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eCommerce isn’t new but it is trending… and growing. Anybody selling anything is trying to do it online, and the ongoing pandemic is the driving force behind this change. 

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the growth of eCommerce by five years, according to the World Economic Forum

If you buy or sell anything at all: this is relevant. 

eCommerce is the path forward for retailers, and unless you want your brand to be left in the dust, it’s about time you jump on the eCommerce bandwagon. To make this happen, you’ll need a good eCommerce agency. 

What is an eCommerce Agency?

As the name implies, an eCommerce agency is an agency that specializes in… eCommerce. Obviously.

Now, if you’re asking yourself what an “eCommerce agency” really does, that’s the right question. 

In a nutshell, an eCommerce agency is a group of professionals who can help you achieve your eCommerce business goals. They’ll use a mix of creative, technology, and marketing skills to get your products online, in front of the right people, and make the whole experience as user-friendly and on-brand as possible.  

Why Do I Need to Hire an eCommerce Agency?

For the same reasons you’d hire a contractor to build your house: they know what they’re doing and they have the resources to get it done. 

Of course, if you’re building a yurt and you have a knack for building things, you might be able to pull it off yourself. If you’re building a 5BR/3BA colonial, you’ll need real experts. 

The same goes for eCommerce digital properties, marketing efforts and overall strategy. Consistent execution at a high level frequently surpasses the capacity of internal teams. While it’s true that you can build your in-house team, the cost and hassle of running this team would probably outweigh the benefits. 

Hiring an eCommerce agency is also more of a hands-off approach. For busy owners and operators who want results, it’s the right thing to do. 

How Much Does an eCommerce Marketing Agency Charge?

Asking about eCommerce marketing agency fees is like asking about the meaning of life. It’s hard to get a specific answer. 

Many factors affect how much an eCommerce agency charges. These include the experience of the agency, its location, and the type of services you need.

It would have been great if we could give you specific rates for all eCommerce marketing agency services. The best we can do is price ranges.

Here are numbers to help you estimate how much working with an eCommerce would cost you:

eCommerce Development—Developing an eCommerce website can cost you between $10,000 to $500,000. The total cost depends on things like a custom design, integrations, functionality, the size of the project, and the platform used. 

Hourly Rate—For some projects, eCommerce agencies might charge you per hour. And when that’s the cost, you should expect to pay anything between $150 to $250 per hour. This depends on how well-established the agency is, and where it’s located. 

Annual Retainers—An annual retainer with an eCommerce marketing agency usually covers everything you’ll need to market and sell your products online. This includes front and backend development, digital strategy, design, and even campaign management. 

For such a service, you should expect to pay anything between $30,000 to $144,000 annually. Some agencies charge even more, and that’s for an SMB. Again, this depends on the quality of the agency you’re hiring, and the services included in the retainer agreement. 

Email Marketing—The cost of email marketing services depends on a few different factors. These include the size of your list, the platform you’re using, and whether template design is included or not. In most cases, you should expect to pay a monthly fee in the $2,000 range. 

How Should I Choose the Right eCommerce Agency?

There is no shortage of good eCommerce agencies. They are out there, offering their services to a global client base. While a certain agency might be good, it’s not necessarily good for you

Here are some tips that’ll help you find the perfect eCommerce agency for your needs:

Look for relevant industry experience—Having relevant industry experience is always a major advantage. When you work with an agency with a successful track record in your industry, it’ll make things a whole lot easier. 

You’ll be working with a team that understands the ins and outs of your industry. For you, this means you won’t be struggling to get the agency to understand how your business works. 

It also means not wasting time and money on things that simply won’t work for your industry.

It’s reasonable to expect the right agency to create better content, more technically-appropriate solutions, and do the right thing without much guidance. 

If you need to do a lot of babysitting and explain every single detail in meetings that drag on forever, what’s the point of hiring an agency in the first place?

Make sure they treat their clients right—“our customers come first” and “we’re a customer-driven agency” are two of the most cliché phrases in the digital marketing industry. Everybody says that, and it’s kind of a no brainer. 

If you want to know if an agency really treats its clients, you should check out what the clients are saying. You can either reach out to them directly or check out the agency’s verified reviews. 

Set clear expectations—Before you start working with an eCommerce agency, you must have a clear idea about what “success” looks like. Set clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and discuss what exactly you want to achieve, and how the agency can achieve it.

This will make it easier for you to decide if the agency’s team knows what they’re doing. And after you start working with them, it’ll be easier to measure success and decide whether your investment is worth it or not. 

Summary

There is a lot of uncertainty for businesses in these challenging times. One thing we know for sure is that eCommerce is here to stay. While the pandemic played a role in speeding up the transition, it was something that would have happened anyway. 

If you want your business to keep up with the competition and adapt to market changes, eCommerce is the way to go. With the right ecommerce agency, you’ll set and achieve your eCommerce goals, without having to worry about the nitty-gritty.