10 Ways to Improve Conversion on Your eCommerce Website

Not seeing quite the conversion rates you were expecting from your e-commerce website? Well, our methods might help you optimise your conversions by making small improvements in some key areas.

On the surface, it can seem difficult to increase your conversion rate because it can involve making changes to several parts of your website. The secret to moving the needle on an important number like this is doing lots of small things well. This is often overlooked as many businesses can look for the silver bullet which doesn’t really exist.

With that, we suggest to you 10 powerful ways of improving your e-commerce conversion rates.

10 Ways to Improve the Conversion Rate of Your E-Commerce Website

Improve Conversion on Your eCommerce Website

 

1. Offer free shipping

To demonstrate the importance of shipping price for customers, here are a few remarkable stats:

  • Shipping prices impact the shopping decisions of a whopping 95% of shoppers. 64% are greatly impacted by shipping prices, while 34% are somewhat impacted.
  • 36% of consumers abandon their shopping carts due to shipping costs.
  • Satisfaction is 10% for customers who received free shipping.
  • On average, consumers buy 3.7 products when offered free shipping. In contrast, when no free shipping is offered, the average number of purchased products is a mere 3.4.

We think that these figures are enough to motivate e-commerce businesses to offer free shipping.

If you cannot offer free shipping now, then you should work hard to reduce shipping costs for your buyers. Alternatively, you may set some thresholds after which shipping is free – this is a great way to encourage people to buy more from you.

2. Make use of cart abandonment software

Some portion of your customers will abandon their carts no matter what. But this isn’t actually the end of your relationship with them – some online shopping carts and e-commerce solutions allow you to send follow-up emails to those who abandoned their shopping carts.

A light nudge in the form of an ad or email can encourage visitors to return to their shopping carts and complete the purchase.

3. Make your checkout process easy

Another step you can take to improve your conversion rate is streamlining the checkout experience for your customers. To get some ideas, have a look at the following top 6 reasons for cart abandonment (and tips on how to avoid each point):

  • Unexpected shipping costs (for 28%). Offer free shipping or threshold-based shipping discounts.
  • The need to register (23%). Allow visitors to check out as guests.
  • Research (16%). Provide testimonials, reviews, and as much information about the product as possible.
  • Payment security concerns (13%). Implement secure checkout and show small badges of credit cards, PayPal, and other payment methods you allow.
  • Confusing checkout process (12%). Reduce the number of steps necessary for checkout and make your layout simpler.
  • Couldn’t find a coupon code (8%). If you do offer coupon codes, display them at the top of the webpage.

4. Provide several payment methods

If you support several payment methods, then you increase your chances of getting a conversion. The idea is to never give a user a reason not to convert!

Say that you only accept payments via PayPal. PayPal has over 346 million active users worldwide, so it’s very likely that your visitors have a PayPal account. However, what about those who:

  • Don’t have PayPal accounts?
  • Have forgotten their PayPal details?
  • Cannot access PayPal in their area?

For these people, you may implement other payment methods such as Stripe, credit/debit cards, or perhaps even cryptocurrencies. Fortunately, today, most e-commerce solutions support multiple payment methods, so you should have no issues enabling these other options.

5. Allow people to purchase your goods through social media platforms

Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest allow people to shop for products without having to leave the app. Letting people buy directly through social media platforms allows you to captivate those buyers who are not willing to take extra steps to leave the social network and register on your website.

6. Personalise your website content

Personalising your website allows you to show content tailored to the needs and purchase history of each visitor. Among the things that personalisation allows you to do are:

  • Showing personalised product recommendations
  • Sending customised newsletters
  • Displaying bundles and complementary products based on user choices

These days, recommendation systems are usually based on AI algorithms. Some e-commerce platforms have integrated recommendation engines, though in some cases, you’ll need to purchase a separate solution.

7. Offer upsells, downsells, and cross-sells

Offering upsells, downsells, and cross-sells allows you to do two things:

  • Increase your average order value
  • Convince hesitant buyers to make a purchase

Essentially, upsells, downsells, and cross-sells allow you to provide hesitating visitors with more options for purchase.

