eCommerce Talk

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Forging a Successful Partnership with Your eCommerce Agency

Forging a Successful Partnership with Your eCommerce Agency

Successful partnerships are based on trust and good communication. Whether you are on one side (merchant) or another (eCommerce agency), we all look for these traits in our partnerships.

Not every relationship is meant for success, and that is something every business must contend with – us included. In those cases, it’s important to reflect and learn, which is likely why we are both here – me writing this article and you reading it.

From an agency’s perspective, here are some tips for building successful partnerships.

Forging Successful Partnership 101

You know that choosing the right agency is crucial. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons. Whether it’s Magento, Shopify, or custom solutions, compatibility with your goals is key. Before making your decision, carefully consider your needs and requirements. For example, at Inchoo, we make great Magento online stores, but that may not mean your business requirements match Magento – perhaps some other platform would suit you better.

Inchoo-Forging-a-Successful-Partnership

Before diving into the project, ensure your agency understands your business inside out. One of our previous articles outlines 47 essential questions every merchant should answer before engaging with an eCommerce agency. This foundational step helps determine project scope, timelines, and necessary features—essential for avoiding costly mistakes down the road. Investing time and money with the wrong partner can turn the cheapest option into the most expensive one.

Having covered the basics, let’s look at the rest of the factors that will make your partnership with a development agency flourish.

Focus on the Big Picture: Align Goals for Success

Your deep knowledge of the business, combined with an agency’s specialized skills, creates a powerful partnership. It is important to provide your partner with detailed information about your business, as well as discuss your business goals and future aspirations.

With their specialized expertise, your partner can advise you on various strategies to achieve these goals. Based on your preferences, they can present you with different options or explore and select the best solution that suits your business needs on their own.

Partnership in Motion: Active Engagement and Open Dialogue

Although we (as humans) have come a long way, we’re still not capable of reading each other’s minds—at least not to my knowledge. That’s why we need open communication, which is not a one-time thing but rather an ongoing process.

From the outset, an agency will use your business insights to shape project requirements. Active communication ensures continuous progress. Without it, delays can occur as decisions are awaited, potentially diverting the team’s focus to other projects. Returning to the project later requires reacquainting with specific details, potentially leading to extra hours and delays.

Maintaining clear communication minimizes disruptions and fosters smoother project execution for both parties.

Partnership-Forging-a-Successful-Partnership

Single Point of Contact: Your Communication Lead Matters

When too many individuals are involved, discussions can become fragmented and decisions delayed. That’s why having a designated single point of contact is highly advantageous.
When selecting your primary contact, consider these factors:

  • Decision-Making Authority: Ensure this person has the authority to make decisions promptly. Centralizing communication avoids unnecessary delays caused by needing approval from multiple stakeholders.
  • Understanding Business Needs: Ideally, your contact should be well-versed in your business requirements and technical aspects. You may not have someone suited to this, and that’s fine. In situations where you have to include several people in decision-making processes, communicate that requirement from the beginning so your agency can plan ahead.
  • Commitment to Continuous Improvement: Choose someone proactive about enhancing your business, not just meeting minimum requirements. A dedicated contact focused on growth ensures your business stays competitive in the market.
  • Consistency in Direction: The chosen contact should be responsible for their decisions and maintain a steady course. Frequent changes in priorities can lead to delays and frustration. Consistency and clear direction help achieve visible results more efficiently. Constant changes in the plan will lead to bigger bills and frustrations within the project team and your team.

Budget Talks: What Can You Afford

While understanding your needs and wants is essential, you’ll need to align them with your budget. Clear financial planning helps ensure your project stays on track and within your means, saving everyone from misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts.

  • Budget Considerations: Determine your budget upfront and consider what you can realistically afford. If your budget is fixed and limited, it might be a good option to decide on a monthly package just to make it easier to stay within it.
  • Collaborative Planning: If you want to be more involved in decision-making, ask your agency to plan each step carefully and seek approval before starting any tasks. This way, you can ensure that every expenditure is justified. You should play an active role and communicate promptly.
  • Flexible Approaches: Clients with fewer budget constraints typically prefer the agency to handle technical solutions and ensure the project stays cutting-edge. Major decisions are still made collaboratively, but the agency takes the lead in execution.
Budget-Forging-a-Successful-Partnership

Strategic Trust: Allowing Your Agency to Lead

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. If you chose your agency because they stood out from all the rest, it’s important to trust their expertise and give them the creative freedom to develop and implement strategies. You don’t necessarily need to give them complete decision-making authority, but ensure you’re always open to hearing their suggestions and understanding why they believe certain strategies would be beneficial.

