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For any eCommerce retailer, whether you're a growing startup or a corporate titan, the right partnerships encourage and enable business growth. An eCommerce agency often becomes a partner that is invaluable to an online retailer. And while there are plenty of great eCommerce agencies to choose from, choosing the right partner shouldn’t be taken lightly and requires careful consideration.

In a continually transforming digitally competitive landscape, businesses all around the world are turning to eCommerce agencies to help strengthen and expand their brands. In the US alone, brands spent more than $162.9 billion on marketing services in a single verified year. For agencies, in particular, the pendulum is beginning to swing. By 2022, agency revenue in the United States is predicted to increase to over $50 billion.

With experience and expertise in everything from user-focused website design and development to marketing strategy, an eCommerce agency provides the support you need where you need it. So, what should you be looking for in an eCommerce agency partner? We’re breaking down the top considerations, based on our experience both with our clients and other agencies in the industry, that have impressed us and taught us a few things about great eCommerce partnerships with our clients.

Insight Into the eCommerce Customer User Journey

Propelling your eCommerce business to financial prosperity is about more than just setting up a website and advertising, and hoping that customers will find you and buy from you. Every element of your business that is touched by a customer or potential customer must create an experience that is focused on their interaction with your brand and their interaction with your website.

When vetting an eCommerce agency partner, you should look for a team that understands your business goals, but more importantly, you should look for an agency eager to learn as much as possible about your business and your customers. The right agency for your organization will become all-knowing about:

  • What drives your customers to you in the first place.
  • What about your company and product connects with your customers.
  • What the buyer’s journey is for your prospects.
  • How to personalize interactions with your prospects and customers.
  • How to meet or, even better, exceed the expectations of your prospects and customers.

Don’t hesitate to ask any agency you are considering for their thoughts on these topics and their strategies behind them. In doing so, a good agency will draw from their experience and knowledge to provide an immediate response to each, but the right agency won’t hesitate to tell you they want to dig deeper into your unique customers and follow through on it. You want an agency that instinctively knows how to create a great customer experience, but you don’t want to partner with an agency that takes a cookie-cutter approach to the customer experience.

eCommerce Technical Know-How

The eCommerce world is all about technology. The entire industry is built on technology. And while we often associate the technical aspect of eCommerce with the website and online checkout, there is so much more to it.

Take the website for example. Yes, you need a great-looking website to showcase your products and services. But that website needs to be built on a platform that supports your current needs and future growth objectives. That website needs to have integrated features and functionality that allow a visitor to search, filter, and easily find exactly what they are looking for… and sometimes what they weren’t looking for and didn’t really know they wanted.

On top of all that, your cart and checkout process needs to incorporate the right payment processing, shipping, and discount code functionality. Your system has to be structured to relay and initiate shipping and fulfillment processes after your customer hits the checkout button. Automated order and shipping confirmations and follow-up outreach need to be developed. Needless to say, a lot goes into ensuring that your online business runs smoothly and your customers have an experience that keeps them coming back. 

A technically skilled eCommerce agency can help you become the next Amazon customer favorite, or at least earn a sizable income from your eCommerce store, so look for one with the technical know-how to tackle all of this and more.

A Strong Understanding of eCommerce Industry Regulations

Building on the need for an agency with comprehensive technical know-how, you should also be looking for knowledge of industry regulations. Obviously, consideration has to be given to state and federal regulations that may be applicable to your business. But there are also regulations present with some payment processors and shipping companies that need to be top of mind.

Federal and state government regulations may apply to what items you can sell online as well as how or even if you can ship certain items. Consider alcohol for example. Some states don’t allow for alcohol to be shipped while other states allow for it but require a signature upon delivery. Government restrictions and regulations also exist for certain tactical equipment, chemicals, etc.

Restrictions don’t just exist at the government level. Some website hosting platforms, payment processors, and shipping companies restrict certain products. Shopify for example has prohibited the sales of certain guns and ammunition on their platform. PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy states that its services may not be used for activities that relate to transactions involving things like cigarettes, firearms, ammunition, certain firearm parts or accessories, and certain weapons or knives, among other things.  

All of these regulations and restrictions can complicate your eCommerce business and throw a wrench in your plans if they aren’t identified and considered upfront. Find an agency that has a strong understanding of relevant regulations and restrictions in your vertical and knows what options are available to meet the requirements necessary to support your business. 

An eCommerce Growth Mindset

eCommerce is still growing. According to Statista, worldwide eCommerce sales are expected to grow to 6.5 trillion by 2023. This means a tremendous opportunity for eCommerce retailers ready for this change. But most businesses don’t have the in-depth knowledge or resources to fully take advantage of this opportunity.

The large growth in eCommerce signifies competition; as a result, eCommerce retailers are grappling to win customers over. Your agency needs to be proactive- bring new ideas to the table in order for you to stand out from your competition. These ideas can range from an offer to conduct an analysis of your “position” in the eCommerce market, or ideas on how to overcome different challenges. Challenges that may not have been brought up by you at all – they should identify opportunities for improvements without anyone telling them to do so. The best eCommerce agencies recognize this and find new ways to grow with the industry.

All good eCommerce agencies know the standard tactics that can move the needle in the direction of your business goals. The great eCommerce agencies have stepped out of their comfort zone to try new things and innovate as the market changes. You want the agency that combines the tried and true with outside-of-the-box innovations.

Look for the agency that has been around for a while and continues to successfully support organizations like yours. The world of eCommerce is ever-changing, so you want an experienced agency that has the ability to pivot and innovate to ensure you continue to grow in the rapidly changing eCommerce space.

A Genuine Relationship

As with any relationship, a strong partnership is essential. Building a partner relationship requires mutual trust, honesty, respect, and support. The relationship you have with your eCommerce agency should embody all of these. 

You want a partner that will be invested in your success and treat your business as their own. You also want a partner that will push you to the limits and have the courage to present an idea or approach that might be outside of your comfort zone, if they have good reason to believe it will benefit your business.

Find an agency partner that you feel comfortable speaking openly and candidly with. You should never shy away from giving honest feedback or asking questions. A true partner will embrace and appreciate it. 

Perhaps most importantly, find a partner that is as passionate about what they do as you are about what you do. An agency that has found success in a commitment to helping eCommerce retailers succeed and grow is the kind of partner you’ll welcome to have by your side.


For eCommerce, the right partnerships and relationships can have a huge impact on business and revenue growth. An eCommerce agency provides support for everything from website development to advertising, but there is so much more the right agency can do to help an online retailer grow.

We have found that there are a few key things to consider when looking for the right eCommerce agency partner. 

  • Insight into the eCommerce customer experience
  • eCommerce technical know-how
  • A strong understanding of eCommerce industry regulations
  • An eCommerce growth mindset
  • The presence of a genuine relationship

Picking the right eCommerce agency can mean the difference between failure and success. Keep these considerations in mind when choosing the eCommerce agency partner with whom you want to establish a long-term strategic relationship to help grow your online business.