5 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Ecommerce Website Developer

Sharon Muniz
June 8, 2020
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5 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Ecommerce Website Developer

Hiring an eCommerce developer to build your website is one of the smartest moves you can make to launch your new business. Sure, you could build your site yourself. But in eCommerce, the user experience is king. The right developer will help you create a fantastic UX – and avoid costly pitfalls that could impact your business for years.

Here are 5 questions to ask when hiring an eCommerce developer:

Ecommerce Developer Interview Question 1:  What platform do you recommend for my e-commerce website?

The right eCommerce platform is not one-size-fits-all. Consider factors like how much design flexibility you need, search engine optimization capabilities, and your budget.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Your inventory management needs: How many products do you ultimately want to sell? Do you need to add products individually or import them in bulk? 
  • How you want users to interact with your site: Do you want customers to login and create accounts to shop? Do you need to have a members-only area? Do you want to have a blog?
  • Sales features: Do you want the ability to offer promotional codes? Do you want to be able to recover an abandoned cart? 

Ecommerce Developer Interview Question 2:  How Will We Scale the Website as We Grow?

Your primary goal when hiring an eCommerce developer is to create a minimally viable eCommerce website. Do not, under any circumstances, try to cram in every feature and functionality into your first version. Not only will your “dream site” take longer to build (and therefore, require a bigger financial investment), what you think a “dream” site should contain will likely not be what your users want.

The best eCommerce websites are developed in iterations. First, create your minimally viable product, then test it and get user feedback. Then dive into creating the second version. The eCommerce developer you hire should have a process for guiding you through testing and refinement of your site.

Ecommerce Developer Interview Question 3:  What Payment Options Can You Support?

When customers are ready to buy, you want to be set up to take their payment however they want to give it to you.

Long gone are the days when you simply had to offer customers the chance to pay with Visa or MasterCard – and where offering Discover and American Express could make you stand out. 

Now you need to consider Paypal, Stripe, Square, Apple Pay, Amazon – and much more. The more options you offer, the more likely you are to offer one that’s the preferred payment option for an individual customer. The eCommerce developer you hire should be able to help you identify which payment options are must-have – and how many to offer in total.

Ecommerce Developer Interview Question 4: What Shipping Options Are Possible?

Once an order is received, you need to ship the goods – quickly, reliably, and affordably. Your eCommerce platform can help, or hinder, your efforts. 

Think carefully about how much you want to automate. (Our recommendation? As much as possible.)

Also, think about how you calculate shipping fees. Do you need to change (or even limit) shipments based on the number of packages you’re shipping, how much you’re shipping, or the customer’s location?

Do you want to allow orders to be split up or otherwise modified at checkout? Do you want local customers to be able to pick up their orders and skip shipping completely?

There are many questions to consider regarding shipping. A good eCommerce developer will help you think through and choose the best options for your business.

Ecommerce Developer Interview Question 5:  Can you provide reports from the e-commerce platform?

To know how well your eCommerce business is performing, you need to monitor key metrics. Your eCommerce platform should be able to provide reports with the metrics you need.

In addition to standard sales reports, you might want reports on where customers are located, which types of devices customers were using when they visited and purchased from your site, the size of your profit margins, and even how well you’re retaining key customers.

The eCommerce developer you hire will be able to help you figure out which metrics are most important, as well as which platforms and plug-ins you need to get the analytics you want.

Which Ecommerce Developer Should You Hire?

Hiring an eCommerce developer is a big decision. The one you hire should have insightful answers to the questions above. Also, look for a developer who asks you questions and offers suggestions to prompt your thinking. After all, we don’t know what we don’t know. Your eCommerce developer should be not only a technical expert but also a strategic guide and powerful partner.

At NCN Technology, we consider more than 73 factors when developing eCommerce websites. If you’re looking for an e-commerce provider near you who can help bring your vision to life and scale your eCommerce business to the next level, give us a call

About the Author: Sharon Muniz is the president of NCN Technology, an IT consulting firm that specializes in helping eCommerce businesses increase sales and revenue with user-friendly, responsive websites. She is passionate about using software technology to diagnose weaknesses and improve processes and profitability. To request a complimentary E-Commerce Website UX Audit, call 703-757-2209 or contact us here.


About the Author

Sharon Muniz

Sharon Muniz established her software development consulting firm in Reston, VA after 15 years of working in the software industry. NCN Technology helps clients implement best practices and software to drive their business to success. Ms. Muniz is skilled at strategic planning, business process management, technology evaluation, project and agile software development methodologies.