Some eCommerce professionals are reluctant to embrace having an agency working alongside them. They’re concerned about the possibility of their position becoming devalued.

However, in our experience, the most effective eCommerce campaigns, whether SEO, affiliate marketing or PPC, come from a very close relationship between internal eCommerce staff and agency consultants.

I’m a firm believer that the collective skill set across internal staff and agencies can create truly outstanding campaigns that deliver better results than a similar campaign produced by either group individually.

Let’s look at three ways that an agency can help support your eCommerce team, leading to better decisions, more effective campaigns and above all, a bigger ROI.

1. Starting with strategy…

One of the most valuable agency processes is the creation of an overreaching strategy for any eCommerce campaign.

We’ve experienced, on numerous occasions, eCommerce teams that do really well on individual projects, perhaps seasonal events, but aren’t overly confident on their longer term strategy.

A specialist eCommerce digital agency will already have a strategy planned out before they begin the campaign.

The big advantage here is that while agencies should be helping you day to day with the implementation of their campaign, they also have a longer term goal in mind.

After all, if they want to keep your business, they need to have a long term plan!

The tendency for internal teams to get caught up in smaller projects or short term trends can lead to a loss of direction when considering the longer term aims of your eCommerce channels.

With the expertise and strategy that an agency brings to the table, you’ll have constant reminders of the long term ambitions of the site. Along with the support you receive on daily, weekly or monthly tasks, you’ll be given expert advice on where different aspects of the campaign fit into your longer term strategy.

By making decisions that are influenced by your longer term targets, you’ll see quicker progression. We all know that we appreciate that, whatever we’re working towards.

2. Expert opinion on tap…

Any agency worth their salt will be full of experts across a range of digital marketing disciplines.

Probably the biggest benefit you’ll get from working alongside an effective agency will be having the opinion of an expert just an email or call away. When considering the next move in your campaign, internal opinions should be taken very seriously. You know your business best after all!

An agency however, adds another layer of knowledge to your decision making process, merging your brand values with maximum digital benefits. This knowledge will be invaluable in helping you make better decisions about the future of your eCommerce business.

Your agency should also take a wider interest in your business. Perhaps they can help identify new product ranges to stock, or advise how to educate your customers more effectively to increase conversion rate.

Having access to this kind of advice at the drop of a hat is one of the biggest benefits of having a good agency relationship.

3. Data, data and err, more data…

eCommerce is a primarily data driven channel.

Interpreting the data you collect, from visits to bounce rate to conversion rate to social engagements, can be a real challenge. An agency has the ability to take all of this data and convert it into actionable insights.

Without this interpretation, this data can often go to waste. The cardinal sin in the digital marketing industry is wasting data.

While developing your eCommerce business you may choose to focus on a set of key metrics, usually revenue and visits. Sometimes this leads to a disregard for the wealth of secondary metrics that your eCommerce business relies on.

An agency keeps an overview of a huge range of metrics. They also have the knowledge to spot trends in these metrics.

This all feeds into your decision making process. Before making changes to the site, ask your agency for a data driven answer.

eCommerce professionals should be fighting for an agency relationship, not against it.

The expertise, data and strategy that agencies bring to the table can help any eCommerce professional make better decisions in their work. It can be the catalyst that helps drive your business forward.

If that’s not a win-win situation I don’t know what is.

For more information on work we’ve done with several successful eCommerce brands, get in touch by email ([email protected]) or telephone +44 (0191) 406 1200 and we’ll be happy to provide you with case studies. It’s time to start getting the most out of your eCommerce site.