Updated August 2023.
The demand for e-commerce has been increasing all across the globe, and that means many smaller brands are competing against large enterprises for online sales.
To outshine other brands in your industry and set yourself up for consistent growth requires exceptional planning, knowledge and skills.
That’s where an ecommerce consulting agency demonstrates its exceptional value.
In this post, we’ll walk you through identifying and choosing the right agency for your business and provide a curated list of the top 5 picks.
What Is an Ecommerce Consulting Agency?
Consulting agencies are experts capable of offering guidance and insight to businesses in search of new growth opportunities. An ecommerce consulting agency is a marketing firm with extensive experience in and knowledge of the online retail space.
Capable of turbo-charging your ecommerce earnings, these specialized digital marketing agencies can help you with everything from assessing your target market to conducting in-depth competitor analyses. They’ll also provide guidance on how you can attract and engage your audience through the right marketing campaigns.
Partnering with you on your business growth, consultants can help you to understand why previous advertising campaigns haven’t worked and help you explore new sales channels.
While the exact digital marketing services of ecommerce consultants will depend on who you choose to work with, some common options include:
- Market Research: Top ecommerce consultants are experts in conducting in-depth market research. They can learn everything there is to know about your market, your profit potential, and what kind of complementary markets you may be able to branch into in the future. They’ll also give you insights into your competition, help you develop strategies for differentiation, and assist in homing in on your USP.
- Conversion Rate Optimization: One of the best things an e-commerce consulting agency can do for your business is teach you how to optimize your conversion rate. They can audit everything from your check-out process to the design of your e-commerce website, and offer advice on how you can improve your customer lifetime value.
- Promotion and Marketing: Ecommerce agencies know what it takes to attract customers from your industry and generate brand loyalty. They can help you to explore a host of different marketing strategies, from PPC and paid ads to social media marketing, email advertising, and content production. Some agencies will even help you design your own advertising schedule and campaigns, or offer general business consulting.
- Channel and Customer Analysis: Consulting agencies can conduct research into your target audience and help you build comprehensive customer personas. From there, these professionals can also give you advice on the best possible channels you can use for selling online. This could even mean supplementing your store sales with sales on marketplaces like Amazon or through social media channels.
- Store and Website Building: Some ecommerce consulting firms will be able to assess your store design and give you advice on how you can improve it to make it more appealing to your target audience. They may also be able to assist you with migrating to a better ecommerce platform, building new stores or online shopping applications.
Top 5 Ecommerce Consulting Agencies
Now that you have a good idea of what ecommerce consultants can do, you can begin to sort through your options. (For more tips on what to look for before hiring one, scroll down below this agency list.)
To help get you on the right track, we’ve put together a list of some of the top consulting firms available for ecommerce brands in the world today.
1) Single Grain
- Specializes In: Ecommerce marketing, SEO, conversion rate optimization
- Top Clients: Salesforce, Amazon, Uber
- Pricing: Custom based on your requirements
One of the top ecommerce marketing companies in the world, and a leader in all-things business growth, Single Grain offers full-service ecommerce solutions to today’s growing companies. With Single Grain, you don’t just get a fantastic ecommerce consulting agency to help shape your marketing strategy for growth, you also get a partner capable of assisting you with business promotion.
Single Grain has helped countless leading companies boost their sales online and has a host of case studies and testimonials to prove their value. Most notably, they’ve worked with leading ecommerce brand Amazon to help them boost their promotional strategies.
With Single Grain, you’ll get a bespoke strategy for ecommerce company development built just for you and based on your target audience. They’re masters at conversion rate optimization, SEO, paid media, and an overall digital strategy, so you can rest assured that they’ll help your ecommerce business scale to new heights.
We can count on them to bring new ideas to the table consistently
Check out this super short video from Single Grain founder Eric Siu (with co-host Neil Patel) on e-commerce marekting trends:
- Specializes In: Digital transformation, consulting
- Top Clients: Milwaukee, Cineplex, Tentree
- Pricing: Custom based on your requirements
Northern is an expert business consultant with a focus on commerce and the digital world. The company specializes in guidance for companies that want to improve customer experiences and improve customer lifetime value through meaningful brand experiences.
Northern’s expertise includes an in-depth knowledge of all the leading ecommerce platforms, like Shopify, and the use of crucial tools like Salesforce for tracking customer relationships. With their help, you can build an entire digital strategy for digital transformation from scratch, or discover new ways to reach your audience through different channels.
Northern takes a highly personalized approach to consulting with its clients, so you can rest assured you’ll get service that is custom-made for your needs. They also have plenty of great case studies to read through if you want to learn more about what they can do for you.
Dive Deeper: 8 Best Shopify Apps for Growing E-commerce Merchants
3) Hawke Media
- Specializes In: Branding, consulting, digital marketing
- Top Clients: K-Swiss, Localish, The Plug
- Pricing: Custom based on your requirements
Providing a full-service approach to ecommerce growth, Hawke Media has helped over 3,000 companies grow and evolve over the years. The company specializes in delivering data- and performance-driven strategies for success to the ecommerce business of all sizes and industries.