8. Use high-quality images of your products

An e-commerce store is no different from a physical store, and visual merchandising matters just as much to buyers on a website. You should place a heavy focus on images and photos due to 3 main reasons:

9. Make use of social proof

Before making a purchase, 92% of consumers read online reviews. Not only that, but 88% of consumers trust online reviews no less than personal recommendations. And for 72%, positive reviews make a business more trustworthy.

If your past customers are happy with your products, then let others know. Testimonials will add credibility to your website and make people more inclined to trust you.

10. Show off your return and guarantee policies

50% of buyers read the return and guarantee policies before spending any money. The return rate in e-commerce is a whopping 20% too, which is about double the return rate in brick-and-mortar stores. Not only that, free returns or exchanges encourage 54% of people to shop online.

In short, return and guarantee policies are a must if you want to make people comfortable buying from you. 41% of buyers buy several variations of a product with the intent of returning, so your product is likely to be returned even if there is nothing wrong with it.

 

We hope some of the above will help you get the most from your e-commerce store. Remember, to move the numbers that matter, it’s about doing a lot of small things well. Truly great e-commerce websites will continue to make these improvements over time using analytics and often running experiments to see what works. The trick here is to stick with it and keep an open mind about what works best for your users.

Your Complete App Development Checklist – Everything You Need to Know to Build a great App

Question – is a team of developers all you need to build a great app that will make you millions?

Well, even though mobile app development is a key part of delivering a great app, there is much more to making your app a success.

By the end of this article, you will hopefully understand why it’s not just app development that matters, but it’s often all the other parts that make the difference between an app that fails, and an app that becomes the next uber.

Checklist For Successful App Development

Complete App Development Checklist

1. Find the unmet need

The most important first step before writing a line of code is to find out if there is a real need for your app idea. Interestingly, whilst this is the most important first step anyone can take in planning their mobile app, it is also the cheapest part of the entire process. This phase of your app project is really about asking the right questions. For example: Who is my target user? What problems do they have in their daily life? Can I build a solution to solve that problem for them? Are there enough of these people to make money from doing this? What are others doing to solve the same problem?

Time invested in asking questions and talking to real users makes a huge difference to the success of your app.

2. Define your requirements

To be able to define your requirements, you should try to answer the following questions:

  • Who is going to use the app?
  • What is the problem we are trying to solve for the user?
  • What will the user need to see in order to help them solve this problem?
  • What backend services are needed to give the user the experience they need?
  • Which platforms will your app be on (Native, Hybrid, or PWA)?

Although you won’t be able to create a detailed specification just yet, answers to these questions will narrow down the scope and help your team better understand what they need to do.

3. Design for your target users

It’s important to build the app for the people that are going to use it. This is an important distinction that you need to make before building your app. Remember you are not your user and all the decisions about design should be made with your user in mind.

By identifying your target users, you will then be able to more precisely define what your app’s purpose is and what it should do. You’ll also be able to learn how to improve your app by keeping a dialogue going with your users. If you do this correctly, they will tell you everything you need to know to build your app!

 

4. Set a budget

It’s really important to know how much your app will cost before you start building it. App development can be expensive and so knowing the associated costs is a critical step in deciding to proceed with your project.

At this stage, if your budget is limited, you may have to forget about bells & whistles and focus on core functionality. If necessary, non-essential features may be implemented later, after the app’s first release.

Your app development team should also give you a timeline for delivery. Whilst you will likely have a target for delivery, you also need to settle on what realistically can be delivered by the team.

5. Check out the competition

No product or service is ever released without taking a look at what competitors are doing first. This is a key step in the process as if your app is going to succeed, it needs to either do something no one else is doing or do it better than anyone else!

During your competitor research, you should answer these questions:

  • Which apps are competing with yours?
  • Are there any user needs not currently being met by competitors?
  • What pain points do the current apps have?
  • If there are any successful competitors, what has driven their success?

 

Competitor research allows you to highlight potential opportunities in the market. Aside from that, competing apps will serve as a benchmark for your own app.

6. Determine monetisation model

You should also determine how your app will be monetised. Depending on your industry, appropriate monetisation options will vary. In some cases, monetisation may be unnecessary as well.

With fitness apps, for example, ads or monthly subscriptions with advanced features may be viable monetisation options. But if you are running an online store, then the sales process itself is your monetisation method, and you may not need to implement anything else. The important questions to ask here are: i) Are people willing to pay to solve this problem? ii) How much are they willing to pay?

