Did you know that the global outsourcing market is worth nearly $90 billion, according to Statista?
Outsourcing includes a variety of tasks, from legal services, to accounting and bookkeeping, and pretty much anything in-between. While it might sound counterintuitive, investing money in outsourced resources can actually be a way to help you make MORE money in the long run.
For example, if you’re an eCommerce merchant looking to create a beautiful storefront or optimize an existing storefront, you might think about outsourcing design and development. If you’re looking to drive traffic to your storefront and increase revenue, you might think about outsourcing digital marketing as well.
So, when does outsourcing things like development and marketing to a digital agency partner make sense?
Digital agency partners can be a strategic fit for eCommerce merchants at all stages, from startups to established brands. After all, outsourcing things like development and marketing to the experts will ensure the best of both worlds: you’ll be able to focus on your brand which is what YOU do best, while the agency will focus on their areas of expertise (like development and marketing) which is what THEY do best.
Plus, agencies often have existing relationships with companies, technology partners, and tools. This gets you quicker access to support from the platforms you’re using, and a more direct line of communication.
At BVAccel, for example, we have strategic relationships with many partners, including Shopify Plus; this helps us recommend and create more impactful solutions for our clients, which leads to quicker, more impactful results.
Specific to the bootstrapped, early-growth stage startup, internal resources are often scarce. Your existing eCommerce employees are specialized, but often not in design, development, or marketing. Time they spend learning and training themselves on these skills is really time they could be contributing to your business more proactively in an area of their expertise.
Not to mention, a “Chief Technology Officer” isn’t exactly the first hire you’d make if you’re a blossoming fashion brand, for example. In fact, there are even established eCommerce brands that don’t have a CTO.
Remember that when you hire a digital agency partner, you get a whole team to act as your CTO.
Why does an eCommerce brand need a digital agency partner with technical expertise and relationships?
Just as your hypothetical CTO would stay up-to-date on the latest technological advancements and trends relevant to your business, so does your digital agency partner. This can be extremely helpful for companies looking to scale and grow rapidly.
Many agencies also follow agile methodology, which is another way they can help you stay ahead in today’s competitive eCommerce landscape.
What is agile methodology?
In short, the agile methodology is when you apply an incremental, iterative workflow in order to steadily move projects forward and complete tasks. Many companies call these bursts of work “sprints.” The agile methodology is based on four core principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
So what does this look like in practice? Essentially, there are a series of small tasks which must be completed at a rapid pace. Once you implement something, you monitor the performance, and plan your next sprint accordingly.
Sounds simple in theory, but in reality, it can get complicated quick. To maintain a sustainable agile model, you need the resources to make it happen. That means a team of strong, strategic thinkers who can collaborate and adapt quickly.
If you were to try and implement the agile methodology on your own, it can easily fall to the wayside due to other business priorities. After all, if a large shipment needs to go out, or you’re waiting to implement an A/B test on the homepage - which do you think takes priority? The customer order of course! That’s why you need a team who can work strategically in the background while you focus on the business savvy that got you to where you are now.
At BVAccel, for example, we use our own special blend of agency-agile with scalable frameworks for all aspects of client services and product delivery. Our agile teams act as an extension of your business, and typically consist of:
- Account Strategist: Owns the strategy on behalf of the client and nurtures client engagement. They are your proactive partners rather than reactive vendors.
- Project Manager: Owns project profitability, timeline, budget, scope and resource planning, and oversees all technical implementations.
- UX/UI Designer: Designs visual and UX infrastructure and works with developers to deliver the creative vision.
- Front-End Developers: Develops all storefront templates and executes functionality requirements.
Is outsourcing your design, development, or marketing to a digital agency partner the right next step?
Ask yourself this question:
What are our overall business goals, and how is our current approach helping or hindering progress towards those goals? If you’re not moving the needle when it comes to design, development, or marketing, it could be time to call in some help.