If you’re not fully convinced, seek additional information or opinions to make a more informed decision. The biggest mistake you can make is to be completely closed off and dismiss everything your agency suggests.

Additionally, involve your agency in both your short-term and long-term plans. This collaboration allows them to map a strategic path that aligns with your goals, ensuring a smoother journey toward achieving your objectives.

Measuring Milestones: Keeping Your Success on Track

Just as I mentioned earlier, it’s essential for your partner to have insight into your business performance. This transparency allows them to assess their results accurately. Key metrics such as:

  • How long do users spend on your website or specific pages?
  • How high is your bounce rate?
  • Which pages have the highest drop-off rates?

These metrics are directly linked to your technical solution and can indicate areas needing attention. By stepping back and evaluating the eCommerce website your agency developed and launched, you can determine if it’s performing as expected, better or worse. Establishing clear criteria for measuring success ensures that both you and your agency are aligned and can make informed decisions to continually improve your project’s outcomes.

The Next Step

Building a successful partnership with your eCommerce agency requires more than just a contract. Using these suggestions, you’ll lay a solid foundation for collaboration that fosters mutual understanding and achievement of your eCommerce goals. Cheers to driving your partnership success to new heights.

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Inchoo & Magento in 2024 and Beyond

Inchoo & Magento in 2024 and Beyond

As we step into 2024, the stage is set for another year of growth and evolution of eCommerce. With statistics projecting staggering revenue figures and an exponential increase in user penetration, the online market is evidently not just a trend but a fundamental aspect of modern consumer behavior.

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What is Mage-OS and Why Did We Join?

What is Mage-OS and Why Did We Join?

Refreshed Values

Over the past several years, particularly since Adobe’s acquisition of Magento, the growth strategy of Magento Open Source has become increasingly ambiguous. Adobe’s focus has predominantly shifted towards enriching its Adobe Commerce + Cloud + B2B offerings, resulting in a limited roadmap for Magento Open Source, primarily encompassing security patches and minor improvements. Merchants and Agencies that invested their energy and time in this platform are not pleased with this path. In response, an initiative has been formed with the aim of establishing a community-driven fork under the umbrella of the Mage-OS Association.

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Navigating the Future: A Recap of eCommerce Trends in 2023

Navigating-the-Future-A-Recap-of-eCommerce-Trends-in-2023

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, where every click holds the promise of a transaction, staying ahead of the curve is the key to success. As we said goodbye to 2023, now’s a good time to look back at the trends that shaped the eCommerce world in that year. What lessons can we glean for a successful path in 2024? Let’s explore!

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How to Prepare PPC Campaigns for Christmas

How to prepare PPC strategy for Christmas

After the most significant sales days and the madness of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, we haven’t even had time to take a breather, and the Holiday season is already upon us. Numerous brands release colorful new ads during Christmas, offering users products and special deals. If you’re worried that you won’t know how to stand out from the crowd, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. The following article contains valuable tips we have prepared to help you stay on top of your game during this hectic period.

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Why Should eCommerce Business Owners Prioritize PPC Audit?

Why Should eCommerce Business Owners Prioritize PPC Audit?

In the fast-paced world of eCommerce, where every click and conversion counts, ensuring your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are performing at their best is critical. Before we jump into the ‘why,’ let’s take a moment to understand the ‘what.’ A PPC audit is an in-depth analysis of your PPC campaigns. It’s the equivalent of examining a high-performance engine, ensuring it runs at peak efficiency. Achieving success with your digital advertising goes hand in hand with it.

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Managing Workflows at Inchoo with Kanban Methodology

Inchoo Kanban Methodology

In our blog section, we’ve covered a wide range of topics related to our full-service eCommerce business. However, one area we haven’t explored in depth is project management. In this article, we’re excited to take you behind the scenes at Inchoo and shed light on our project management practices. Specifically, we’ll delve into why we’ve chosen the Kanban methodology as our preferred approach for managing workflows effectively.