7. Make security a priority

If you’ve never been involved in building mobile apps, then you know how easy it is to hack into an app.

Developers employ many advanced methods to protect their apps and user data. However, intruders are no less resourceful and can find ways to circumvent your app’s defenses.

With that, although your app’s purpose is to solve the issues of your customers, security should be in no case neglected. It might take a little more time and money to build a total secure app, but in the long run, you will be saving vastly more resources along with your reputation.

8. Do not rush development to maximize quality

Test, test, and test again. That should be your mantra before releasing your app to the app store. It’s essential to have a plan and make sure you have covered every possible use case before releasing it to real users. This phase of your project can be a challenging time as even one small bug can cause a critical error or block certain features from being used. We suggest being patient and investing time and resources in getting it right.

Remember testing isn’t just limited to checking the core functionality of the app – your team should also look at security and performance considerations as well.

The moral of this story is to keep your app in testing until it’s ready. If you have invested time and energy getting it this far, then keep going during the last mile to get it ready for your users. Remember too it’s impossible to get all the bugs out before going live, but do have a solid testing plan in place to keep them to a minimum.

9. Don’t forget about marketing

After your app is built, extensively tested, and released to the app store, your next job is to make sure that people can find it.

Marketing is a little like design in that you need to know who you’re marketing to. Once you know who your target user is, then you just need to know where they are, and what their interests are. If your target audience mostly communicates through Facebook and spends their free time on youtube and Instagram – then you know where to start engaging with them!

Good marketing is often data-driven. This means that you should ideally invest your marketing budget in areas that make a return for you. If certain tactics are not working, just turn them off. Equally, if other tactics are working well, increase the budget, and see what happens. Your goal here should be to tell as many people as possible about your great app!

5 Hacks With Attractive Website Design That You Can Implement Today

Website design can have a huge impact on your conversion rates and SEO. A simple increase in font size may decrease your bounce rate by 10% and increase conversions by 133%!

These days, website design is also particularly important on mobile because 51% of smartphone users discover a new product or company through mobile search. Responsiveness, properly sized elements, and aesthetics are therefore key for the success of your marketing strategy.

There are plenty of design fixes for you to implement – but today, we’d like to talk about 5 simple design hacks that have the potential to not only make your design gorgeous but also increase your sales!

5 Design Hacks To Make Your Website More Attractive

web design

1. Add white space

A common mistake among web designers is to cram the website space with elements, as well as use overly dense text layouts. Although generally, efficient use of space is a good thing, an overburdened website layout has the following problems:

  • More often than not, it simply looks unattractive
  • Content consumption may become more difficult for visitors
  • Key information may get buried under walls of text or flashy visual elements

Today, minimalism is king in web design. To make your website lighter and more intuitive for your visitors, you should increase the amount of white space or negative space on your webpages. White space is the webpage space that is completely unused.

Among the best ways to add white space to your website are:

  • Making your content body narrower so that it occupies less area on the screen
  • Breaking down your content into shorter paragraphs
  • Using numbered and bullet-point lists
  • Adding media such as images or videos to break up the text

2. Add in some icons

Icons are a brilliantly simple way to improve communication on your webpages and make them more attractive. Aside from that, icons allow you to highlight important elements on your website, drawing the users’ attention toward them.

Icons are very easy to use – you only need to paste them into your content. One of the best icon libraries out there is Font Awesome – it offers thousands of free and paid icons, boasts beautiful and editable visuals, as well as works seamlessly with CSS, Vue.js, and other frameworks.

Now, you should use icons sparingly. Remember our #1 tip – leave more white space on your webpages! This applies to icons as well since they can easily make your content too heavyweight.

For the best efficiency, you should use icons in the following elements:

  • Page body
  • Benefit sections
  • CTAs

If you do everything right, then a simple set of icons will make your page more vivid and will also break up the dense text.

3. Add a background photo

A background photo is a great way to:

  • Add a finishing touch to your webpage
  • Grab the users attention and set a tone for the page

As it pertains to the second point, we think that you shouldn’t hope that a background image will improve bad website design. On the contrary, you should view background images as a way to communicate a brand message or set a certain atmosphere on a page.

With that said, simply throwing a background photo onto your webpages isn’t enough – you should make sure that it is relevant to the content of the page and matches your brand guidelines.