Hawke offers expertise in everything from digital transformation to online marketing strategies. The company can help you understand your target audience and what it takes to improve their relationship with your brand, as well as give you new modes of increasing your return on investment.
With a wide range of bonus services to choose form, including web design, strategy development, content creation, and assistance with Amazon selling, Hawke media is a great choice for any growing ecommerce company.
- Specializes In: Paid media, digital intelligence, strategy
- Top Clients: Huda Beauty, Instacart, Adobe
- Pricing: Custom based on your requirements
WPromote is one of the highest-rated digital marketing companies on the web today, with a huge roster of services to offer growing companies, including conversion rate optimization, consulting, strategy, and planning.
The WPromote team works closely with every client to create a state-of-the-art advertising plan from scratch, complete with in-depth analytics into your target audience and predictive customer modeling. The team is excellent at reporting and data visualization, and they can help you discover new opportunities for growth across affiliate channels and Amazon.
WPromote can also help out with your marketing strategies, helping you to explore new opportunities in the form of SEO, content marketing, influencer marketing, email marketing, and video. There’s something for every ecommerce brand.
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5) Sumo Heavy
- Specializes In: Agile planning, consulting, digital transformation
- Top Clients: Roku, TYR, Overtone
- Pricing: Custom based on your requirements
If you want a company capable of offering a data-first approach to e-commerce growth, then Sumo Heavy could be the perfect agency for you. The ecommerce consulting firm can help brands with everything from optimizing their e-commerce sites for user experience to planning financial cash flow.
Sumo Heavy is unique compared to a lot of other consultants on the market today because they don’t specialize in marketing and advertising. Instead, this company helps e-commerce companies better understand their marketplace, explore their potential audiences, and develop better approaches to process management.
If you want help with product management, growth or simply migrating to a different digital environment, Sumo Heavy has you covered.
The Benefits of Hiring an Ecommerce Consulting Agency
All over the world, interest in ecommerce opportunities is growing at an incredible rate. For years now, the ecommerce market has offered benefits like convenience and simplicity for customers, but more recently it became one of the most reliable shopping spaces during the pandemic.
After being forced to spend more time online during the last couple of years, consumers from all environments are growing more accustomed to ecommerce stores. Even the B2B market is seeing a rise in ecommerce interest. However, without the right skills and guidance, it’s easy for any ecommerce business to simply blend in with the crowd.
With an e-commerce consulting agency, you can access benefits like:
- Expertise and Experience: Ecommerce consulting agencies typically have a team of experts with specialized knowledge in various aspects of online business, including marketing, sales, technology, and more.
- Strategic Planning: They can help you develop a comprehensive ecommerce strategy tailored to your business goals, target audience, and industry trends. This includes selecting the right platforms, payment gateways, marketing channels, and more.
- Technology Implementation: Selecting and implementing the right ecommerce platform and tools can be complex. An ecommerce consulting agency will know the best solutions that align with your specific needs and budget, and be able to help you with integration and customization.
- Marketing and SEO: Effective online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are crucial for ecommerce success. Consultants will customize a marketing plan for you that increases traffic, conversions, and brand awareness.
- Analytics and Insights: Understanding customer behavior and performance metrics is essential for continuous improvement. Agencies can set up analytics tools, interpret data, and provide actionable insights to optimize your ecommerce operations.
- Customer Experience Optimization: Enhancing the customer experience is key to building loyalty and increasing sales. A consulting firm can help you design user-friendly interfaces that streamline the checkout process and offer personalized recommendations.
- Compliance and Security: Navigating legal regulations and ensuring the security of customer data can be challenging. Getting help with compliance requirements and security measures to protect your business and customers is worth the price alone.
- Scalability: As your business grows, you’ll need to adapt and expand your ecommerce operations. Consultant firms can help you scale smoothly so that your technology and processes can handle increased volume without sacrificing performance.
- Cost-Effectiveness: While hiring an agency requires an investment, it can often be more cost-effective than building an in-house team with the same level of expertise. You get access to a team of specialists without the overhead of full-time salaries and benefits.
- Ongoing Support and Maintenance: Many agencies offer ongoing support and maintenance services, ensuring that your ecommerce site remains up-to-date, secure, and performing optimally.
- Global Expansion: If you’re looking to expand your business internationally, agencies with global experience can guide you through the complexities of international regulations, currencies, shipping, and cultural considerations.
- Innovation and Creativity: Agencies often bring fresh perspectives and creative ideas that can set your ecommerce site apart from competitors. They can help you innovate in product presentation, customer engagement, and other areas.
- Time Savings: By outsourcing to an agency, you can save time and focus on your core business activities. They will take care of the details of your ecommerce operations so that you can concentrate on product development, customer relationships, and other key areas.
- Better Differentiation: As the number of e-commerce companies worldwide continues to grow, standing out from the crowd is growing increasingly difficult. Consulting companies with years of experience helping e-commerce brands grow can work with you to differentiate yourself from your competition.
