Modern day e-commerce is highly competitive. Strategic insights, programming, design, and ongoing management sounds costly and time consuming. It doesn’t need to be.
First, wade into the waters slowly. Consider that Amazon wasn’t built in a day. Look to resolve core requirements first, with the mindset that added functionality, integrations with current systems, and complete automation should be added later on.
Chat with multiple e-commerce website developers. Consultations are free. Gather information on their approaches and suggested solutions. Share information on your requirements and you’ll collect ideas.
When it comes time to select a developer, get multiple offers. You can play them against each other, compare pricing and recommended strategies, learn about prior work, and properly vet each candidate company.
Consider motivations. Many companies will simply charge by the hour or quote a flat project rate. These fee structures provide incentive for reduced work, minimal time investment, and slow delivery times. While it’s fair that both sides have skin in the game, suggest some sort of contingency component based on established, measurable metrics most important to you: say gross sales, website traffic counts, etc.
Increased contingency component might mean reduced or eliminating out of pocket development costs for you. When cash flow is tight, this can be an effective approach with minimal downside risk for you.
A good website developer will agree to this (under fair terms), while a lesser company may not. There should be sufficient upside potential for each of you, but also downside protection in the case of failed or ineffective solutions. It’s fair to work toward shifting some portion of the risk across the table to the developer.
An experience website developer will spend time discussing these arrangements and seek to craft fair fee structures with aligned incentives, somewhat shared risk, and upside potential.
About the Author
Little known fact about Casey: He played in the 2004 US Open Championship (golf). Now Casey heads up Inbound Marketing at Web Design Phoenix, a full service website design and online marketing firm with locations in both Phoenix, Arizona and Orlando, Florida. Clients include Mercedes, Airbus, and The PGA of America.