Make sure any copy you pace over the image is readable. One trick is to make sure you have enough contrast for the copy to be readable. This means the image is dark, the copy should be white, and vice versa.

4. Use a harmonious color palette

This is also a very simple fix that will dramatically change how your website looks and feels to the user. Aside from making your website aesthetically better, your color palette should be easy on the eyes and reinforce your brand where appropriate.

Know nothing about web design and color palettes? You may give random palette generators a try, like coolors.co. There are plenty of other online palette generators out there, but this particular tool allows you to:

  • Change the number of colors in the palette
  • Generate a palette based on an uploaded image
  • Edit the shades of a generated palette
  • Adjust the hue, saturation, temperature, and brightness of the palette
  • Make use of palettes created by other users

After you are done, you only need to go to your theme editor in WordPress (or whatever CMS you are using), plug the HEX color values into the respective fields, and voila – you’ve changed your website’s color palette!

Playing around with color palettes is fun and allows you to significantly improve your website’s aesthetics in virtually no time.

5. Make your CTAs more visible

And as our final hack, you should make your calls to action more visible to users. If calls to action are essential to your business, then this is an essential tip to follow.

There are plenty of ways for you to breathe more life into your CTAs. Among the options you have are:

  • CTAs within videos. Quick Sprout registered 380% more clicks on an in-video CTA than their regular sidebar CTA.
  • Use “reverse” CTAs. Another tip Quick Sprout provides is that you should tell people NOT to click on your CTA. This works not for everyone, but on TimothySykes.com, Quick Sprout had 39% better performance with a “negative” CTA.
  • Replace links with buttons in your CTAs. Links don’t stand out well, partly because they are a normal part of an online experience. With that in mind, make use of colorful buttons as well.
  • Use animated CTAs. Animations are another way to catch the attention of your website’s visitors. Needless to say, you should make sure that you are not annoying. A subtle movement every few seconds should be more than enough to draw the eye.

Eye-catching CTAs can not only improve your conversion rates but also make your website look more organic. But of course, you need to remember our #1 tip – leave more white space! – to make sure that your CTAs perform their purpose while staying an integral part of your website design.

UX Design – Why UX Is Important and Why Should You Care

Want to build a killer app that has hockey stick growth? Or maybe you just want to make your customers happy? If these questions apply to you, then you should carefully think about the UX design of your new website or app.

If you are just starting the journey to building your first-ever app, then focusing on the UX design is the most important thing you can do. If your app can help users solve their problems, do you really need to do anything else?

Well, yes, you do. And among the things that you need to take care of is UX. If you are in doubt, then read on to find out about the importance of UX design and how it can help your success.

What Is User Experience Design And Why Is It Important?

First up, user experience or UX shows the quality of the interaction of users with a computer system – most commonly, an app or website. UX incorporates the attitudes and emotions that users feel while communicating with an app.

The importance of UX lies in the fact that positive emotions translate to loyalty and long-term commitment. A bad user experience – whether because of poor UI, lacking functionality, or bugs – will repel people from your solution, no matter how well it performs its core purpose.

Aside from keeping users happy, UX is important because it improves the success of customers’ satisfaction-conversion journey.

Are UX And UI The Same?

Many people confuse UX (user experience) with UI (user interface) because of their similarities. However, in reality, these two terms are drastically different and are both an important part of an app or website development process.

The UI encompasses everything your user sees and can interact with, including visual design, color scheme, forms, buttons, icons, and layout. UX, on the other hand, encompasses UI and several other components that affect the quality of users’ interaction with your system.

Aside from UI, UX also depends on the responsiveness of your app (or website), its structure, how easily customers can find what they are looking for, and not only.

UI is tightly intertwined with UX because one of the goals of UI engineering is to create an efficient, clean, and easy to use interface. Successful UI engineering leads to better UX – at least, as long as we are talking about UI-related factors.

What Can Great UX Design Do For You

UX design

1. Efficient sales funnels

Great UX equals more efficient sales funnels – that is, a more efficient and friction-free satisfaction-conversion-retention pipeline.

Baymard has found that 69.2% of customers abandon their carts after adding items, primarily due to poor cart design and subpar checkout process.

