Most of us know that choosing the right ecommerce consulting firm is a difficult task. So in this short post, we will cover the essential pointers or checklist to help you choose the right ecommerce marketing consultant for you.
The ecommerce industry has grown massively in the past decade. There was a 20.7% growth in global ecommerce in 2019 alone. With the covid19 related lockdowns and increased restrictions on movement, millions more have learnt how to shop online. This means that we can expect to see even more extensive growth in internet sales.
As businesses try to take advantage of this trend, the demand for the ecommerce marketing consultant has shot up too.
Many business owners have only theoretical knowledge of how to use the internet for marketing and ecommerce. They know vaguely of its immense potential but are not quite sure how to make the most of it. That is why many businesses have not gotten the results they had hoped for with their online endeavours.
Is this you?
If it is, you can benefit immensely by partnering with the right ecommerce consulting firm. It is the best way to ride the ecommerce trend while checking the possible blind spots in your corporate strategy.
Who Is An Ecommerce Consultant?
An ecommerce consultant is someone who has in-depth knowledge about the internet and how to profitably use it for marketing and business purposes.
He is not simply a “web guru” who has only theoretical knowledge. An ecommerce consultant will have hands-on experience using the tools of internet marketing to generate sales.
They will be able to give you actionable insights which you can immediately put into practice. This makes all the difference between a business that is just “knowing its potential” and one which is “exploding with profits”.
Ecommerce store consultants can add depth to your team. Their deep knowledge of online marketing and research tools, combined with their understanding of business, branding, consumer psychology and risk management make their insights highly valuable.
If you are a startup, you have even more to gain as ecommerce experts will guide you on multiple levels of business which you have little or no experience in.
What Can Ecommerce Consultants Do?
Ecommerce consultants are professionals who can offer first hand knowledge and advice regarding ecommerce. They are independent key players who have years of experience in respective markets. They can offer expertise and unique entrepreneurial vision in everything from marketing business strategy and conversion optimization to user experience. Let’s have a look at some types of projects that you might hire ecommerce consultants to complete.
An ecommerce consultant is your trusted advisor who will be able to offer an outside perspective on your business, including new opportunities for business development. The consultant can create a road map to guide you to improve both your ecommerce store and your overall business. With these added insights, top executives can make better decisions that are data backed.
2. Identify profitable new products
If you have an online business, an ecommerce consultant can help you by looking at your current product offering and suggesting improvements you should make. They can also help you put attractive price points on all of your products.
3. Launch and optimise advertising campaigns
A good ecommerce consultant will not only help you create a great looking ad campaign, they’ll also help you develop the proper sales funnels and follow-up strategies you need to make sure your online store campaign is successful.
4. Conversion rate optimization projects
If your ecommerce business is not improving, it may be time to seek help from an ecommerce consulting firm. A consultant will examine your current operation and perform tests to identify the problem. Then, he will identify the problem and provide actionable advice to improve the customer experience, increase your conversion rates and make your operation more profitable.
Things to Consider before Investing in consultancy firms
Sometimes it’s beneficial to go it alone, without the help of an ecommerce consultant. You may not need one now, or perhaps ever. Consider the following points to decide if you should proceed with an ecommerce consultant.
What goals are you trying to achieve?
Before you hire anyone, you must first determine exactly what you want that person to accomplish. This will keep you on the same page with expectations from the onset, which will ensure the person you hire is the very best person for the job.
Ecommerce specialist help companies lower their risk, decrease advertising costs, build brand equity and increase profits.
When choosing an ecommerce marketing agency, assess what your business needs first.
After you know the type of help you require, begin looking at the following.
What type of engagement do you expect?
Communication styles among consulting firms vary but there are some common themes I’ve observed.
Two main styles I see are the consultant who acts like an analyst while the other who acts like a mentor.
An analyst will dive into the numbers and find all kinds of interesting stuff, create detailed reports and present recommendations.
The mentor will make recommendations based on data points, facts and best practices. He will create action items for you and hold you and everyone else on the project accountable to complete them.
You should have a monthly meeting, or as often as needed, to review the unique database and discuss recommendations. This is where you gain from strategy consultants’ quality of thought leadership. Through their breadth of depth of ecommerce offerings, they have solutions for complex business challenges and may offer new business models.
Contracts can be month-to-month or long term based. Longer term engagement aids accountability on both sides and increases synergy.
What Ecommerce Solutions Do They Offer?
The first thing to look for is whether the ecommerce digital marketing agency offers the digital marketing services you require.
Popular ecommerce services include the following
- Organic Marketing (Search Engine Optimization)
- PPC advertising
- Social media marketing/advertising
- Ecommerce store web design
- Mobile responsive UX design
- Sales Funnel optimisation
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Sufficient data tracking
Services are an important indicator of the expertise and domain knowledge they bring.
