If you have decided to set up an ecommerce store and you don’t possess a lot of technical know-how, hiring a good ecommerce developer should be first priority for you. Launching an online store can be challenging for small businesses, a professional with right skills and experience can make a big difference for your online ecommerce business. We have tried to compile a list of 10 questions to assist you with the selection process:
1. What ecommerce software do you use to build online stores?
There are all kinds of ecommerce solutions available in the market, a research on this topic keeping in mind your own requirements is necessary. You want a software solution that fits your needs, budget and have scalable options for future growth. This is a matter of some consideration after all once your site is Live, you are the one who has to manage it. During your research, note down the functions as well as your corresponding budget. Have the Engineer summarize the products you have researched with Pros and cons on each one. Match the results of your own research with the developer’s research and you will have a clear picture.
For your reference some of the more popular ecommerce software solutions are : Magento, Joomla, Woo Commerce for WordPress, Drupal, Volusion and Shopify. Each of these ecommerce software platforms must be evaluated on case by cases basis to select the one suitable for your ecommerce project.
2. How much experience do you have building ecommerce websites?
Ask them questions simply and in vernacular, and tell them politely to answer similarly. Ask them to specify which projects they have worked on till date and do not fall for a load of tech jargon. Pay heed to what they share about the features and design they have implemented on each project. You will also need to share what you are looking for in a developer and show them examples of the kind of work they are expected to do.
3. What terms of contract do you expect?
No matter the circumstances, you need to have a written agreement outlining some basic terms. Fees and payment are one of the most important. Some developers prefer hourly payments; others will quote a price for the complete project. Jot down the exact details of expected additional fees, if any, for SSL certificate, hosting, features and themes plus backup solutions. Deadlines should be specific for the entire project as well as for its different elements. Point out all your expectations for your site and include any clause that pertains to its not being fulfilled.
4. How will you communicate with your developer?
Establish the means of communication throughout the project. As long as you are working on the same project, good communication is crucial for your site. Use Skype, emails, Google Hangout, or any other platform, whatever is convenient for you both. You can also use a project management tool like Asana or Basecamp, which are very helpful to organize all your communications. This way you can also keep tabs on the progress of your website.
5. What particular features can you develop for my online website?
This is a somewhat technical question, but all you want is to have a clear idea about the kind of work your developer will be doing. Ask whether they will use existing themes or a custom one, will they be creating original features and address all these topics in your written agreement.
6. How mobile friendly will my ecommerce site be?
You need a mobile friendly ecommerce site. You want to reach your customers even when they are mobile and offer them a problem free shopping experience, whether through a smartphone or a tablet. Ensure that your site is ideal for mobile devices.
7. How will you make it easy to manage my site?
Once you have your online store up and running, you need to keep it updated with posts, photos, banners, polls, and more. You may want to edit, add or subtract some features from your site. Find out how your developer will make sure that you will be able to edit your site without a headache. You should be able to access everything on your website, all the files, logins, passwords, documents and logs. You should be the owner of all accounts related to your online store and website, and get to know how to backup everything from your developer.
8. What SEO features will you use?
Your ecommerce developer should be adept at implementing the best SEO techniques. He should also explain and help you learn the different functions and practices concerning the SEO you use. Also ask him to help you understand how to update your SEO, if and when, there is a change in your strategies. Only implement the SEO that is good for your site and drives customer to your products.
9. How will you make sure that I can track Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)?
Address this issue upfront. Once your website starts functioning, you will need to measure the performance of your ecommerce website with KPIs. There are loads of KPIs who display your performance on every aspect of your ecommerce, automatically. You still want your developer to show you how to gauge specific features and elements of your website with the help of Google Analytics.
10. How to run tests?
No matter how pretty your online site is, it has to work properly. Your developer should implement some specific practices to make sure that your site runs smoothly and optimally. You developer must use a test environment to run features and different tools before making any change to your live store. Get an explanation on the process of testing your complete site, view protocols and quick fixes plus learn how to document bugs. Make sure that tests should be run so that your site in functional on different mobile devices, computers and browsers.
The above information will help you find the ideal ecommerce developer for your site. By the time your project is complete, your ecommerce developer will have given you a considerable base knowledge on how to maintain your site well.
Zahoor Bhat has over 10+ years of experience as an online editor and media manager. He has worked with major online news and content sites as a media manager. He is well versed with major content management systems and web platforms such as WordPress and social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Business, Yelp, Instagram & Linkedin. He is an expert in content creation, proofreading and finally making it live. Being a social media expert, he is able to make relations with social media influencers and make sure to generate leads and grow business via different social media platforms.