Although great UX most likely wouldn’t be able to help you retain all those 69.2%, a sizable amount of abandoning users would have made a purchase, had you put effort into your sales funnel.

Elements like calls to action, an intuitive layout, and clear navigation can dramatically improve your app’s UX and minimize cases when people shut down your app due to frustration with bugs or general layout.

2. Increased sales & ROI

After a major redesign in 2018, Walmart has recorded a 43% increase in e-commerce sales. The new Walmart website not only looked drastically different but also boasted a more intuitive layout, simplified shopping, and better navigation.

43% is a huge amount even for low-earning businesses, let alone for huge enterprises with multi-million sales. And all this was thanks to improved UX that reduced frustration and provided more clear guidance to buyers.

By the way, with the redesign, Walmart also started providing product recommendations to users based on their individual preferences and purchase history.

It’s difficult to tell how important the addition of this feature has been for the sales increase.  However, by recommending customers new products, Walmart increases its chances of making a sale by showing people what they need at the moment (well, hopefully).

3. Reduced long-term costs

This one’s pretty interesting – UX can actually help you reduce your app’s maintenance costs in the long run, especially when it comes to marketing.

We’ve just established that UX improves conversion rate and boosts sales. This means that given the same investment, an app with good UX will make more money than an app with poor user experience!

Furthermore, by recording low sales with a poor-UX app, you will be tempted to increase your marketing expenditure because you aren’t getting what you are expecting!

In contrast, satisfied with the great UX of your app, users are more likely to recommend it to their friends or family, doing free marketing for you.

Marketing aside, good UX will stimulate long-term relationships between you and users. Although you will not necessarily build lasting relationships with all satisfied customers, it is more likely that happy users will stick with you and convert many more times down the line!

4. Improved SEO

Better UX can improve website SEO as well. Although for some people, the connection between SEO and UX may be unclear, it’s pretty darn strong.

One way UX could improve your website’s SEO is by affecting dwell time. Dwell time is an important ranking factor, at least for Google – the longer people stay on your website, the more likely it is that your website will rank higher.

UX impacts dwell time indirectly. That is, Google doesn’t factor in UX as-is – rather, because great UX can keep users on your website longer, careful UX design leads to better SEO.

Final Words

Good UX makes your product stand out. There are plenty of apps and websites out there that perform their purpose well enough, so it can be difficult to persuade people to use exactly your offering.

Well, thoughtful UX design could be the missing link between you and a huge success. Don’t neglect the importance of user experience. Although defining the scope of UX can be challenging, in the end, it’s all worth it.

Take action now and make sure to have your team focus on the right UX, it can mean the difference between good and great!

How to Measure The Performance of Your Digital Agency

If you hire a digital agency for web design, web development, or digital marketing, you are likely to see good results as an agency that can add a lot of experience and capability in specific areas. Agencies tend to be specialised which means that they tend to outperform internal teams or contractors. However, things do not always go to plan, and you need to be able to measure how effective your collaboration with a digital agency is.

Below, we will help you measure the work of a digital agency by providing you with a general step-by-step performance analysis framework.

Do keep in mind that your efforts of measuring the effectiveness of a digital agency need to start well before you actually begin working with that agency. You can’t start thinking about performance tracking halfway into the project. You’ll understand why below.

1. Identify Your Business Goals

Your very first step should be identifying your goals. For new business owners, this is perhaps the most challenging step to take.

The goals of your business should be SMART. You’ve probably heard about the SMART approach, the term has been used for many years, but it remains as an excellent framework for goal setting.

SMART is an acronym formed with the following words:

  • You need to clearly outline what needs to be achieved.
  • You need to determine relevant performance metrics along with targets.
  • Your goals need to be realistic.
  • Your goal should be in line with the higher-level goals of your business.
  • Time-bound. You need to set a time frame for the achievement of your goal.

2. Set Up And Track Performance Metrics

To be able to measure the work of a digital agency, you need to quantify the impact of its actions. This can be achieved with performance metrics.

Now, ideally, you will have implemented some performance metrics by the time the digital agency launches your project or campaign. You should have some baseline data displaying the condition of your business prior to the changes, and you should also collect performance data after the project is up and running.

Without proper baseline data, you will not be able to perform any comparisons, and you will be unable to assess the effect of your digital project. So if you have not yet started working with a digital agency, you should strongly consider implementing performance metrics.

