Global ecommerce sales grew from $3.354 trillion in 2019 to $4.28 trillion in 2020 - a record-breaking 27.6% in one year. While this offers great opportunities for retailers worldwide, it also presents several challenges.
Keeping up with the rapidly evolving ecommerce landscape, the changes in Google's algorithms, while adapting your marketing strategy to your competition and managing the day-to-day operations of your Magento store can quickly become overwhelming.
To tackle the increasing challenges of running an ecommerce business and use the growing industry to your advantage, you'd better address professional Magento consultants to help your business.
Let's explore everything you need to know about finding the best Magento consultant so that you can make an informed decision when you're ready to hire one.
Who is a Magento consultant?
A Magento consultant is an individual or a business that possesses institutional business expertise, demonstrates technical proficiency over Magento and its associated technologies, and provides consulting services to help develop and manage an ecommerce business.
Some of the best Magento consultants in the industry can help you with everything from fundamental tasks like building a Magento store to more complex assignments like analyzing, perfecting, and integrating business processes.
The degree of specialization of a Magento consultant can vary significantly between agencies and individuals. However, most consultants are generally industry experts that offer several Magento-specific services, including:
- Business process optimization,
- Replatforming to Magento,
- Migrations, updates, and upgrades,
- Extension selection,
- Performance, SEO, and security review,
- UI/UX audits,
- Third-party integrations.
Why do you need a Magento consultant?
A quick look at Magento's technology stack will show you that working with Magento requires proficiency with several open-source technologies and programming languages. Further, ranking a website on search engines requires a strong understanding of white-hat SEO techniques and best practices based on Google's recommendations.
But when you're managing staff and suppliers, dealing with customers, and ensuring your business is fulfilling its legal obligations, staying on top of the latest developments in the industry can be difficult.
Magento consultants are professionals with firsthand expertise in all things related to Magento and the ecommerce industry. They provide business owners with easy access to expert knowledge at the business owner's convenience.
Where can you find a Magento consultant?
You can find the best Magento consultant for your business in several places, including:
Google is the best way to find a Magento consultant online. You have the flexibility to search for local and remote consultants, and there's no signup required. You can easily find business reviews, customer testimonials and weigh your options before you contact a business.
If you're on a budget and prefer hiring a freelance Magento consultant instead of an agency, Toptal is perfect for you. They use a strict screening process to ensure only the top 3% of talent are hired through their platform.
If you're open to both freelancers and agencies, Upwork is a great place to look for some of the best Magento consultants. You get access to top talent globally and have the security of Upwork's escrow services to protect your transactions.
If you find that the talent on Toptal and Upwork is limited due to their stringent screening processes, you can turn to Freelancer. Like Upwork, Freelancer gives you access to agencies and individuals offering Magento consulting services globally.
You can use the social media platform LinkedIn to find professionals across the globe. Their search filters allow you to refine your parameters and find individuals or businesses matching your needs.
How to choose the best Magento consultant for your business?
Researching your options and identifying your needs is the best way to ensure you select the right consultant for your business. Here's how you can set your business up for success in a few easy steps.
1. Define your needs and goals
Before you set out to find a Magento consultant, it's best to define your business objectives and the outcomes you wish to achieve. This will make it easier for your consultant to understand your goals and give your business the best chance for success.
You should outline your expectations of the individual or agency you want to hire. Using existing business metrics to identify your current position and outlining expected outcomes after engaging a consultant will help you measure success objectively.
2. Define a budget
Setting a budget after you've defined your objectives will help you allocate resources appropriately to accommodate all your business needs. Without a financial plan, you risk overspending on a consultant or underachieving results due to financial constraints.
For example, the costs of building a new store are higher than an SEO consult or a performance audit. Therefore, budgeting appropriately for your desired outcomes is essential to achieving them. It will also help you identify if an agency or a freelancer is more suitable for your business and set realistic expectations for your consultant.
