Most businesses come to a point when they need to hire a third-party software developer to assist them with growing their business and tailor their business systems. Hiring a developer to connect you to a cloud-based platform using APIs is easy. Hiring full-cycle e-commerce software developers is a very different thing. It requires thorough research on your side as with full-cycle development you entrust an e-commerce remote team of experts with building your core digital assets.
At first glance, to hire e-commerce app developers looks like a straightforward endeavor, especially having in mind that the booming e-commerce industry gives birth to a large number of software developing companies that offer services related to building online stores and B2B marketplaces.
E-commerce sales stood at $598 billion in 2019 in the United States alone, accounting for about 12 percent of the total sales in retail industry in the leading market.
It means that with the industry being destined to thrive, many businesses will need to hire an ecommerce developer if they are to stand out from the crowd by offering a custom-made solution instead of a template-based cloud platform or off-the-shelf software.
While looking for a custom eCommerce development company, you should bear in mind a combination of skills and expertise that covers both their design and programming abilities as well as qualities that you cannot measure through the number of websites or applications made by a software developer.
This is what this article is about – how to prepare yourself for starting an outsourced full-cycle e-commerce software development project and how to find an ecommerce development team for hire that best fits your needs.
Who Are the E-commerce Developers for Hire?
E-commerce developers for hire are just one part of a complex equation as a full-cycle software development project can only move forward when all key stakeholders are in place, their roles are strictly defined, and all of them are up to the challenge.
To understand how an ecommerce development team works, you need first to familiarize yourself with the entire full-cycle software development process. The chart below shows the six major stages and processes included in a full-cycle software development project.
Source: Husson University
These stages are not specific to e-commerce app development but are applicable to any full-cycle software development project. What makes your project different is that you need software developers familiar with business apps development and be aware of the ins and outs of e-commerce.
That being said, e-commerce offshore developers for hire are a team of experts who have skills to produce a viable and complete e-commerce product, which they customize to your specific needs. As the needs and requirements of organizations vary, this definition covers a wide variety of organizations that would need to hire an e-commerce development team, from a local store through a drop-shipping online store to a company that sells digital products online.
As online sales are now not limited to specific goods only, you can assume that any organization may need the service of an e-commerce software developer at some stage of its business evolution. Today’s e-commerce comprises companies from the full spectrum of the economy, starting with fashion brands and apparel makers, through car dealerships and stores for electronic equipment to e-commerce stores selling only digital goods such as music, video, or software.
Naturally, a good number of e-commerce developers offer their services to businesses that enter the e-commerce space but in fact, only a limited number of them are genuine full-cycle developers.
To understand the difference, you should look back at the process chart above. For delivering a top-notch full-cycle software development service, you need to have deep technical expertise that is equally required at the software planning and analysis stages and later stages such as implementation, testing, and integration. An excellent full-cycle developer also needs a world-class team of designers to make your e-commerce website or application stand out. Last but not least, they should be able to provide post-development support for the e-commerce product they have built for you.
Thus, we come to one of the key questions you should address when considering to hire ecommerce development experts – what specific expertise and know-how you should be looking for.
Essential E-commerce Software Developer Skills: What They Should Know and Be Able To
Before you even consider looking for e-commerce development experts for hire, you should clearly define your requirements toward the final product. Make a blueprint that defines all the expected functionalities of your e-commerce project, be it a website or an application.
If you are to hire e-commerce development experts with the right skill set and technical expertise, you need to clearly know what the product must do and what minimum set of features you need in the final version. Only then you can start asking the right questions to prospective e-commerce developers.
E-commerce Developer Skills to Look For
- Analytical capabilities. No matter whether you are starting your project from scratch or are trying to build on an existing e-commerce solution, you need an e-commerce team of remote experts that can accurately evaluate your specific requirements and core features to implement. This also includes the skills to select the appropriate technologies, software frameworks, and programming languages to use in the implementation stage.