- Conversion Rate Growth: The best consulting companies know how to deliver measurable financial results for their clients. They’ll audit your existing e-commerce strategy and look for ways to improve your earning potential. For instance, they might suggest selling across multiple e-commerce channels, rather than just relying on your own website.
- Marketing Support: Speaking of advertising, a good ecommerce consulting company should also be able to give you insights into what kind of promotional methods you can use to attract your specific target audience. They’ll analyze your marketplace and competitors, as well as your budget, and help you to choose the ecommerce marketing channels that make the most sense for you.
- Growth Planning: All ecommerce brands want to achieve sustainable growth, but not all of them know how to cultivate this success. Your ecommerce consulting agency can ensure that you have all the right systems in place, including the best ecommerce platform, to allow for rapid growth, including inventory tracking tools, supply chain management plans and more.
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How to Choose an E-commerce Consulting Agency
Just like influencer agencies, marketing agencies and graphic designers, ecommerce consulting agencies come in a range of shapes and sizes, offering disparate selections of services and benefits. The right ecommerce consulting agency for you will depend on exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with your brand right now.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few factors worth paying attention to when you’re looking for the ultimate consulting services.
All good ecommerce consulting agencies will have an in-depth knowledge of the ecommerce landscape and what it takes to appeal to today’s online customers. However, not all of these agencies will necessarily know everything there is to know about your industry.
When choosing an ecommerce consulting agency, ask if the company has worked with other organizations selling products like yours in the past. A knowledge of your target market and what your products offer can speed up the time to value of working with a consultant.
A good ecommerce agency should be able to provide clear proof of why they deserve your trust and investment. You’re turning to this company for guidance in building your brand and achieving higher profits, so you need to know they can deliver results.
Look for an agency that can provide you with regular insights into how their work or support is paying off. A company with access to in-depth reporting and analytics tools can be extremely useful when it comes to determining the ROI of your investment.
The services offered by an e-commerce consultancy can vary drastically from one end of the spectrum to the other. On the one hand, you can find agencies who answer basic questions about e-commerce development opportunities for you, audit your website, and help you to track down new market opportunities.
On the other hand, you could work with a full-service agency capable of offering support with everything from competitor analysis to conversion rate optimization to paid ads. Decide how much support you’re going to need to grow your ecommerce business to the next level when choosing your consulting agency.
A consulting agency is only effective if you can understand the guidance and support they’re giving. Your ideal ecommerce marketing agency should be able to break down the steps required to grow your company into easy-to-follow chunks so you can create a real plan with your team.
When you’re choosing a consultant, as well as a standard marketing agency, it’s always a good idea to arrange for an initial conversation with the company you want to work with. During this conversation, you can ask questions like “which ecommerce platforms are you familiar with?” and “what kind of marketing strategies have worked for brands like mine before?”
🚩 Red Flags to Watch Out For 🚩
If you do your research and look for an ecommerce consulting agency with a background in your industry and plenty of positive reviews from other companies, you should be safe. There are many fantastic agencies out there to choose from that are capable of delivering genuine growth.
However, it’s important to watch out for these common red flags:
- Guarantees: We’d all like a guarantee that our ecommerce brand is going to earn a certain amount of extra money by a certain time. However, a real consulting agency won’t be able to promise anything in good faith. Instead, they can simply give you an idea of what you can accomplish in a general timeframe by implementing the right strategies.
- One size fits all service: Ecommerce growth is not a one-size-fits-all concept. If your consulting agency gives the same advice and guidance to every business, this is a clear sign they’re not taking your unique brand and customers into account.
- Excess jargon: Some new consultants attempt to build their credibility by using a lot of complicated jargon in the initial introduction. Don’t let this fancy language distract you. Look for a company you can understand.
- Lack of transparency: If the agency is not clear about their pricing, processes or the specific services they will provide, this could be a sign of potential issues.
- No relevant experience: An agency that lacks experience in your industry or with the specific platforms and tools you use might struggle to meet your needs. Look for a proven track record (online reviews and testimonials) with similar types of clients. Look for to gauge the agency’s reputation. Consistent negative feedback or a lack of references can be a warning sign.
- Poor communication: If the agency is slow to respond to inquiries, vague in their answers or fails to listen to your needs, this is fairly indicative of potential communication problems down the road.
- Pushy sales tactics: If the agency is overly aggressive in trying to close the deal without taking the time to understand your needs, this can be a sign of a lack of professionalism and customer focus.
- Outdated techniques: The world of ecommerce is constantly evolving, and an agency that relies on outdated methods and technologies may not be able to provide the best results. Look for an agency that stays up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.
- Lack of portfolio: An agency that cannot provide examples of their previous work or case studies may not have the experience or success they claim.
- Hidden fees: Watch out for hidden fees or unexpected costs that are not clearly outlined in the proposal or contract. Also, avoid agencies that are reluctant to put everything in writing.
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Hiring the Right Ecommerce Consulting Agency
A great ecommerce consulting agency can give your business the direction and guidance it needs to grow at an accelerated pace. If you’re looking for opportunities to explore new markets, introduce new products to your store, or simply increase brand awareness, an ecommerce consulting agency can help.