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How to get ready for Black Friday

get-ready-for-black-friday-as-merchant

Magento merchants (and other eCommerce business owners) all over the world are starting the holiday season with one big (probably red) mark on their calendar – THE Black Friday. Here are a bunch of helpful tips on setting up your eCommerce store, SEO & PPC strategy, and making important hosting adjustments in order to go through this period as smoothly as possible.

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How much does an eCommerce site cost?

How much does an ecommerce website cost?

We have been getting so many questions on how much an online store cost? Let us give you a short overview of all factors influencing online store pricing to clarify things.

First of all, there is no one size fits all solution. So be aware there is no short answer to the question. How come?

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3 best open-source eCommerce platforms in 2021

top 3 open-source platforms

If you are a business owner who has decided to start an online business, one of the most important things you need to decide on which platform you will begin your eCommerce store.

Every business is a story for itself, and the beauty of eCommerce is that almost everybody can find the best solution and platform for themselves. Every merchant has their preferences regarding the choice of software to set up their store.

Before choosing the right platform, you need to take a step back and understand the fundamental differences between the SaaS and Open-source models.

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Technology trends in eCommerce for 2021

technology trends ecommerce 2021 inchoo

At this moment, in all corners of the world, someone is either buying something online for the first time or casually scrolling through a product feed, doing the research before making a purchase in a brick and mortar shop, or completing their third order of the day. We have come to a long way, customers and merchants alike, from the beginning of online shopping and selling in 1995.

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Google shopping optimization: How to scale while maintaining ROAS

Google shopping optimization: How to scale while maintaining ROAS

While optimizing my clients’ campaigns, I often find myself browsing other people’s blog posts and researching their campaign optimization tactics. 

One of my recent hybrid tactics proved to work pretty well on some of my accounts, so I wanted to share it with you. It’s about scaling the shopping campaigns with automated bidding while keeping the same ROAS. I hope some of you will find it helpful to create your own hybrid tactic.

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Top 5 things to keep in mind when approaching an eCommerce website redesign

Top 5 things to think about while designing

So you’ve decided to do a complete site redesign or came to a conclusion your metrics don’t behave as you thought they would? Have you finally decided to implement that feature you’re sure will skyrocket your conversions?

Here are some common eCommerce design pitfalls we often see in the wild you think about when considering taking the next step in growing your eCommerce business.

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Build & optimize the FAQ page on your online store

Build & Optimize FAQ page

2020 was a year that brought significant changes to retail. The coronavirus pandemic spread across the world, and most countries introduced lockdowns to combat the spread of COVID-19. Due to lockdown and in order to survive the pandemic’s economic impact, many retailers decided to move their business online.

Along with that, there’s been a major shift in consumer behavior, where even people who never considered online shopping started to buy online. To make their purchasing journey as smooth as possible, It became more important than ever to provide accurate and detailed information that answers all their questions. The easiest way to do so is through the FAQ page.

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Skills to run an eCommerce business

Skills to run an eCommerce business featured image

What are the essential skills needed to run an eCommerce business? Starting, and then managing a business of any kind, is a dream for many people out there. But, how do you start? What do you need to know before starting an online business, and how can you build a team to help you grow? Read on to find out.

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eCommerce Returns Management – a simple solution from the Fashion industry

Returns management

Returns can be a major headache for eCommerce retailers. While in-store purchases don’t get returned so often, there are estimates that customers return up to 40% of goods bought online.

This is especially the case in the Fashion & Apparel industry. Online store customers can’t touch the product, hold it nor feel it during online shopping.

Some customers deliberately resort to the practice of over-ordering. This increases the quantity of returns and their negative environmental footprint.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic turned the online store into the only sales channel for many retailers, the problem with returns is more critical than ever.

In this blog post, we’ll demonstrate how one of our clients improved their returns management by developing a custom Returns Portal on the Magento platform.

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Schema Markup for eCommerce Websites

Schema Markup for eCommerce Websites

Each time someone searches a particular product online, they end up on a SERP that (in most cases) includes a gazillion results.

Since the chances of browsing through all of these links are little to none, it’s essential to make your business stand out.

The best way to do it is to add structured data markup throughout your online store.

