Hiring An Expert For Your Singapore E-Commerce Store

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If hosting an ecommerce store is simple enough to DIY, why do some search engine results still insist on hiring an ecommerce expert? Who exactly is an ecommerce expert? What do they do and why is it so important to hire one?

Simply put, an ecommerce expert is a web savvy professional with deep knowledge and technical understanding of business commerce online. They operate within a given set of standards and practices, and have ecommerce models that define their scope of work and all of their operations.

They’re the masterminds that make business highly accessible to current customers and prospects, with an aim to drive more sales and leads.

What do they do?

All an ecommerce expert is concerned with is to expose your business to more and more customers. They’ll help with website management, altogether with providing the required support to all of your merchandising requirements.

As the experts in the field of ecommerce, it’s also their part of duty to monitor the day-to-day activities of your ecommerce website, making necessary adjustments to it for the sake of improving on user experience and ramping up the number of sales made through the site.

Why should you hire an ecommerce expert?

You simply hire an ecommerce expert because you’re NOT one. You might be knowledgeable about ecommerce and even willing to scour up the internet for more info, but it take years of learning and hands-on experience to attain expert status.

Hiring an ecommerce specialist isn’t about making your website pop. Aesthetics matter, but a professional ecommerce specialist is more concerned about propelling your business to the next level of success. Their developers can make a few tweaks on the JavaScript and CSS codes of your website to enhance its looks, but as for them, they’ll be working to make your site more visible, more user-friendly, and highly-converting.

Launching a successful ecommerce store is NOT easy considering you’re not competing against the average Joes, but the big giants like Amazon that would smash you within seconds should they even try. But Google levelled the playing field somehow. Through organic search, you can still stand tall against the best of them and get to put your products and services in front of your potential customers with no fear of intimidation

Hiring an eCommerce Expert in Singapore

You can hire an ecommerce expert right from the onset or later on after you’ve taken the bold step of setting up your own lucrative venture online. Either way, there’ll come a time when you’ll realize the importance of leaving some tasks to a real pro.

You may have single-handedly gotten your store up, selected the best theme you could find, and even made a couple of sales. But your business is still NOT moving, at least NOT in the way you had envisioned.  

Or maybe, you’re already an established store, raking in thousands of dollars every week in form of profits.

In either case, you certainly want to hire an ecommerce store expert because you’re confused on what to do to your business so as to move it to the next level of success. An agency specialising in ecommerce should know how to direct you on the technical aspects of handling y0ur store or be there to be consulted on every planned course of action.

Prepare Your Business for the Changes to Come

Hiring an ecommerce expert is a huge step. Both you and your business need to be prepared for the big changes to come.

Start by evaluating your stock? Is it big enough to sustain increasing demand? Just in case sales happen to blow off the roof, will the capital you have allow you to meet the market demand?

It’s also important that you figure out which part of the business needs help and where the bulk of the marketing effort should be channeled to. This will help you to cut on cost and maximise your ROI.

You may also want to look into your daily routine. The ecommerce agency you hire in Singapore will only be working on improving your sales. So if you spend the bulk of your day packing or shipping, then you’d want to get some extra hand for help just in case the workload becomes too much for you to handle.

Look into the Specifics of Your Problem

Your business isn’t converting. What could be the problem?

If you can’t come up with an answer to the question, then that’s reason enough that you should have hired an ecommerce expert already.

A good Shopify expert should be able to work with you in digging the root cause of your problems. The site isn’t converting. What it is that you’re NOT doing right?

Your work is not to find the solution – leave that to the experts. But you can help identify the problem.

The ecommerce specialist you settle for operates like a doctor. You simply visit them and state your pr0blem. They might ask a series of question, but all this will be to help you identify the actual problem of your ecommerce business.

They may prescribe solutions, some of which may be too technical for your understanding. But either way, the point is to get your business back on track, live and kicking.

Look into Your Budget

Think of hiring an ecommerce expert as a move to also expand your business. You’re looking into attracting more sales. That means, your working capital must be big enough to accommodate all incoming changes.

You might need to increase your workforce, raise your stock, or even get a bigger premise. Not forgetting an endless list of other possible commitments. If the changes end up demanding for a bigger working capital, will your business finances be able to hold it up?

Understand the Nature of eCommerce

If ecommerce is a field you understood pretty well, a better approach would be for you to get someone and train them instead. But how sure are you that what you know is the right thing?

Even with this, there could be other possible reasons to turn for outside help. One being you lack the expertise to do it on your own. Or maybe, you want to spend your time doing something you’re really good – like running your business, as the real pros in the field you’re looking to hire handle the rest.  

