Table of Contents
- What Is A Small Business eCommerce Agency?
- What Do Small Business eCommerce Firms Specialize In?
- How Much Does Building A Small Business eCommerce Website Cost?
- Why Hire A Small Business eCommerce Service Company?
- What Is The Best eCommerce Platform For Small Business?
- 10 Questions To Ask When Interviewing Small Business eCommerce Firms
- Last Tips Before Hiring Small Business eCommerce Agencies
What Is A Small Business eCommerce Agency?
A small business eCommerce agency specializes in working with small to medium-sized businesses. More specifically, they specialize in conceptualizing, designing, building, enhancing or revamping small business online stores.
Focusing on this clientele, small business eCommerce developers accumulate domain knowledge and develop deep insights into their clients shared traits, including challenges and opportunities.
This translates to higher efficiency, better output and increased flexibility of both their services and their solutions.
Lastly, but equally as important, these companies tend to offer more affordable and flexible pricing options to make their services more accessible to their target market.
What Do Small Business eCommerce Firms Specialize In?
From their offering to how they deliver their services, small business eCommerce developers tailor their approach to their clients' requirements.
As a result, most of these companies offer:
- End-to-end services, including design, development and even eCommerce marketing
Consultancy on platforms, development, maintenance and growing your online store
Flexible pricing options
When it comes to their technical expertise, these developers specialize in standard, industry-leading tools, languages and platforms. They specialize in:
- Platforms: They develop expertise in one or more eCommerce development platforms, however, many companies are open to using new ones. Among the most popular eCommerce solutions for small businesses are Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento.
- Devices: They build responsive web stores optimized for various types of devices, screensizes and browsers. Additionally, some companies will also offer eCommerce app development services.
- Integrations: They are able to both advise on the best add-ons and itegrate them to improve your online store's functionality, customer experience, automate your workflows and increase revenue.
- Design: Many of these companies will also offer user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) eCommerce web design services.
- Maintenance: Most of these companies will offer maintenance services, helping you evolve your store, troubleshoot and fix issues, and more.
- And more
How Much Does Building A Small Business eCommerce Website Cost?
There are many factors that affect the eCommerce development project cost.
- What services will you require?
- How many pages do you need?
- How many products do you have?
- Are there any third-party charges?
- And more
Depending on these factors, here is how much a typical small business eCommerce website costs in the US:
- <$5,000: General setup, without customizations
- $7,500: Average cost for an eCommerce website end-to-end development with standard features
- $10,000+: End-to-end development of complex eCommerce websites with advanced features
Offshoring web development typically costs significantly less, totaling below $5,000 for end-to-end development. However, this setup comes with its unique challenges, including difficult-to-navigate time zones, corporate cultures and language barriers.
Aside from the development costs, there are a few more expenses to consider when pricing eCommerce websites:
- Hosting: $300 per month on average
- Domain name: $20 per year
- Other third-party fees
Why Hire A Small Business eCommerce Service Company?
Working with experts can help your online store unlock new business potential, reach more customers, as well as scale if and as your business so requires.
46% of American small businesses still don’t have a website. (BigCommerce)
eCommerce developers build highly functional online stores to help your business reach more customers and increase revenue.
They have the necessary skills and experience to optimize the store's performance, as well as to futureproof it so that it is able to scale along with your business requirements.
68% of small businesses don’t have a structured or documented conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy. (State of Conversion Optimization Report)
More than development, many of these companies offer consulting services to integrate your eCommerce website into your business strategy.
They will assess your sales funnel, mapping your customer journey to improve their path to conversion.
46.5% of small to mid-sized businesses say that offering free shipping increases their profits. (MCM)
Finally, many of these companies offer marketing expertise coupled with consultancy to help your business adopt best practices that will increase your store's performance.
They critically assess your business model, offering and existing marketing strategy to identify bottlenecks as well as opportunities.
What Is The Best eCommerce Platform For Small Business?
With so many eCommerce platforms available, there is no one answer to this question.
Instead, ranking small business eCommerce platforms depends on my factors, such as scalability, cost, speed and user experience.
Also, what kind of small business do you have? Is it retail, startup or mobile?
Here is the list of small business eCommerce platforms and what kind of business they are best suited for:
- Shopify: This platform ticks all the boxes when it comes to small business eCommerce. It offers a free two-week trial, after which the initial pricing starts as low as $9 a month. Shopify website builder cost can go up to $2000 per month for enterprise-sized businesses because no small business wants to remain small. So the pricing grows together with your company.
- Squarespace: With templates that are mobile-optimized, your small business eCommerce website will feel right at home on all mobile devices.
- Magento: If you run a successful, established retail small business, then Magento is a perfect fit. Although it is free to get, you’ll need an experienced developer on your payroll to provide you with the best eCommerce solutions for small businesses.
- Wix: Even though most people are familiar with Wix as a free website builder, it has so much more to offer. With its unique aspects, such as telephone support and booking features, it is the optimal solution for any startup.
- BigCommerce: At first glance, it offers the same advantages as Shopify and it is almost as good. The only downside is that it forces small business eCommerce owners into a more expensive plan if an annual sales threshold is breached.
10 Questions To Ask When Interviewing Small Business eCommerce Firms
Once you have narrowed down the list of small business eCommerce companies you would consider hiring, it is time to arrange a meeting and ask the right questions.
Here is what you should ask:
- In your experience, what are small businesses' biggest bottlenecks and opportunities in eCommerce?
- According to you, what is the best eCommerce platform for small businesses?
- Could you describe your development process?
- Which platforms and tools do you specialize in?
- How will my team be involved in the project?
- Which metrics do you use to track the effectiveness of your strategy?
- When can I expect to see results?
- How do you ensure that your projects are delivered on time?
- How will we be able to track your performance?
- How do you price your services and what is the estimated cost of our project?
Last Tips Before Hiring Small Business eCommerce Agencies
So, you have found the perfect company that will provide the best eCommerce platform for small businesses.
Negotiate, draft and sign an agreement with your service provider.
- Negotiate: From the service package to pricing, you do not have to accept your partner's offer at face value. Negotiate the terms to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
- Draft the agreement: Feeding into the negotiation process, your agreement can go through multiple drafts as you finesse your responsibilities to one another.
- Sign the agreement: Before signing the agreement, it is always advisable to seek legal counsel. Consult your lawyer to ensure your business, intellectual property and user data are protected.
Best of luck!