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Getting started with eCommerce personalization

Getting started with eCommerce personalization

At the most basic level, personalization is a way of delivering specific content to different customer groups to increase conversion rate and revenue and enhance user experience. When done right, personalization can improve user experience by providing the right content at the right time.

That user-related benefit can easily translate to company benefits such as growth in conversions, revenue, customer engagement, and loyalty.

Keep in mind: personalization is not to be confused with customization. The main difference between the two is that personalization doesn’t require user’s active engagement. You personalize the experience for them. On the other hand, customization requires user’s active involvement.

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Is now the time to invest in PWA for your Magento website? Top questions for merchants answered.

Is now the time to invest in PWA for your Magento website? Top questions for merchants answered.

Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are the next big thing in eCommerce. This topic has been on everyone’s lips and under everyone’s fingertips from the initial conversations around Magento 2 frontend and the introduction of the headless concept.

If you are a merchant considering this new frontend concept, you may be wondering what the fuss is all about, whether it makes sense to invest in PWAs, and how big of an investment should you plan? Here is a quick rundown of the main questions and answers for anyone still on the fence about PWAs in Magento, from a merchant’s perspective.

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Will it Fit? Must Have Features for Automotive eCommerce

Will it Fit? Must Have Features for Automotive eCommerce

If you’ve landed on this blog post, you’re probably wondering what are the must-have features to run a successful eCommerce store in the automotive industry. One of the biggest UX challenges for automotive aftermarket businesses selling online is to show their customers auto parts that will fit their vehicles. With thousands of car models and millions of aftermarket and OEM parts out there, how can you create a slick eCommerce experience that will ease the path to purchase?

Read on to see the best practices and some solutions for the businesses in this industry.

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When is the time to start selling online?

When is the time to start selling online?

Traditional buyer journey was quite predictable. It used to have clear cuts which most customers followed – you could actually draw a linear line in between their needs and final conversions. From awareness stage, to consideration and final decision all they needed was information.

The rise of the internet completely transformed entire buyer journey, creating research driven individuals who have a completely non-linear and unpredictable path to you. Suddenly the fact that there are no information about your business or that your products can’t be ordered online makes much difference for a massive part of buyers – online shoppers. After everything we learned about how people interact with internet before finally making that buying decision, it’s almost business suicide for any retailer not to sell online.

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Are you ready for Gen Z eCommerce?

Are you ready for Gen Z eCommerce?

The next wave of consumers is here. And they are on their way to becoming the biggest group of all. Maybe it’s enough to say that this group has never known a world without the internet or mobile phones.

Given only that, they will certainly make the world of eCommerce change its “old ways.” It is becoming crucial to reveal the habits and attitudes of your future customers – without understanding them, you are losing potential future revenue.

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ACES and PIES – Data Challenges in the Automotive Aftermarket Industry

ACES and PIES – Data Challenges in the Automotive Aftermarket Industry

One of the main challenges for merchants in the automotive aftermarket industry is handling large volumes of data. There are thousands of vehicles, and millions of replacement parts out there.

And you would think this information should all be standardized and easy to use, right? Well, guess again. Read on to find out what are ACES and PIES, and how merchants are solving the data problem in their businesses.

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47 questions to ask eCommerce clients

47 questions to ask eCommerce clients

Ecommerce isn’t easy. Or, to be more precise, it isn’t easy if you want to do it right from the start. If you want a good, quality product, you must be ready to invest a lot of time and effort in research.

In this blog post, we have written down some of the most common questions intended for eCommerce clients to make things quicker and more fluid.

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Automotive Aftermarket Industry – eCommerce Challenges for Merchants

communication problems

What’s the state of Automotive Aftermarket eCommerce in 2020? What are some of the common pain points of businesses in the aftermarket auto parts industry?

How are they solving challenges with large catalog handling, product fitments, and user experience? Are they making it easy for their customers to find exactly what they are looking for?

Read on to learn more about the trends and most common issues merchants are trying to solve.

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Choose the best eCommerce platform for auto parts

Mechanic choosing a tool in a repair shop

What is the best eCommerce platform for automotive industry? How to find the one that meets your needs? What is more important – time to market, ease of use, customizability? How can you be sure you made a good decision? And why don’t you just use Amazon instead?

Read on to find out how to choose the best platform for your business and download our automotive marketing success guide.

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