3. Look at their portfolio
Best Magento consultants usually have a public portfolio on their website for potential clients to browse through their past work and gauge their expertise. However, it's also worth noting that some consultants might only offer portfolios and share past work on request due to contractual obligations.
Viewing a portfolio will give you an understanding of the quality of work you can expect from your consultant and the range of their skills. It will also help you identify consultants with experience in delivering the services you need.
4. Check for partnerships within the industry
Another measure of success and expertise is the number of partnerships a consultant has inside their industry. Development and consultation are collaborative processes, and building partnerships takes time.
Hiring a Magento consultant with partnerships within the Magento community will help you identify those working in the industry for a considerable time and having a good reputation among their peers.
5. Browse client reviews and ask for references
Social proof is essential for all businesses. It helps potential clients gain insights into an organization's business practices. Browsing through reviews will give you an inside look at their past work and what their clients say about them.
Look for reviews that go into detail about the service offered or highlight specific points that stood out to the client. Doing this will help you gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the consultant.
Should you only hire a Magento consultant that's an Adobe Solution Partner?
While a Magento consultant doesn't have to be an Adobe Solution Partner, being one is highly favorable because it speaks to their ability as a Magento expert.
The Adobe Solution Partner Program is designed for companies that employ Adobe technologies (like Magento) through solution development, system integrations, and technological innovations.
Adobe provides its partners with useful resources and discounts on certifications and sales accreditations to help them build a successful practice. They currently offer five levels of partnerships:
- Community partners,
- Bronze partners,
- Silver partners,
- Gold partners,
- Platinum partners.
Adobe's Solution Partner tag helps identify Magento professionals that specialize in consulting about the various aspects of running an online business like website design, branding, Magento customization, and managing Magento integrations.
Staylime is an Adobe Solution Partner with a solid track record of delivering unique solutions for Magento store owners. We specialize in providing end-to-end business solutions and can help you take your business growth to the next level.
Benefits of hiring a Magento consultant
Finding the best Magento consultant for your business can be highly rewarding. With the right partner, you'll see an immediate improvement in your day-to-day activities and be a step closer to achieving your business goals.
Here are some ways hiring a Magento consultant can help your business.
1. Affordable access to experts
Magento consultants provide you with access to expert advice without the overheads of managing payroll or dealing with the costs of onboarding and training employees. You get affordable and timely access to experts at a fraction of the cost and entirely at your convenience.
2. Custom-made roadmap for your business
The ecommerce space is highly competitive. Therefore, analyzing your business performance and outlining a path to success is essential. A Magento consultant can help you create a tailor-made roadmap for your business by performing a SWOT analysis and implementing strategies to improve your business performance.
3. Peace of mind
Whether it's your website's security or SEO performance, an experienced Magento consultant will help you optimize every aspect of your online presence by implementing outcome-focused strategies and following best practices. They can help you focus on growing your business instead of spending time behind website maintenance and optimization tasks.
4. Streamlined business operations
Business process optimization through software integration is one of the primary areas of expertise of a Magento consultant. This includes analyzing your existing operations and infrastructure, designing a workflow that's conducive to your long-term business goals, and integrating different aspects of your business.
5. Improved website design
A user-friendly design is a great way to improve your website shopping experience and boost sales. Magento consultants can identify areas of improvement in your website UI/UX design. They can help you create a strategic plan to improve website usability, drive customer engagement, and increase conversions using industry-specific tools and a thorough knowledge of the ecommerce space.
Need expert help?
Hiring the right Magento consultant can be one of the best investments you make as a business owner. They can help you focus on business growth by integrating your business operations with your store to automate routine tasks and improve efficiency.
Author: Jan Guardian
Jan is the Chief Business Development Officer at Staylime, a Magento design and development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is a Member of the Magento Association and an Adobe Sales Accredited Magento Commerce professional. Jan is responsible for developing and leading the sales and digital marketing strategies of the company. He is passionate about ecommerce and Magento in particular - throughout the years his articles have been featured on Retail Dive, Hacker Noon, Chief Marketer, Mobile Marketer, TMCnet, and many others.