June 19, 2017

As the popularity of Shopify grows (they now host more than 400,000 stores) - more and more designers, developers and marketers are starting to support the platform.

Now while having lots of Shopify Experts to choose from is great from a merchant's perspective - it makes deciding whom to work with much more difficult, and potentially frustrating.  

To help reduce the frustration factor, we've created a simple scorecard which will allow you to easily assess each Shopify Expert that you interview. Download the scorecard

This will help ensure that you find the perfect fit for your next project.

Finding a Shopify Expert

The best place to find experts is the Shopify Experts portal - it's great because it allows you to search by location and also skillset.

Another great option is to ask for referrals from friends and colleagues on Facebook or LinkedIn.

If both of these options don't work out, you can also find Shopify Experts on crowdsourcing websites such as Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer.

To shortlist your candidates, visit their websites, read any case studies and look at their portfolios.

Once you've developed a shortlist (between 3 - 5 experts), call prospective candidates and organise a phone or in-person meeting to discuss your project.

The meeting

You can use the scorecard before (to help with an agenda), during (to assess the Shopify Expert) or after (to reflect upon) the meeting.

Just mark an 'x' in the box if the company was able to answer the question satisfactorily. 

Once you've asked all the questions - tally up the results.

After you've completed all the meetings, compare the results and decide on you preferred candidate.

If there isn't a clear winner - try to reduce the list to two experts (three at the most) - then request a proposal (based on your project brief) from these providers.

Once you've received all proposals, you should be able to make a final call on who is the perfect fit.

*****

Oh, and in case you are considering working with us ... here are our answers to the scorecard questions:

Experience

1. Have you been in business for over three years?

Sure have! This is our 9th year in business.

TIP: 5 years + is even better.

2. Are your team in-house?

We have an AWESOME team (seriously... love you guys!) and a number of FANTASTIC contractors (graphic designers, photographers etc.) that we use depending on the project requirements.

Shopify Experts

Our local team

Overseas Team

Our team in India

TIP: Look for an in-house team or a blend of in-house and contractors.

3. Are you specialists in conversion optimisation?

Our mission is to build high-converting Shopify stores.

We've built, managed and optimised 200+ Shopify stores - this means we've developed a strong understanding of what converts and what doesn't.

 Shopify Conversions

TIP: Work with a team that helps you improve your conversion rates.

4. Can you walk me through a few of your portfolio pieces?

Happy to talk you through our work in person or over the phone (you can book a time here). Alternatively, here's our portfolio.

TIP: Look for examples which show the agency solving core business problems.

5. Can you provide references from 3 companies?

Yes, we'd be happy to provide references (names and phone numbers) from as many clients as you would like.

By the way, here are our verified Shopify testimonials.

TIP: If they cannot provide names and phone numbers this is a RED FLAG.

6. Do you have any client case studies or interviews?

Definitely, here are our client interviews.

TIP: Look for examples which show the agency solving core business problems.

Process

7. Can you walk me through the build process?

Sure can - article coming soon!

TIP: Be sure they address site planning, development, design, content, SEO, and post-launch activities.

8. How do you manage projects, client expectations, and meet deadlines? 

We use Basecamp (a project management software) to manage all of our projects.

All communication, deadlines, and approvals are managed through Basecamp.

From a client perspective - it's as easy as sending an email.

Basecamp

TIP: Look for an easy to understand system and a highly communicative team.

9. How do you cater for mobile users in the design and development of a site?

We use mobile responsive themes and also customise for mobile were required.Find out more here.

TIP: Check yes if they can provide a responsive design and testing.

10. Will you provide a contract including a scope of work?

Yes, definitely, here's a sample contract and scope of work (created with an awesome tool called Proposify) for a fictional client - Vandalay Industries.

TIP: This should include planning, design, development, and post-launch activities including migration if for re-design.

Support

11. Do you offer flexible support and training?

As a teacher, I know how important in-depth training and support are - that's one of the reasons we continually post and answer questions on Quora, YouTube, and our blog.

Flexibility is the key when it comes to our training - we train in-house, on-site or via video conferencing. The minimum training is 1-hour post launch but this can be extended to a full day workshop if required. 

In terms of support plans, we offer blocks of development time (GROW blocks) which are valid for 12 months.

Raksha was our operational contact who was outstanding and efficient. 
The training for the Shopify was excellent and the follow up and clarification on certain elements has been exceptional.

Rob Duncan

TIP: Look for one-hour training minimum & ongoing support plans.

12. Can you assist with marketing after the launch?

We sure can... we specialise in Facebook advertising, funnel development and conversion optimisation. We have partners who can help with Google Adwords and SEO.

TIP: This includes email marketing, social media, conversion optimisation etc.

13. What systems do you have in place to gauge the ROI on our marketing campaigns?

We use a variety of systems to measure and report on the ROI of marketing campaigns.

When we provide a quote we will give you a clear breakdown of costs and the reporting process.

TIP: This should include a clear breakdown of costs and regular reporting.


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