The time has come. Your organization is ready to make the switch to a new ecommerce platform, and you even know which one you’re ready to invest in. Regardless of the platform, this typically means one of two things: either you build a team in-house or you work with a certified solution partner who has the confidence of the platform.
But wait, there is, of course, a third option: You can work with developers you already know or offshore resources, neither of which has certifications from your chosen platform. There are several areas of concern that accompany uncertified development teams. Cost is and isn’t one of them. The upfront cost will probably be lower, but scope changes (as in it took more hours than expected) and bug resolution can triple the bill by the time everything is all said and done. If you plan on heading out the door before those risks gestate into catastrophes, feel free to stop reading here and look at this puppy gif instead.
If those risks are your concern and you want a project done right the first time, a vetted and tested solution partner is the right route for you. For starters, each solution partner does far more than just understand and develop on a platform, they also are well versed with system integrations. More specifically, an ecommerce platform needs to transfer vital data with a POS system, content management system, ERPs, ESPs, shipping plugin, payment gateways, analytics, tools for logistics, marketing and email platforms, and even optimization platforms. Integrate poorly and you slow down the flow of all information and lose important data. You need to know how each component you use or want to use will impact everything else. A certified solution partner will help you navigate this process with ease.
To learn more about the implementation process, listen to The Funnel: an ecommerce podcast. Chris Guerra, Co-CEO of Blue Acorn iCi shares his tips for an ecommerce platform implementation.
Vetted and Tested
Certification is more than a piece of paper signifying ace work on a multiple-choice test. Established, highly-customizable ecommerce platforms ask for a great deal of experience before putting their credibility on the line.
Our ecommerce platform partners focus on quality and vetting, which in turn reduces risk. Prior to getting the official seal of approval, each agency must have successfully launched several sites to the satisfaction of the client. This means that a site can’t just be set to a live status and functional, the client and their opinion count just as much, which in turn contributes to a quality score. In addition to this, an agency partner also has to achieve and maintain several key performance (KPIs) metrics.
Platform Specific Requirements
Much like the vetting and certification process, each platform has its own unique set of requirements. As a result, working with an agency means that you don’t just get development support, you get the full pictured built out. To be part of most enterprise ecommerce partnerships an agency must all be able to support on strategy, customizations, configurations, integrations, design, marketing, and more, which in turn adds confidence to those seeking a seamless delivery and timely launch. In most cases, these agencies play a consultative approach rather than just a simple executioner.
Certification, Training, and Education
Remember that piece of paper from earlier? In order to actually get one of those and to become certified, agencies go through rigorous training and education. Some platforms even require agencies to have a specific amount of certified developers on their staff. As part of this, agency partners regularly have continued learning, onsite training, monthly calls, and access to features before it becomes available to clients and the public.
Access to Support and Latest Offering
Besides reducing risk, one of the most important components of working with a solution partner is that they will have a strong working relationship with the platforms they work on. In many cases, these partners have a channel account manager and several other internal contacts. This means they will have direct access for questions, support, and occasionally better deals or access to beta initiatives. For non-partners, they are stuck in a queue with typical support tickets.
Interested in learning more about the partner programs at Adobe, Magento Commerce, Shopify Plus, and Salesforce? Contact us.