Positively, if they offer a comprehensive range of services, it is a good indication that they are capable of handling your project professionally. If they only offer a limited range of services or none at all, it is an indication that they may not be the best agency to partner with.
Additional services ecommerce companies include
- Product sourcing
- Consumer research
- Competitor studies
- Campaign budgeting and viability advice across digital channels
A full service agency will have dedicated professionals specialise in multiple strategy integration at allows for sustainable growth. They will have specialised tools and skilled team members to carry out the marketing strategies above. They have the implementation expertise and will save you time and effort by managing and coordinating all your campaigns for you.
Check Out Their Portfolio And Testimonials
Asking about the type of clients they have worked successfully with previously. Positive reviews will give you an indication on how well your companies can come together.
Ask if they have case studies across ecommerce platforms in various industries to share.
Having a diversified portfolio would suggest that the consultants have a good track record are highly experienced, knowledgeable, skillful and adaptable. They will bring the benefits of such broad exposure to creating unique marketing campaigns for you.
This experience also allows them to better advise you on how to monetise your existing assets and drive your business to success.
When clients have a good experience with a company, they will be more than happy to leave a positive review. Have a look at the different aspects of what others have to say about the marketing strategy consultant team and their services rendered.
Ecommerce Website Agency Experience
Companies have different goals when seeking external help. These could be customer engagement, brand awareness, social media PR and so on. There are many digital marketers who cater to them.
In your case, you are looking for experts who have years of experience selling products and services online; and who can have the most client impact. So you would want to ask questions revolving around the ecommerce campaign and related business strategies.
Think about the struggles you are currently experiencing in your tasks. They will guide you to the right questions to ask. Below are some examples.
- What is your experience in planning ecommerce strategy?
- What do you need before you plan strategies for your clients?
- What is the expected timeline for implementing strategies?
- How do you handle negative campaign results?
- How often will you communicate with my own team during consultancy projects?
Their replies will give you an understanding on how they operate, and what is expected of you in the process. They will also reveal whether they focus on getting you results or only selling their services.
Ecommerce Consulting Fee
How much would a consultant charge? This is a defining factor for most clients.
Discuss a fee with the consultancy and create a comprehensive payment plan. Go for companies that have transparent pricing. This allows you to plan your budgets with confidence.
You’d expect to pay an advance and a retainer. This could be from $1200-$4000 per month for small and medium enterprises. It can go even higher for more complex projects.
Each client is different. Given the nature of consultancy work and the specific services you require, don’t expect a fixed quote instantly. It is more important to speak to marketers about your needs and financial constraints. Good consultants will be honest about what they can help you with given your specific situation.
While the cheapest is often not the best, the most expensive is not necessarily the best either.
Remember to only spend within your budget.
Some agencies charge based on an hourly basis. This is generally not recommended as it is difficult to track and there is an incentive for the contractor to take longer than they should for a task. Their efforts will not be results focused either.
Company Goals And Values
Check out their company profile. You would want to look at the set of values that defines them. Sharing the same values as you not only creates synergy between teams but also ensures that you remain on the same page during their tenure with you. You want a dedicated team with a strong focus on greater collaboration. After all, they will be directly impacting your brand identity through their brand development with you.
When your ecommerce store consultants are able to completely understand you and what is required of them, they will be able to provide a clear roadmap for you to reach your goals.
Differences in values can create an unpleasant experience. You don’t want to work with a consultant who has opposing values. It will be a challenge to come to an agreement and to see eye to eye while working together.
Only consider companies that communicate well and share their opinions honestly. A positive team dynamic is important for successful partnerships and good results. Focus on the company that fits your needs best and create a smooth partnership.
Below are a few additional questions that you might consider asking.
- These are the struggles I am currently undergoing, how do you think you can help me?
- How do you design websites to promote conversions? What elements do you recommend?
- Do you provide financial advisory services for ecommerce businesses?
- What is your intent at various stages when building a sales funnel?
- Can you help reduce shopping cart abandonment ecommerce websites?
- What industries have you worked in or together with? Experience and domain knowledge is always a big plus.
If you have technical or user psychology exposure, you might want to share that with your ecommerce marketing company or consultant. It will help to make team integration more seamless and faster.
Final Words On Hiring An Ecommerce Consulting Firm
If you want to achieve success with your ecommerce business, the first step is to find the appropriate ecommerce consulting company that will focus on helping you reach your goals.
Firstly, you need to identify what your goals and struggles are. Knowing these will allow your consultant to better help you.
E-commerce consultants will help you grasp opportunities in product innovation and various marketing channels.
Remember that synergy and communication are key to having a good partnership. They will allow you to best utilize the skills of the ecommerce marketing agency you work with.
Your ecommerce marketing consultant will provide new perspectives and insights to your business, plan and execute strategies that play on your strengths and leverage on their technological experience. Look for a company that knows how to drive results and focuses on putting your success first.
Contact Blazing Conversions. We’d love to have a chat with you.