- Appropriate technical expertise. Since you need a working solution you can easily integrate with your other business systems, you need to contract an e-commerce developer with the right technical expertise and background for the project. The level of technical knowledge depends on your project’s complexity as there are simple online stores you can build in a week and sophisticated B2B merchandise platforms that need months to complete.
- Front-end and back-end expertise. An e-commerce team for hire should be skilled in both front-end and back-end development, as your e-commerce product will have both.
- Mobile development skills. Mobile development skills do not pertain only to the developer’s ability to build mobile apps for e-commerce. Even if you are not making a mobile app, your e-commerce product should have an easy-to-use mobile version and work on all computing devices. Internet usage is going increasingly mobile, and so should your e-commerce development solutions go.
- Integration experience. As your e-commerce solution will not work in isolation, your e-commerce developers for hire must be able to seamlessly integrate a product with a variety of business systems, both off-the-shelf products and custom-made ones. A related set of skills includes their testing abilities along with quality assurance practices and know-how.
The truth is that when you are doing your research for a dependable and capable e-commerce developer, who also masters the trade of full-cycle software development, you should closely follow the stages of full-cycle development we described above.
It means that when you hire e-commerce developers, you should research in detail what their actual proficiencies in all fields are:
- Testing and Integration
When it comes to a full-cycle software developer for e-commerce, they should have experience in providing quality service at any of the abovementioned stages of software development.
5 Benefits of Hiring Full Cycle E-commerce Developers
When speaking of the benefits of hiring e-commerce developers, you need to realize that those advantages do not concern only technical or software programming aspects. There are visible financial and operational benefits you gain when you outsource to full-cycle e-commerce software developers. Let’s view in detail several significant advantages:
You Focus on Core Business Activities
Since your organization is not a software developer itself, entrusting an e-commerce development team for hire with building your solution, you are able to focus on your core business activities and continuously develop your business without investing time and money in peripheral activities.
You Invest in Security
Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing IT areas due to the rapidly increasing number of attacks on businesses online and e-commerce sites in particular. Fraud prevention, anti-malware defenses and programming code without security vulnerabilities are essential components of a viable platform for e-commerce, be it an online retail store or a B2B solution. Off-the-shelf platforms are more or less secure but if you need a custom-made solution, then outsourcing the task of software development or customization is unavoidable, as it requires very specific expertise.
You Get Access to Innovative Solutions
By having an e-commerce remote team of experts working for you, you actually get access to their specific know-how and become able to implement and support innovative eCommerce development solutions you cannot get by adopting a ready-made software.
Furthermore, by having a service level agreement that stipulates continuous post-development support you can rest assured that your tailored e-commerce solution will be updated and upgraded when a need arises or when a specific technology advances further.
Integrating your business systems with third-party software is a messy thing even if there are ready-made APIs available. Some applications can make heavy lifting of integration on your behalf, but they also have limits and do not include specific integrations you may need.
In contrast, an outsourced e-commerce developer can integrate your software with actually any other application and even with legacy systems that many businesses still rely on. You can also be able to integrate with various payment processors and online payment gateways, which is not always easy, especially for a larger business.
Adopting a new or redesigning an existing e-commerce solution is full of risks that may occur at any implementation stage. A single programming code bug may leave your entire IT ecosystem vulnerable to cyber-attacks, for instance. Incompatibility issues may ruin a carefully designed sales funnel due to clients being unable to take advantage of specific channels or options.
When you hire a reputable outside e-commerce developer, experienced in testing and integrating applications the right way, you reduce those risks to an acceptable minimum. What is more, they can run a variety of additional tests for you, ensuring all inter-connected systems are running smoothly and no security gaps exist within your IT infrastructure that is accessible to customers, partners, and visitors.
In a typical use case scenario, you get these and more benefits from hiring a respected remote team of e-commerce experts. The one-million-dollar question is how you find and hire e-commerce app developers you can trust with your core business systems.
8 Tips on How to Hire E-commerce Developers
In fact, the process of hiring full-cycle e-commerce developers mostly repeats the process of assessing their professional expertise and qualities. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning a few steps you can follow during the process of researching e-commerce developers for hire.
