Launching an e-commerce store around an idea you think is “can’t-miss?” Your motivation is through the roof thinking about being your own boss and making your dream come to fruition.
But then you got into the nuts and bolts of what it takes to launch an e-commerce store. Between site hosting, design, branding, store security and shipping logistics, you’re realizing all the decisions you’ll have to make.
Additionally, to make your brand come to life, you’ll need web development help. Or — do you?
Here’s why aspiring brands don’t need in-house developers to launch and maintain e-commerce stores.
Using In-House Developers
When you hire a developer as part of your full-time staff, you get the luxury of having technical assistance at your disposal at all times. Once the developer has been on staff for a while, they’ll become attuned to what you’re looking for and the needs of the business. Developers can be costly, though. Per PayScale, the median range for an e-commerce developer is just south of $60,000. If you’re not selling at a high volume yet, hiring a full-time developer probably isn’t cost-effective.
There’s also the fact that you, not being a developer, won’t make the right hire. When it comes to coding, there are many ways to accomplish the same concept, but they’re not all equal solutions. If you hire a developer in-house, it’ll be hard to determine their skillset and whether they’re developing features in the best possible way—without being in possession of your own technical chops.
You could forget the hiring process and look to a development agency to accomplish your needs. You won’t have to manage an employee full-time, nor worry as much about the quality of their work if you choose an agency with a good reputation. You might be able to save yourself some money with this route, but that’s debatable. If you make a lot of ad-hoc requests or have a lot of work to send the agency’s way, you’ll be paying on an hourly instead of a monthly package deal, which can end up being costlier.
Agencies should know what they’re doing though. When you’re unsure how to progress with a project, they can offer their years of learned experience — something a developer you hire probably won’t be able to do (unless you hire an experienced one and pay them handsomely).
Getting the Best of Both Worlds
The majority of e-commerce stores don’t need unique solutions to industry problems. From site security and SEO optimization to design, inventory management, site hosting and other important details—hosted e-commerce platforms simplify the entire process of launching and maintaining the store.
The best part is instead of paying to design your site’s e-commerce theme or shell out the big bucks to a back-end coder for a customized checkout page, you get these features as part of your monthly or yearly membership. This option certainly isn’t for all brands; if you have your eyes set on a big operation that sells at a high volume, it might make sense to develop your site from the ground-up or work with a development agency on an as-needed basis.
The best and worst part about the e-commerce industry is there’s no uniform route to success. Opportunities, challenges and solutions differ depending upon the nature of the business.
Maybe you want your store to be completely unique. This could be one reason aspiring brands don’t need in-house developers. Another could be you don’t have the funds to pay professional developers, but there’s room in the budget for a more affordable annual e-commerce platform membership.
There’s no one way to accomplish something in e-commerce, but when it comes to your business, there is a better and worse strategy for launching and maintaining your store. When you think critically about your budget, current needs, future wants and what your competitors are doing, you’ll develop a solid perspective upon which to base this crucial decision.