the norm. If an online store is lacking, users have the option to turn to any number of competitors. I’s not enough for an ecommerce site to be merely adequate -- it has to be exceptional. And only exceptional agencies can produce exceptional ecommerce design work.

It’s important, therefore, to be able to identify the agencies that are truly cutting edge. One way to do this is to look at the different ways the top web design agencies differentiate themselves from the competition. Below are some of the top value propositions of the best ecommerce design companies.

Top ecommerce design companies value form and function

For the best ecommerce web design companies, design is about more than a pretty site that just sits there -- it’s about creating something so engaging and intuitive that visitors feel compelled to engage with it. The best web designers know that every element of an ecommerce website must serve a purpose, and at every stage the site should be ushering the user closer to a purchase. They’re also on the cutting edge of their field, with a keen interest in pushing the boundaries of what’s considered good user experience.

Ecommerce design companies use examples of their work and case studies to demonstrate their design chops to prospective clients. The quality of the work -- which includes both form and function -- is the most important differentiator of them all.

Leading ecommerce design companies take a strategic approach

You could have the most beautiful website in the world, but if the product content is flimsy or the user pathways are muddled, then you’ve failed your users just the same. Top web design companies avoid this pitfall by engaging in an intensive strategy phase at the beginning of every project. The strategy phase allows the agency to gain intimate insight into the client’s business and to do a comprehensive analysis of the user groups they’re trying to target. The result is better ecommerce websites that speak more effectively to consumers. Leading ecommerce design companies pride themselves on taking a strategic, considered approach to their projects and they base decisions not on gut feelings but on research and facts.

The best ecommerce design companies do custom work

There’s a reason template websites are cheap -- because they’re a one-size fits most solution that’s easy to replicate. There’s nothing wrong with a template per se, but they’re only really appropriate for businesses or individuals who require a very basic web presence. For companies with complex requirements, and those that really need to stand out online, custom ecommerce website design is absolutely the way to go. The top ecommerce design companies build custom sites that are tailored to the client’s exact specifications and needs.

Reputable ecommerce design companies earn top honors

While nobody stakes their reputation on honors and awards alone, web design agencies that manage to win them are not shy about using them to differentiate themselves from the competitions. From the client’s perspective, the fact that an agency has won an industry award or accolade is a good indication that they’re well-respected within the design field. In a large pool of design firms to choose from, awards can help signal which firms are trustworthy and which may be less established and therefore a riskier bet. Because they’re designed to reward only the best and brightest in the field, design awards are also an indicator that the agency is doing cutting edge work.

Leading ecommerce design companies focus on results

An ecommerce website is a business tool whose ultimate purpose is to drive sales. That’s why many top ecommerce design companies position themselves based on their ability not just to build beautiful sites, but to achieve results for their clients. They’re committed to building sites that will convert. When an agency positions itself on its ability to drive measurable results, clients can take this as a strong indicator that the agency will be almost as committed to the bottom line as they are.

The best ecommerce design teams have a range of diverse skills

It takes more than design talent to build a successful ecommerce site (though strong design talent is, of course, essential). Top ecommerce design companies often differentiate themselves based on the range of diverse talent they have powering the agency -- including strategists, developers, and marketing gurus. Small teams and one-man shops may not have the expertise in-house to pull off complex projects. Full-service design agencies with robust teams, on the other hand, have the ability to handle every aspect of the build. That includes things you may not initially consider, like content creation, brand identity, ecommerce platform selection, or digital strategy.

A team with a diverse set of skills is a team that’s equipped to take a holistic view of your project, to ensure that all bases are covered, and that no business need goes unmet.

Service offerings of top ecommerce design companies

Most top ecommerce design and development companies are able to handle the bulk of any company’s digital design needs. Many also specialize in app design and development to service clients with mobile ecommerce needs. Ideally the agency you choose to work with will offer flexibility in terms of the scope of the engagement with them, providing options for all-in, comprehensive work as well as a la carte pricing for more specific projects.

Among the most common services you can expect to find at full-service ecommerce design company are:

●     Brand Identity - Brand identity for new businesses, re-brands for existing business, and logo design or refresh work including multiple iterations.

●     Brand Strategy - Identifying value propositions, positioning, key messaging, and target audience.

●     Web and user experience design - Start to finish custom responsive web design, including strategy, user experience, and visual design.

●     Web development - Front and back end development, CMS integration and development, and post-launch support.

