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The rapid development of eCommerce and customer empowerment due to the Internet,  has caused companies to put a greater emphasis on their online presence. However, not every company can create their own web-shop or manage their online content. This brings us to a question – ‘How do I select an outsourcing eCommerce software company?’

It depends on many different factors and since there’s no just one right answer, here’s a gist of what we think are some important criteria to consider:

1. Location of outsourcing company

Choosing a company located near you is beneficial. It reduces travel expenses and allows easy access if your personal involvement is necessary. But don’t be afraid to select a company that’s located further away. Sometimes you can’t find what you need near you and might decide to work with more distant company.

Nowadays there’s so many online chatting services, like Skype, that make communication effortless. So pick a company that suits you regardless of the location.

However, location can improve communication, for example about 40% of Europeans speak English. That’s why many European companies outsource wihin the EU, and even American companies outsource to Europe. It just makes communication easier.

2. Culture

It’s often hard to work with a company which has a different mentality than you. The work ethics and company culture influences how companies work. It’s good to find a company that has a similar mentality and company culture to yours. It makes communication and collaboration easier.

The cultural gap may often lead to undesired complication within your project. Sometimes it’s better to invest in a slightly more expensive company. One that has a similar mentality and cultural understanding, so that you get the service you desire.

3. Quality and Quantity of Resources

Perform a good background check of the company you’re going to work with. Most companies will have website showing a general overview of their team, who they are etc. Be sure to check for the quality of the team, e.g. having certified developers is definitely an advantage. Take a closer look at their UX’s, project managers, developers and any other personnel that may interest you.

Also check the number of employees they have –  you want a company that can provide you with your own team, dedicated to your project. Plus, companies usually guarantee the quality of their workers while it’s hard to have such safety with freelancers.

4. Internet Research

There are plenty of websites where you can check reviews of software companies. Clutch.co is a great place to start. There’s a lot you can learn about a company from Internet research. Reviews give you some insights you don’t normally come by. Check out company blogs, client references to find out more about how they work and whether they can provide the optimal solutions for you.

Other sources you can check:

http://digitalagencies.econsultancy.com/

http://www.topinteractiveagencies.com/

5. Past eCommerce Clients

Reviewing past clients gives a good overview of what the company is capable of. It shows whether they worked with clients from the same industry as yours, or the same country. It’s an advantage if the company is familiar with your industry or given market. Having a company from the potential client’s country in your portfolio usually works in your favor.

6. Price of outsourcing services

Don’t be a cheapskate! Price is always important but sometimes it’s better to invest more in a company that delivers good quality.

A common question accompanying the whole dilemma is ‘When is the best moment to outsource?’  From our experience we see that many companies decide to outsource once they reach a new growth phase. For example, if they just grew from a small company to a medium sized company.

A growing company requires new employees. You will most likely start creating new departments within your company. A new HR department, or maybe even an IT department. However, this takes a lot of time and money. Paying more wages, training, managing and controlling is a lot to handle. Instead, you may decide to avoid the whole process and outsource.  Most eCommerce companies provide optimal solutions to accommodate your growth. By providing you the necessary tools and a dedicated team to work for you. At the same time the company will have to ensure the well-being of the workers while you only pay for the job they do for you. No extra maintenance and supervision necessary from your side.

I hope this article can be used as a stepping stone in the process of selecting a software company that satisfies your needs.

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Mati Polak

Hey! I'm Mati, the Community Manager at Divante eCommerce Software House

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