If there is one thing that the majority of businesses have learned over the last twelve months, it is that having a strong web presence can be the difference between success and failure. For retailers, the need to digitise has been particularly crucial. The Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown periods forced the closure of most bricks and mortar business premises, placing an unprecedented importance on their websites alongside other means of ensuring continuity.

Retailers without a means of effective online engagement were left at a devastating disadvantage. With almost all contact with customers now happening on the internet, via social media channels or websites, many businesses urgently accelerated their digitisation process.

Now, with a new strict national lockdown in place, the importance of building a strong online presence will only increase in 2021. This means that now is a good time to consider how to optimise your website, and for this, it’s a smart idea to opt for a specialised web development agency.

A Competitive Arena

It’s fair to say that since 2020 saw a rapid surge in companies moving online, there has never been such a competitive time for businesses. Customers looking for products on the internet are no longer restricted by location, and the onus is on businesses to make sure that they stand out from their rivals. A great website is the perfect way to both distinguish your brand, increase conversion rates, and promote return custom. In order to ensure the best results, it makes sense to employ web development experts. However, with so many agencies advertising their services, knowing which to choose can be a daunting proposition.

Choosing The Right Agency

The first step is to take a close look at each contender’s own business website. A good web development company’s website demonstrates the qualities that you want them to bring to your website: easy to navigate, running smoothly without errors, and, of course, looking great. They should provide a portfolio of other brands that they have worked with, along with client reviews. These can help you to gauge whether an agency will be a good fit for your business.

The next step is to ensure that the agency will work with your preferred platform. For many retailers looking to focus on e-commerce in their website, an agency which has the skills and expertise for the Shopify platform would be a good choice. Find out whether your chosen agency will develop your site entirely from scratch, or if they will base it on a third-party platform such as WordPress, as this too might have ramifications for your vision.

Investigate the team who will be working on your website, as a company with versatile, experienced staff is most likely to be able to deliver the best results. Look for a range of qualifications, and competencies in a variety of coding languages such as CSS, HTML, PHP and XML. This evidences that the company will be well equipped to provide the broadest scope of services, as well as handle any future problems.

Price is not a guarantee of quality, so you may well be able to find an excellent web developer for a very reasonable fee. You will also want to be reassured that the agency can keep to the agreed budget. Regardless of the sums involved, it is still important to get all of the costs broken down in advance, in order to avoid the risk of any unexpected costs later on.

A great website can be the best asset your business can have, so it makes sense to invest in expert web developers. Taking time to check that an agency can meet your requirements is the most effective way of ensuring that you get the website you want, and can help your business to flourish in the competitive digitised marketplace.