7 Quick Steps to Choose the Best Shopify Development Company

Dec 21st, 2023 11 min to read

Want to assign your Shopify project to someone reliable??? And, unable to pick the right one from all the options out there?? 

I see. Well, if this is the case, you’re at the right place! 

Finding the right Shopify agency from a wide range of options worldwide is like finding a needle in the haystack.

Don’t worry. Here, we’ll guide you through the complete process of hiring the best Shopify development company. Just follow these steps and you’ll perfectly compare potential Shopify partners.

Ready?? Let’s start, then.

Pre-requisites Before Hiring a Shopify Development Agency

Let’s not forget the most important thing before you jump to the research part.

Here are some essential pre-requisites to consider:

1. Define Your Requirements and Objectives

So, you’ve decided to take your Shopify store to the next level with the help of a Shopify agency. But what do you really need??

“taking a Shopify store to the next level” doesn’t convey what you’re exactly looking for. Thus, you’ve to be clear with the project definition before you approach a Shopify development team.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself:

  • What do you want to achieve with the help of Shopify experts?
  • Which Shopify service are you looking for?
  • What specific features and functionalities do you need?
  • What is the expected outcome?

Now list down all the points on a paper that clearly describes your requirements. Also, include some references if you have to help them understand the expected outcome.

2. Project Cost or Budget 

Here you should be aware of two things:

  1. how much does the Shopify development cost
  2. how much you’re ready to spend

You must have an amount in your mind right now. It will help you compare with the quotations you get from the top Shopify development companies. Just ensure your budget matches the current cost to hire a Shopify expert.

3. Project Duration or Deadline

Project Duration or Deadline

The Shopify development team will definitely give you an estimated Turnaround time (TAT).

A realistic timeline is necessary to make sure a Shopify development project progresses as intended and expectations are managed. The time frame could be extended if there are more complex elements or features involved.

4. Preferred Location of Service Provider

Do you prefer working with an agency in your area or remotely?

Carefully evaluate specific requirements such as features, budget, and timeline to ensure they are within your financial capabilities and that project completion stays realistic.

Remember, if you want the exact outcome, you must give the exact inputs to the service provider before they start execution. 

Here’s an example of the project definition I prepared for my dream store:

Project definition example for Shopify store development

Once you’re prepared with all the prerequisites given above, you are all set to hire a Shopify development company. So, let’s understand the complete process.

How to Choose the Best Shopify Development Company

The hunt for the perfect Shopify development company has begun, and you have a set of steps to guide you through.

We’ll walk through each step: from shortlisting reputable companies to evaluating portfolios and interviewing agencies until you find your ideal fit.

Step 1: Find the Reputable Shopify Development Companies

To start this process, we need to find and narrow down reliable agencies that specialize in Shopify development services.

Frankly speaking, there are many ways to find the best Shopify development companies out there. But, I would suggest one of the most reliable platforms “Clutch” (trusted by almost all the successful brands).

Unlike other platforms, Clutch offers genuine client reviews, detailed agency profiles, and powerful filtering options that let you find companies based on your specific needs and budget.

Finding the Reputable Shopify Development Companies on Clutch

Here’s how to use Clutch to find and shortlist the best Shopify agencies for your needs:

  1. Use the search bar at the top of the Clutch website to enter “Shopify development.”
  2. Filter your search by location, hourly rate, project size, and other criteria.
  3. Use the “Free Consultations” filter to see only companies that offer free consultations.
  4. Check the company’s portfolio.
  5. Check does the company has experience working on projects similar to yours.
  6. Look for reviews that mention the specific services you need.

If you have limited time, you can simply use the additional features of Clutch:

  • Use the “Clutch Verified” filter to see only companies that Clutch has verified.
  • Read the “Clutch Score” for each company. The Clutch Score is a rating of a company’s overall quality based on several factors, including client reviews, industry awards, and Clutch’s own research.

Once you’ve checked the services and read the reviews, shortlist at least 10 companies that you think might be a good fit.

Step 2: Evaluate Their Portfolios and Case Studies

Words are great, but results speak louder. To assess the true effectiveness of Shopify web development companies, let’s dive into their portfolios and case studies. Here’s how:

1. Ecommerce Niche or Industry: When evaluating a firm’s portfolio, look for work related to your own vision. If you plan on having an ecommerce store centered around fashion items consider companies that have effectively designed Shopify stores tailored towards such industry requirements – this will give assurance they can meet your desired expectations from the site built.

Shopify stores with specific industry

2. Website Speed: Test client website URLs using website speed testing tools (such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix) for both desktop and mobile loading speed.

3. User Experience (UX): Navigate the client websites and assess the overall user experience. Is it intuitive and easy to navigate? Are there any confusing layouts or functionalities?

4. Mobile Responsiveness: Check how the websites adapt to different screen sizes. Do they look good and function well on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices?

Checking mobile responsiveness of Shopify website

5. Checkout Process: Try placing a test order to see if the checkout process is smooth and user-friendly. Does it offer various payment options and secure processing?

6. Conversion-readiness: Look for elements like clear calls to action, product recommendations, and abandoned cart recovery mechanisms. Do they seem strategically placed and well-designed?

7. Traffic Numbers: Use Ahref’s free Website Traffic Checker to analyze traffic on client websites. Look for a steady increase year-over-year, indicating growth during the agency’s partnership. Higher traffic usually translates to happy, successful clients.