Look for Technical Expertise that Meets Project Requirements
After you have completed your homework and have defined a set of core requirements your e-commerce solution should meet, start looking for a full-cycle software developer team with relevant skills and technical expertise.
Not all software-developing companies are born equal and each team is better in one kind of solutions even though many companies work on projects with different requirements. Looking for specific certifications may also come handy when selecting the right developer.
Check Types of E-commerce Projects Completed
There are plenty of e-commerce platforms you can customize to your needs. There are also open-source platforms, which are even more customizable.
It is worth checking what experience the e-commerce developers have with platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce or Shopify as well as various B2C and B2B platforms for online stores.
Another factor to consider is the overall complexity of the projects completed as developing a one-page online store is not the same as a B2B marketplace, for instance.
Explore Service Models
You need a flexible pricing and service delivery model that fits your budget. That is why you need to explore in detail the engagement models the e-commerce developer is offering.
It might be a fixed price, dedicated hiring, or hourly price model, but in any case, there should be a number of options to choose from. The billing model is another thing you should have in mind as well as their policies in case of unexpected issues or occurrence of force majeure circumstances.
Check Work Processes
It makes a difference whether a team of e-commerce development experts for hire follows Agile or Waterfall methodology. They may also stick to other methodologies such as Agile, CI/CD, or DevOps. On the other hand, they may use a combination of any of these approaches toward software development.
The difficult task here is to determine which specific approach is most suitable for your project, so take your time and communicate the direction you require in advance.
Milestones and Communication Channels
As you are probably hiring a remote team of e-commerce developers, you should have an explicit agreement on how your overall communication will be conducted.
Evidently, they should be flexible in this regard by offering a number of different communication options as well as update frequencies.
More important is that you should know how milestones would be defined, completed, and reported to you in advance.
Rights over Intellectual Property
Intellectual property rights are a business-critical point you should discuss and agree on before you hire a developer for even the smallest task.
You must communicate and ensure that all intellectual property rights stay with you, including rights over illustrations, graphics, web copy, and the programming code. Ensure that the developer has established policies to hand over all the original source materials to clients upon project completion.
Another best practice is to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which protects not only your communications but also requirements and specifications exchanged in the course of project completion.
Post-Development Support and Warranties
Software products are aging fast, not to mention that actually any software needs post-development bug-fixing and removal of vulnerabilities that occur over time.
Make sure that your selected e-commerce developer offers reliable support service and is ready to update your software when needed.
You also need exclusive warranties covering uninterrupted work of the e-commerce solution you have commissioned.
Look for References
Looking for references is often cited as the best practice in hiring third-party developers. Still, it is useless to rely on such references without checking all the above points before that.
Furthermore, the world of e-commerce software development is a fast-paced one with new market players emerging daily. In its turn, it means that you cannot expect a high number of references from a good number of developers who are just entering the market.
The lack of references does not make an e-commerce developer a peripheral market player, although having at least some references is a good sign.
Grow Your Business with Joinsoft
In light of the above, Joinsoft can help you develop your e-commerce project by offering a complete set of services including custom software development, web application development, and mobile app development. Our e-commerce development team for hire also specializes in application re-engineering and UI/UX design services.
Joinsoft offers flexible pricing models with a fixed price, time and materials, and dedicated team pricing all being available. Our engagement models are tailored to your specific needs, providing options for hiring a dedicated team of e-commerce developers, a dedicated specialist or an extension to your team by hiring an IT expert to assist you with particular tasks.
You can get an instant project cost estimate by using our online cost calculator.
Hiring a top e-commerce remote team of experts is not rocket science but requires you to invest some time and effort into careful research of all available candidates that have passed through your pre-screening process.
You can start by assessing factors such as technical expertise, knowledge of specific languages and frameworks and software development methodologies before you start exploring additional details like pricing, post-development support, and maintenance.
All these factors matter, but the right approach is to begin with a few fundamental requirements that meet your e-commerce project’s demands and only then move on to discuss and elaborate a more comprehensive set of service capabilities and service offerings.