Now, what to track and what to compare depends on the nature of your digital project. Without knowing your situation, we cannot give you specific tips. We can however still give you some general guidelines as to what you could do.

For example, if your project is aimed at improving cybersecurity, useful metrics could be:

  • Mean Time To Identify (MTTI)
  • Mean Time To Respond (MTTC)
  • Number of vulnerable systems
  • Number of users with “superuser” permissions
  • Frequency of access to critical business systems

If we are talking about SEO, then among the most important metrics are:

  • Total organic clicks
  • Bounce rate
  • Target keywords and their ranking
  • Mobile usability
  • Crawl errors

For eCommerce, you would want to track the following stats:

  • Sales conversion rate
  • Email opt-ins and opt-outs
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Shopping cart abandonment rate
  • Average order value
  • Customer lifetime value

So as you can see, the specificity of your goals very much depends on the type of business you have and what you are trying to achieve with that particular project. We have just talked about a handful of performance metrics from only 3 areas. Depending on the nature of your business, there may of course be many more to consider.

Setting up data tracking can be a headache, but it needs to be done if you want to have an objective insight into your progress. Setup aside, identifying what you should keep track of is an important part of the process.

With a good digital agency, you should be able to take both steps with minimal effort. It is important to know that not every digital agency is willing to provide you with relevant performance metrics. Some limit their performance reports to some basic stats like shares, likes, or clicks. We don’t mean that these metrics are useless, but in many cases, they don’t give you the full picture.

As you can see, measuring the effectiveness of a digital agency is a longer-term process and so it needs to start before the desired changes are implemented. You should first gather some baseline data, make the changes to your digital processes, wait for a defined period, and then start drawing comparisons. This is why long-term planning is so important with digital agencies.

Digital Agency

3. Identify Your Targets

Aside from defining a set of relevant performance metrics, you should also identify targets that your business should achieve. Without targets, your performance metrics will bear little to no meaning.

Say, you’ve got 100k visits to your website in a day. Is this a good result or not? If your target was 50k, then it certainly is, you achieved 100% above your target. However, if your target was 150k, then you’ve missed your target.

Aside from giving a deeper perspective into your results, targets provide motivation to your team. Getting an additional 50k visits a day has a dramatically different meaning than 500k a day. Needless to say, if you task your agency with achieving the latter figure, they are going to work harder.

4. Identify Valuable Segments

To achieve focus and make things easier for you, you should also identify the customer segments that matter for your project or campaign. Among other things, identifying segments allows you to narrow down who you are targeting and perform analysis more efficiently.

Of course, no one forbids you to incorporate your entire audience into your project. However, you have to specifically decide for yourself which customer segments are important to your business. Knowing which segments are performing for you and know the needs of those segments really helps when undertaking design or marketing activities.

5. Analyze And Adjust

Once you’ve got everything set up and some data gathered, you should perform an in-depth analysis of your performance metrics.

Have you been able to achieve the specified goals? Has your campaign been more successful than you’ve hoped for? Has your website reached its performance targets? Why?

Or maybe your project grossly underperformed? Why haven’t you achieved your targets?

Improving your digital processes is an iterative task. To stay competitive and ensure consistent improvement, you need to set goals, develop and implement changes, analyze results, and then repeat these steps month after month, year after year. This is the power of goal setting and would represent best practices in measuring performance.

Web Development 101 – What You Should Know Before Hiring An Agency

If you are looking for the right partner for a web development project, have a read of our guide before making a decision on the right agency for your project

Building software can be expensive and you want to make sure you spend your budget wisely. To hopefully help you make the best decision and hire the right web development agency, we will cover 8 key questions that you should ask yourself (and the agency) before actually making any decisions.

We would like to avoid the technical stuff and instead focus on more organizational matters – matters that we feel many first-time web development service buyers don’t know about.

What To Know Before Starting Working With A Web Development Agency

1. How good is the development team

Perhaps the most important thing to know about any agency, not just a web development agency,  is if the development team can deliver your project. It is important to know if they have the capability and relevant experience in the areas required to deliver for you. If not, it might be better to look at an alternative.

