There are over 250,000 merchants on Magento for eCommerce. The vast ecosystem of Magento developers and technology partners is often a driving force for merchants to choose Magento as their platform for growth. One of the greatest benefits of Magento can also be one of the most daunting problems. At some point every merchant struggles with deciding on the right technology partner or extension to meet their need. With so many choices, how do you decide the right choice for your business?
Our clients engage the Kadro team regularly to help identify, evaluate, and integrate potential technology partners and extensions that can satisfy business needs.
So how does the Kadro team help our clients? We start by continually educating ourselves about the possibilities. The solutions and architect teams routinely meet with technology partners to understand their offerings and evaluate whether their solution aligns with any known customer needs. Some of these technology partners we enter into a formal relationship with as you can see on our partner page. Formal relationships provide us better access to technology partner resources and support that we can leverage to benefit our clients.
The solutions teams working directly with clients internally share their experiences, positive and negative, with third party extensions. Kadro uses those experiences to advise clients on what extensions or extension providers to avoid, and which ones clients have had more positive experiences with.
Selecting the right technology partner can be very complex. Is there a cost difference? Are there functional differences? How well does the technology integrate with Magento without development? Can the technology solution also integrate with other systems in our technology stack? So how do we do it? We help separate the sales pitch from the offering. As an example, below is a list we use when our clients are evaluating Digital Marketing Platforms (formally called ESPs – email service providers). These same criteria can truly be used for any technology partner/extension with a few tweaks. Also listed are some unique points on each bullet that we ask our customers to consider.
- Presales and Sales Engagement
- The buying journey for consumer, and even businesses, is an emotional decision. You have to feel strongly about a vendor that you are going to partner with for 3+ years.
- Eases of use of the technology platform
- How much training will you need to work on the platform? Is there an additional expense to get training?
- Integration capabilities
- Out of the box the solution should integrate with Magento, but what if you need to connect to your ERP, OMS or other 3rd party systems. Can this be done? What is the level of effort to make that happen?
- Account Team/Support
- Who will you be working with on a day-to-day basis? What is the escalation path when you have issues? Are you comfortable working with these people? By default their team will become an extension of your team.
- Professional Services
- Should you need additional help in creative, copywriting or enhanced strategy can they help you? If so what are the associated costs?
- Overall digital marketing tools
- Will the tools presented enhance your customer interaction today, tomorrow and into the future?
- Maturity of the platform and growth potential
- How long has the partner been in business? How many clients do they have? What is their churn rate?
- Proposed Contract length
- Are you looking to kick the tires or make a long-term decision? How does this affect your budget?
- Access to partner executives
- Do you have access to the partner executives? Do you need it?
- IP address warming strategy
- Very email specific, but this is mission critical for any company who has switched ESPs.
- Deliverability Service (inbox placement)
- Again email specific, but very important.
- Product roadmap
- What does the future hold? Does their roadmap that resonate with yours?
- Current Kadro customers’ feedback
- This is the best! Hear from real life customers who are not references given to you by the sales team. We have found this to be a great way for merchants to talk to other merchants and have a true conversation about the partner being evaluated.
Hopefully the above process resonates with you. This is the service we strive for at Kadro. If you have questions regarding the Magento ecosystem, are looking to build a Magento eCommerce store or seeking a new Magento Partner to help you maximize your investment in Magento contact us here at Kadro!