Magento 2 often gets a bad reputation.
Not because it’s a bad eCommerce platform (it’s pretty good actually, the best out there in our opinion). It gives merchants a wide range of product types to build their product catalogues with, can perform at light speed which Google loves and allows a merchant to customise it’s functionality however they see fit due to its open source nature. SAAS solutions such as Shopify cannot offer this same level of flexibility and performance.
But here’s the problem.
A lot of ‘Magento 2’ agencies struggle with it or don’t specialise in it. This inevitably leads to clients having to deal with poor-quality and/or delayed projects. They realise they’ve wasted their time and money, coming away from the experience with a sour taste in their mouths. These types of agencies are part of the reason Magento 2 gets a bad name. We want to change that!
In the end, they find that the promises given by the non-technical salesman at the start of the project fall short of their expectations.
Nobody (especially us) wants that.
But when you get it right, you can make a huge success of your Magento 2 platform. This blog will cover three things to help you do that: making sure Magento 2 is right for your business, creating a detailed statement of work and sourcing the right partner to work with.
#1 Making Sure Magento is Right for Your Business
No matter which Magento merchant you partner with, if Magento 2 isn’t right for your business needs, you won’t see the results you expect. Magento 2 platforms can transform your eCommerce store, but it has to be a suitable business solution.
Otherwise, what’s the point?
Investing in the platform without a clear understanding of how it can support your business needs and optimise revenue is a grave error. It leads to a bad customer experience, and more importantly wasted money that could be spent better elsewhere.
Another aspect of this consideration process is cost.
When it comes to developing the platform, there will be extra customisation costs that you might have to pay for. There are also maintenance and upgrade costs, on top of the general costs to running the Magento 2 platform itself of course. SAAS solutions like Shopify can come across as being cheaper as the ownership costs can be much lower but with their monthly licence fees tied to your businesses revenue, they can become expensive for merchants that have a very high turnover. What this means is that with SAAS solutions like Shopify, the more money your website takes, the more you pay to them in licence fees. The comparison between open source and SAAS ecommerce solutions falls outside of the scope of this article but which one you choose can impact the overall success of your online business.
This makes it critical to know your numbers.
What is your current and predicted annual turnover? The answer should inform your partner on whether Magento 2 is the right platform for you and your business and how much you should invest in it..
In essence, you need to put in the planning time to assess the feasibility and scale of such an investment. Otherwise, you could end up with a platform that fails to optimise your site in the way you thought it would. Or a site that you simply cannot afford to upkeep.
#2 Creating a Detailed Statement Of Work
Once you’ve identified whether a Magento 2 platform is a workable area of investment for your business, you’ll need a detailed statement of work.
A statement of work is a document that explains in great technical detail the ecommerce solution that your business requires your partner to deliver for you.
Without an action plan in writing that details your expectations as a client, you could risk poor project performance and delayed delivery. Failure to articulate your expectations for the project early on and provide clear time guidelines will only cause problems later on.
Put it this way, you wouldn’t ask a builder to build a house without architectural plans, right? Then why would you build an eCommerce solution without a detailed statement of work?
If you want to guarantee the success of any project, you’ll need a detailed technical brief that specifies the solution being provided by your partner. Without it, you could accrue extra costs by having to pay for extra things you thought were already included in the initial costs or for the extra agency time it takes to fix issues that arise.
Here at Foundation Commerce, we carry out a solution workshop with all our clients to go through the details of their project requirements and expectations. Detail is the key thing. This is not optional. It’s this open and honest communication with clients that sets the foundations for project success. Without it, you really are starting off on the wrong foot and destined to fail. As the saying goes, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. That’s never been more true when starting your ecommerce project.
#3 Sourcing the Right Partner to Work With
A detailed statement of work means nothing if you aren’t working with Magento 2 specialists. A lot of agencies claiming to specialise in Magento 2 development are actually SEO or PPC agencies that ‘offer’ Magento 2 as an extra service in order to increase their overall company revenue. They charge you an hourly rate and employ a freelancer to carry out the work for a lot cheaper. The problem here is that they don’t vet that freelancer correctly and leave him to his own devices with no proven processes in place to guarantee project success.
The problem with so-called ‘Magento 2 agencies’ is that you’ll end up paying high prices for a shoddy job that takes ages to complete. And that for any client can induce unnecessary stress and anxiety, leaving you with a non-functional platform that doesn’t deliver its promises and causes you more frustration than you can handle.
Avoid this by properly vetting your Magento agency partner. What you want is experienced specialists who have expertise in technical development, but also have stellar business and communication skills.
HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK:
– Is their developer team in-house?– Does their dev team have Magento certifications?
– How detailed is the scope of work that they are proposing?
– Have they explored all areas of your business from fulfillment to marketing?
– How many other Magento 2 merchants are they providing services to?
– When did they last launch a Magento 2 project?
– Do you speak directly with Magento developers or an account manager?
The answers they provide will give you a much better sense of where they are as a specialist Magento 2 agency.
Another thing to look for specifically is ‘Adobe Solution Partners.’ They’re companies that have an industry-standard level of expertise and are approved by Adobe themselves as knowing what they’re doing. Though of course you shouldn’t just take their word for it. You should definitely still vet an Adobe Solution Partner, as it does not guarantee the success of the project completely.
Magento 2 is one of the best ecommerce platforms currently available. When executed correctly the platform can provide your business with the ultimate scalable ecommerce solution that your business needs to support its growth for years to come. . But to reach this point, you must avoid the issue of working with non-specialist agencies that deliver poor and delayed results to their clients.
Making sure Magento 2 is right for your business, creating a defined technical statement of work that outlines in detail your business requirements and finding the right specialist partner is key.
Good news – we can help with all of the above!