What does an eCommerce agency do?
An eCommerce agency usually offers a wide range of digital marketing services including - conversion optimization, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, search marketing, social advertising, content strategy, influencer marketing, and PPC management. The goal is to help establish and build an online presence for the store and then manage digital experiences across the many marketing channels that are used.
Web development & graphic design
Most eCommerce agencies do marketing but some do other things like web and mobile development. You'd think that a brand could just open a store on Shopify or Shopify Plus and call it a day but there's usually a lot of custom development that goes into it, especially for medium-large operations.
An eCommerce design agency would have an entire team of designers and web developers that could support both the creation of the store and any modifications that come along with it.
Depending on the eCommerce platform you're using, you should look for an agency that is a BigCommerce Partner or a Shopify Plus partner to get the highest quality development services. At the same time, keep an open mind because some Shopify agencies don't have these qualifications but they still do good work.
Operations & fulfillment
The third type of eCommerce agency is one that helps with the operations side of the business. It can help the eCommerce store expand to new marketplaces and integrate new marketing and fulfillment tools. It can also offer third-party fulfillment or shipping and negotiate directly with vendors on your behalf.
With the wide range of services available, how do you find the best agency to work with?
What's the advantage of working with an eCommerce agency?
There are several advantages of outsourcing your eCommerce marketing & development. Here are the main ones you should consider.
Let's say you expand to a new marketing channel or want to optimize your existing campaigns and you just don't have the expertise on the team. Your full-time staff is busy and you don't have the resources to hire another in-house employee. You want to validate the channel before investing 3-6 months into it. This is a great reason to get an eCommerce agency to take a look at it. They could give you a consultation and say what they could do based on their experience.
That leads us to advantage number 2 - the flexibility that comes with working agencies. There is usually no contract, it's month to month, and you can test a new channel or see if the agency's marketing efforts are working within a month or two. Want to hire an in-house specialist later on? Or work with another e-commerce agency? No problem, you can switch any time.
More expertise, faster iteration, and increased flexibility all lead to faster growth. Ecommerce businesses have a lot of different things to juggle and the faster they experience a win on any one marketing channel the greater their chances of surviving the tough competition in the space. Working with a digital agency is often the best way to achieve those wins.