One thing about working with real professionals is that you’re likely to feel intimated when talking to them. Their experience and level of expertise allows them to assume the industry lingo and even get to understand some of the problems you’re used to handling at face value at a much deeper level. Lots of their talk, suggestions and technical advice might end up flying over your head, but that’s no reason to be intimidated, considering that’s NOT exactly your area of expertise.

 So just in case you fail to understand anything they say, be polite enough to let them know so they can break them it into much simpler chunks that an average marketer with limited knowledge on the subject can be in a position to easily understand.  

How to Choose the Right eCommerce Specialist for your Singapore Business

At this point you should have already decided on whether or NOT you’re going to require the services of an ecommerce specialist

If so, here are some tips to help you pick the best of an ecommerce experts from the broad range of options laid in front of you.

Scheduled Interviews

You’re the buyer, not the seller. You have the right to interview any ecommerce marketing agency in Singapore, regardless of their status.

It doesn’t have to be a face-to-face interview. You can instead make a scheduled call and have a set of preplanned questions for them to respond to.

Be keen on the responses. Any attempt to hard-sell or make unrealistic promises regarding deadlines and expected results should hit you off as a red flag.

No one can predict expected returns. So should a company promise to increase your ROI by tenfold or so, that’s a dead giveaway that they’re NOT to be trusted. On matters of design, if they promise to make necessary adjustments to the design of your website, well and good, because in a way, that’s actually achievable and can even be assigned a deadline.

Check Expert Directories

Check Shopify expert directories and see if you can find someone whose skill matches your business needs. You can search by name, city, keyword or any other way you deem fit.

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Directories are the easiest way to track down local experts. It’s even more recommended that you pick an agency within your local area, more so if you’re looking to establish a long term business relationship.

An alternative way would be to attend a Shopify meetup and make as many connections as you possibly can. You may never know what can come out of it until you get to actually attend one. Some business owners have even met clients through Shopify meetups. This amplifies the odds of you meeting a reliable freelance or agency to trust with your business needs.

Ask for referrals

Referrals ought to be the best way to be connected with the right experts in any kind of field. Let the people you know share the experiences they had while working with any given agency and use their remarks to either strike out or add another agency to the options you already have.

It’s however important that you don’t get to select anyone without doing your own due diligence. Experiences vary, and just because someone you know was satisfied with the service they received from an agency, that doesn’t mean you’ll be satisfied too. Your standards could be different for all we know.

Take time to go into their case studies and don’t make any decision until you’ve read their reviews. What do their past clients say about them?

In other words, choke in anything that lets you in on what your experience is likely to be like should you decide to go with the agency. 

Defining the Scope of What’s to be done

After finding a good agency to work with, the next thing to do should be to outline the scope of what’s to be done.

In online marketing, this is what is widely referred to as the “setting of a project’s scope.” No need to fret if you’ve never prepared it before, the expert you’re working with should be able to guide you all through the process.

Paid vs. Unpaid Scoping

A good number of ecommerce agencies in Singapore scope out projects before payments are even made. That’s done to ensure there’s a mutual understanding of what’s to be expected from the project before the agency starts working.

Usually clients will be invited to come up with a list of expectations of what they wish to see the agency do for them.

Another approach that some agencies prefer is that their clients pay first and then they scope out the project. Usually, such agencies will have standard procedures already put in place, and which their clients will be required to abide by all the way to the end. These agencies usually approach their job holistically, which allow their clients to pay in packages.

The Kick-off Call

Agencies don’t just jump to work. They first have to call you and walk you through how they intend to work on your project.

This applies to web designing, PPC advertising and other services as well. The kick-off call is supposed to get your final opinion on how you wish to see a piece of job done. For web designing, the caller may ask you to pick an example of a site you like or ask you any question along the line of “what’s your preference?”

Communication is key

Communication is the key to a successful ecommerce project. You have to let your agency in on what is it that you expect them to achieve at the end of it all. Don’t be vague or unrealistic, but make sure they know that you’ll be on the other end expecting results.  

Your feedback will be needed even as the project progresses. In the event that you come a across an idea you like, call the agency and let them know that there’s something you discovered along the way. For web designing, you could screenshot the site and send it to the agency with instructions on how you want your website to look like at the end of it all.  

Conclusion

Hiring an ecommerce expert might mean the difference between stagnating or moving your business to the next level of growth. There are a lot of agency you can trust in Singapore. But if you’re stuck and happen to lack the time to go digging out for one, your safest bet should be MediaOne. As it stands, they’re one of the most trusted advertising agencies in Singapore, having been in the business for more than a decade as of today.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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October 30, 2018

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