Merchants that are interested in designing, building, and marketing a new VTEX eCommerce website are likely to consider using the services of a digital agency. Such a team can help with everything from conducting discovery meetings and assessing your needs, to project planning, providing resources to help build and launch your site, as well as any ongoing updates and marketing campaigns for long-term success. So how do you begin?

First, you’ll want to find the right team. It’s always best to find a firm that has experience with the platform that you’ll be building on - in this case, VTEX. Luckily, the VTEX team can help guide and refer you to agencies that they’ve partnered with. Such agencies have access to a wide variety of resources provided by the VTEX team and have a better understanding of the VTEX platform and ecosystem. Ideally, the team will both be experienced with the various facets of E-commerce and will be domestic, offering a better understanding of your needs and goals.

Through the vetting process, you can expect to communicate about the details of your project, allowing agencies to provide background information on billing estimates and terms, turnaround times, methods of communication, and other factors that may be important to you.

Once you’ve finished interviewing potential agencies and chosen one as a long-term strategic vendor to help you succeed with VTEX, you’ll be able to create a more comprehensive project plan so you can begin on various tasks. Every agency is different and tasks may vary based upon the particulars of your website. What the agency will be working on vs. what you’ll be addressing directly through your VTEX Control Panel, will allow you to see when projects typically begin. These may include activities such as:

  • Sharing branding information
  • Conducting Kickoff Meetings
  • Collecting relevant login credentials
  • Creating wireframes and designs, or finalizing the selection of a theme
  • Confirming VTEX Apps that will be integrated
  • Reviewing a plan for getting Content, Data, and Settings ready for launch

During the building process, you should anticipate regular updates from your agency. Often, to keep the project moving at a steady pace, these will generally be small updates via Email or Ticket, providing you with items to review such as new design drafts or a page that has been created within your VTEX storefront for your review. Tickets can provide some benefits when available, as they can make it easier for anyone involved in the project to quickly and easily identify the status and review communications about a task.

All in all, as eCommerce business owners, you’ll need to make sure you provide a person who will be the main point of contact who will make sure that your organization is supplying the agency with timely and constructive feedback and content. This is also to ensure that your team is keeping up with any tasks that you may need to work on such as getting a credit card processing account (payment gateway) from a financial institution. There are many moving parts in an E-commerce site, so it’s definitely a combined effort to reach a successful and timely launch.