●     Content creation and marketing - Developing a custom content strategy to effectively reach a brand’s target audience. Creating high quality content according to the strategy and promoting it across applicable marketing channels.

How the best ecommerce design companies market themselves

It probably comes as no surprise that one of the most important marketing tools of any web design agency is their website. Top ecommerce design companies put their talent to work in designing their own web properties and using them to showcase their portfolios. A web design agency with a lackluster or confusing website is one you should steer clear of.

Ecommerce design agencies also often invest heavily in thought leadership marketing. This means writing thoughtful content that relates to the state of the industry, hosting seminars or meetups, and giving expert opinions to press and media. Social media marketing is an important element of thought leadership, with web design agencies using their networks to promote content and engage with the broader design community and prospective clients.

If you’ve expressed interest in an agency through a newsletter signup, you can expect the agency to follow up with you via a targeted drip campaign. They may also run retargeting campaigns to show you ads on the web or social media after you’ve visited their website and left without taking any action.

Takeaways:

A brand’s website is a critical factor in their success as a business online and in the world, and choosing an effective ecommerce design partner is of the utmost importance. Getting a picture of each web design company’s top values and differentiating factors can help prospective clients determine which of the agencies they interview will be the best fit for their needs.

Some of the most significant differentiators among top ecommerce design companies include:

●     Emphasis on form and function - Does the agency commit themselves to building websites that are both beautiful and effective? Will they build a responsive website that’s functional on all mobile devices?

●     Strategic approach - Does the agency spend time in the early phases of the project doing in-depth discovery to gain a better understanding of your business, your goals, and your target audience? Will they recommend which e-commerce platform will work best for your business? Is the design process guided by the insights taken during this discovery and strategy phase?

●     Custom work - Does the agency do original, custom work for their clients? How is their approach unique and tailored to each individual brand?

●     Award-winning - Has the agency’s work won them recognition in their industry? Are they regarded as thought leaders and innovators in the digital world?

●     Results-oriented - Does the agency focus on the bottom line for your business? Do they speak in terms of how the website can help you achieve your goals?

●     Range of skills - Does the agency have a wide range of talent on the team, able to understand and influence the project from many different angles?

Top Qualities of the Best Ecommerce Web Design & Development Companies

Functionality Focused

The best e-commerce web design agencies know that functionality should be the foremost focus of any e-commerce design. If a website doesn’t function intuitively, and users find navigation confusing or frustrating, the odds of them making a purchase are extremely slim. Always work with an agency that understands which features and functionalities are most important to e-commerce shoppers. They will bring that knowledge to bear on their projects, designing end products that encourage conversions and lifetime customers.

Unique

There is no such thing as a one-size fits all e-commerce site. Every business is unique, and their website experience must be unique as well. Top e-commerce companies tailor their strategies to the individual needs and objectives of each  company they work with. In order for a website to be effective, it must be customized to meet the needs of the company’s target audience. A design agency that  recommends the same approach for every project isn’t doing the necessary due diligence to ensure the needs of the each client are met.

Metrics Minded

The best e-commerce web design agencies  will be  comfortable sharing the metrics they focus on when monitoring performance and measuring results. Regular reporting and analysis should be a consistent feature of any relationship between an agency and a client. Key performance indicators should be determined and agreed ahead of site launch. A full accounting of past performance must also be done to ensure that a clear baseline is established before the new site goes live. In the case of the redesign of an existing site, these metrics will be essential to comparing performance before and after the implementation of the new site. 

Proven Track Record

Any top e-commerce web design agency will gladly share examples of previous client work as a means of demonstrating a proven track record of success. Viewing examples of past work gives the client an understanding of where the agencies strengths and capabilities lie, as well as insight into how they’ve achieved results for other clients. When interviewing agencies, ask them to share case studies that include performance metrics, as well as live examples or functioning prototypes. These will help paint a picture of the strengths and expertise of each e-commerce design agency interviewed.

Easy Management

A content management system (CMS) is essential for clients who wish to be able to easily manage the website on their own. The best e-commerce design agencies will not only recommend and integrate the most appropriate CMS for each client’s needs, they’ll also provide  training on how to use it. E-commerce management requires a significant amount of upkeep, so most brands require a CMS  to update website content on the fly. The ability to easily manage the site is essential. It goes without saying that the website must be easy for customers to use, but giving internal teams the tools necessary to manage the site is equally important.