Some web development will have a skill set within a certain set of areas. Firstly they will have experience with certain types of products like marketplaces, eCommerce, dashboards, billings tools, and so on. Additionally, they will likely have the capability with a particular technology stack such as LAMP, MEAN, or .NET. These stacks will affect everything from price, to availability of skilled developers.

It’s important to find a team that has not only the capability but also a passion for working on interesting projects. If they light up when talking about solutions and ways to approach engineering problems. Then it shows a passion and interest in problem-solving and desires to work on projects where they can best apply their skills.

This passion and interest is the gel that binds a development team together and helps drive your project to the level it deserves

2. Can you see the agency’s portfolio?

Next up, you should look at the agency’s portfolio. Ideally, they should be able to provide at least three examples of past projects either in the same space as your project or similar enough to demonstrate they can deliver for you.

Aside from showing you how skilled an agency is, the portfolio will allow you to assess how the agency approaches similar challenges to yours, and how they find solutions for similar issues for websites and mobile apps

Ask the agency about the unique challenges it encountered when implementing past projects. What exactly was challenging in the situation? How did the agency approach the issue? Were there any special features that the client requested? Where there any special needs that the users had? Did the agency meet those needs?

A good web development agency will be glad to provide you with an insight into projects that interest you. A suitable agency is well-aware of what customers want – anticipating questions like those above, they will have prepared a few good examples of their work beforehand.

web development

3. Is the agency willing to provide you with references?

Next, you will want to ask for some references from past customers as well. Generally, three references are good enough to figure out what the if this is an agency that you can work with.

Of course, keep in mind that the agency may provide you with biased references, but that’s why you aren’t relying only on references. The portfolio and some other things we’ll talk about later allow you to get a more objective picture.

If an agency hesitates or refuses to provide references, then something may not be right and you may be better to avoid that web development company.

4. Do you know someone who has worked with the agency?

If you have a friend, relative, or someone else you know who has worked with the agency, then ask them how their experience has been.

Of particular interest to you, again, are challenges encountered by the agency team, as well as special requests and whether they have been followed. How organized and strictured are they? What project management style do they use? What tools do they use for bug tracking? Do the employees enjoy working there?

 

All of these answers will help you build a strong picture of what it is like under the hood of your prospective agency.

5. Do the agency’s production timelines match your expectations?

It will take some time for the web development team to build your website or web app. The question here is as follows – do the production timelines align with your expectations and business plans?

Ask the agency representative how much time they usually spend on their projects. Additionally, you may ask how the agency deals with time constraints, how they delegate the tasks, and how they balance quality with prompt delivery.

Answers to questions like these should give you a good idea of whether the agency is capable of sticking to timelines.

6. Can the agency scale with your needs?

You are just thinking about launching your business, right now you might just need a small two-man team to build your website or web app for you. In time, as your business scales, so too will your need for technical resources. The question is, can that agency scale with your needs as they increase?

You may work with one agency now and then switch to another team when necessary. But these transitions can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful. Ideally, you would find a good agency partner that can provide cost-effective services to both small and large customers and can scale easily to growing demands.

7. How willing is the agency to meet your needs?

Is the agency using prebuilt code templates to deliver the necessary functionality? Or are they also offering solutions made from scratch? Maybe a mix of both?

Needless to say, not every business needs fully custom web development from scratch. If premade frameworks and templates work for you, then there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Otherwise, you should inquire about the agency’s toolset, how flexible it is, and whether your special needs can be met.

8. Before the project goes live, how does the agency plan to test it?

Finally, you should ask about the quality assurance process used by the agency. How does the team make sure that the app or website is fit for purpose before they release it to you? Ideally, the agency should undertake a series of tests that should at least include functional testing, cross-browser, and cross-device testing that is across desktop, tablet and mobile devices. More in-depth testing plans should be discussed before starting your project.

Your agency should also have a good process for how to report and track all bugs. The tools used and the process for managing quality assurance is an essential part of delivering good software. Ask the agency representative about this before you sign any contracts.

Final Words

Clients can tend to focus on the technical aspects of web development. Even though they are important, many forget or neglect the points we discussed above.

We strongly encourage you to make your assessment based on a holistic approach to hiring a web development agency but evaluating all their capabilities both technical and non-technical. Hopefully, our tips will provide you with a good framework for your search and will ultimately connect you with the best fit for your project.