Full disclosure: Mark Twain wasn’t pondering about eCommerce Vendors.
Depending on what type of online business you’re running, what technical skills you already have, how much time you have available, there are times when it makes sense to outsource some work on your website. It may be for Website Design, Product Sourcing, Inventory Management, Marketing, Social Media, Graphic Design, Etc. Before entering your credit card number and paying a huge invoice, you’ll want to check that they meet the following criteria.
The Right Solution– Salespeople have one goal in mind… getting you to buy their product or service. Sometimes you are talking with them because they have the solution that you need. Sometimes they are talking to you because you have the money that they want. Take a moment to think about whether or not the solution really is what your business needs. If it seems good but you just aren’t sure, get some ecommerce advice from a professional. If a vendor insists that you buy right away without consulting with anyone else, take that as your giant red flag.
Accessibility– Some vendors will have phone numbers and contact info visible on their site, include available hours, online chat and even an online booking calendar. Others will only call you and reaching them back is nearly impossible. While most salespeople are good at communicating before the sale, look online for reviews of the vendor to see how they are AFTER they have your money. Unfortunately, there are companies out there who intentionally call from private numbers, provide no contact info on their website because they don’t intend to service the client after the sale.
The Right People– Find out who you will be working with after the sale. Many companies have different people for sales and service. It’s always okay to find out who will be managing your account and make sure that you can work well together. Obviously, this is more important with some services than others.
The Right Price– I’m sure you were already thinking of this one. Building a successful eCommerce business can be expensive, especially if you outsource a lot of the work. If you’re dealing with a product or service that you’re unfamiliar with, there is an opportunity for you to overpay. Again, check with someone experienced with the product or service, look for reviews online, and find out what it should cost ahead of time. This one step can save you thousands.