The internet is the world’s largest retail space and it is instantly accessible from the comfort of your own home. This convenience is possible because today’s eCommerce stores are powered by dynamic and detailed content management systems (CMSs) that categorize, itemize, and price every product available for purchase. eCommerce CMSs make a store’s inventory accessible and searchable by anyone through a web browser which opens up a new avenue for interested customers, and their dollars, to swing by.
However, because of the inherent complexity with eCommerce online transactions, your choice of an eCommerce web developer or development firm becomes of critical importance. Between inventory synchronization and secure payment processing many issues can render your store non-functional, or worse, liable for sensitive customer data loss.
Minimize potential business pitfalls by thoroughly inspecting your pool of candidates and ensure your developer meets, but preferably exceeds, the following four criteria.
A review of potential candidates should begin with their resume and, if it meets your needs, then move onto their portfolio. A good eCommerce web developer should have several stores highlighted in their portfolio. Be sure to peruse their work by visiting the websites to ensure candidates have the expertise to deliver the results your organization is expecting.
Remember that a developer with more than one eCommerce website in their portfolio is likely to have a stronger base of knowledge to work from when issues arise. Also, give precedent to candidates that are actively maintaining live eCommerce websites. This sort of developer is on the front lines of commerce in the 21st century and they will be the most well versed in current eCommerce and technology trends.
When looking for eCommerce web developers it is important to find individuals who have experience developing for your store’s CMS. Some of the most popular open source options are Magento, osCommerce, or PrestaShop. A developer with a portfolio full of PrestaShop websites may not be the best choice to spearhead your eCommerce store’s Magento deployment. Be sure to ask them questions about their various projects and have them elaborate on why they made some of the development or design choices seen in their work. Asking the right questions will help narrow down your list of prospects, allowing you to focus on a select few who can meet your organization’s needs.
Online order payments are routed through your store’s CMS but that is not their final destination. Payments must be securely sent to a payment processor to safely request the owed funds and route them into your business’ account. Many different payment processors exist but your ideal developer should be familiar with yours and be able to speak about its configurations and functionality. Customers are placing their utmost trust in your store (and by association your developers) when they enter their credit card and billing information to complete a purchase. Safeguard their confidence by choosing a developer who inspires confidence in you.
Your business’ decision makers will need to be in direct contact with the development team (or Project Manager) and your developers must have direct lines of communication available to the organization’s decision makers, the payment processor’s staff, the store’s inventory controllers, and the website’s content managers. Selecting a developer with a track record of keeping necessary parties apprised during the various development processes will minimize and help eliminate development blocks.
Finally, check a few references from each potential developer’s resume. A slick looking website within their portfolio could’ve been constructed with thousands of dollars in overages due to unclear communications or delayed deadlines. Calling a few contacts and gauging their response to your inquiries will provide insight you will not be able to get directly from the developer.
Your organization’s choice in an eCommerce developer will affect every step of the web development process so scrutinize heavily to avoid heartaches and budget shortfalls. Due diligence, and lots of it, is the only proven method to secure the eCommerce developer your project deserves. Refuse to cut corners during the scouting process and you won’t spend any nights losing sleep over development deficiencies.
Have a question about eCommerce developers or the eCommerce development process? Contact us today.