For all the benefits of starting an e-commerce business, the competition is still cutthroat. That’s why, whenever someone gets into the e-commerce game, they must enter it with all of the advantages they can have on their side. This includes, most notably, an e-commerce consultant. After all, the business of e-commerce is still a relatively new phenomenon, with both benefits and pitfalls that the uninitiated should be aware of from the beginning. An e-commerce consultant can smooth the road for the new entrepreneur, giving them advantages that others only discover by trial and error.
Choosing an E-commerce consultant is the easy part. Instead, you must find the right e-commerce consultant who has the experience that an entrepreneur can benefit from, but who knows how to help put their practical experience into action for their benefit. What follows are eight questions that should be asked of an e-commerce consultant before hiring one for the highest possible return on your investment.
1. May I see a complete list of your services? First and foremost, an e-commerce entrepreneur should gather a list of prospective consultants from others who have used one. This is because the world of e-commerce is still too new of a phenomenon for too many to be tried and true. After gathering such a list, contact each candidate and try to meet with them. Even before you meet with them, ask for a list of the consultant’s services.
2. May I see your pricing structure? Knowing what your budget is is essential. Select an e-commerce consultant who is upfront and honest about their services and their pricing. Don’t do business with any consultant who attempts to hide their fees.
3. May I see your complete portfolio? A good e-commerce consultant will have a portfolio of their clients that they will be happy to show you and discuss their successes and failures.
4. What is your experience in e-commerce? There are many marketing consultants out there. Unfortunately, as experienced as many of them are with general marketing, very few have much, if any, experience in e-commerce. Make sure the consultant that is hired knows e-commerce.
5. What is your experience with your clients? Just because someone hangs a shingle out as an e-commerce consultant, doesn’t mean they can get along with clients and help them. Make sure that the one hired can do both.
6. May I see a list of client testimonials? A good e-commerce consultant will have successful clients they will want to talk about.
7. Please tell me about your team and your company values. E-commerce consultants rarely work alone. Instead, many consultants work as a team. Have a prospective e-commerce consultant talk to you about his team and his values.
8. Can I have a trial with you? Many consultants will talk a good story, but not many who can produce. Ask for a trial with a potential consultant to determine whether they are everything they say they are. After all, the proof is in the pudding.
As many e-commerce consultants as there are in the world, some are very good at what they do, but some aren’t. By asking these questions of all your prospective consultants, chances are excellent that you will be able to separate the wheat from the chafe.