Ahref’s free Website Traffic Checker to analyze traffic on client websites

Combine these methods with a thorough portfolio review to find the Shopify agency that’s the perfect fit for your business. If possible, try to connect with the clients and ask about the service and experience they had with the Shopify developers working on their project.

Step 3: Contact Them for Quotations

Once you have reviewed the portfolios and case studies, it’s time to reach out to your top picks for quotes. Now here, you will need the project definition that you prepared earlier.

Simply fill out their contact form or just call them directly for a quick response. Once the Shopify development quotes arrive, you can identify which agencies come under your budget. Make sure to confirm what is included in the price tag (i.e. the deliverables) to avoid hidden charges. 

To ensure a transparent pricing plan and avoid unwelcome bills down the line, understanding all charges should come before making a final decision on which firm you’ll work with for Shopify development projects.

Step 4: Interview Shortlisted Shopify Agencies

Interview Shortlisted Shopify Agencies

The interviews or meetings with the chosen agencies can be done here. Ask questions about their:

  • working practices
  • problem-solving methodology
  • analytics systems they use
  • past projects they have completed

Still confused about what exactly to ask? 

Here is the full list of questions, you can ask the Shopify developers:

  1. Do you have experience working on projects similar to mine in terms of industry, size, and goals?
  2. Can you provide references from past Shopify clients with similar projects?
  3. What is your estimated timeline for completing this project?
  4. Can you walk me through your development process from start to finish?
  5. What specific Shopify development skills and experience do your team members have?
  6. Can I speak to the skilled Shopify developer from your team?
  7. How do you handle unexpected challenges or issues that may arise?
  8. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest Shopify trends and features?
  9. How often will you provide project updates and progress reports?
  10. What is your preferred communication method (email, calls, project management tools)?
  11. What project management tools or platforms do you use?
  12. What after-sales support services do you offer?
  13. Do you offer bug fixes after project delivery?
  14. Do you offer ongoing maintenance and optimization services?
  15. How can you help me scale my Shopify store as my business grows?
  16. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a Shopify development agency?
  17. What sets you apart from other Shopify development agencies?
  18. Can you provide a detailed breakdown of your project costs and fees?
  19. Do you offer any fixed-price packages or hourly rates?
  20. What is your payment schedule?
  21. Are there any additional fees or hidden costs that I should be aware of?
  22. Do you offer flexible payment options or phased project milestones?
  23. What is your policy for revisions and changes to the project scope?
  24. Do you offer any guarantees or warranties for your services?

Remember, these questions are just a starting point. Tailor them to your specific needs and project requirements. 

Be aware of how each agency responds as it will signify how things will progress later on during the project. Pay attention to whether or not their responses are clear and understandable, do they understand what you need? Are there any topics that seem unclear?

Also, ensure transparency when discussing the processes involved throughout this venture. You can also negotiate the development cost at this point.

Step 5: Compare the Finalists based on Key Factors

After the interviews/meetings you had with the Shopify eCommerce development companies, now you can evaluate them based on the responses you received.

Let’s do it with the help of a scoreboard. I’ve prepared a sample scoreboard to make your work easy! 😎😊

FactorWeightageAureate Labs
Company 1
Company 2Company 3Company 4
Clear development process20%4/54/55/54/5
Skillful developers 20%5/53/53/52/5
Good communication 20%5/54/52/55/5
After-sales support 15%4/53/53/52/5
Long-term vision 10%3/54/55/53/5

You can use the same table for the evaluation or add more key factors (the evaluation criteria that are important for you) to your scoreboard. Also, feel free to adjust the weights assigned to each factor based on your specific needs.

When comparing, think about every aspect that you assessed: experience, services, portfolio review, customer reviews/testimonials as well as cost considerations for the service. These are all fundamental parts when choosing who will win this comparison test.

Step 6: Hire the Best Shopify Development Company

Hire the Best Shopify Development Company

After doing your research and comparing the different Shopify development companies, now it’s time to settle on a final decision. 

You have already gathered all the necessary information and this will help you decide what works best for your project. Once you’ve made up your mind on which firm to go with among all of these best Shopify agencies, reach out to discuss each detail of your project. 

Here, you may sign the contract with the agency. Make sure to check the agreement thoroughly before you take the final step.

Make sure you know what your objectives are, decide on budget restrictions and timeline goals before searching for the ideal partner!

So the steps to choose the best Shopify development company end here. Now you can start finding the best contestants for the selection process.

Let’s meet the one below!

Why Choose Aureate Labs as Shopify Development Agency

Choose Aureate Labs as Shopify Development Agency

For top-notch Shopify development services, Aureate Labs is the partner to trust. 

Our team of Shopify developers specializes in all aspects of the process from migration to theme customization for whatever you need done on your website. Our customer satisfaction guarantee coupled with versatile hiring offers makes us stand out among other Shopify development agencies. 

Let’s explore some figures!

  • Years of experience: 10+
  • Staff count: 60+
  • Avg. project cost: $4000
  • Happy clients: 270+
  • Specialization: Development, SEO, UX Design, Performance, Migration.

You can find Aureate Labs as a reliable and trusted partner when it comes to creating innovative solutions powered by results. I know, trusting someone all of a sudden is difficult. So, we offer 10 HRS RISK FREE TRIAL for growing store owners like you. Claim your first free 10 hrs now!!

Sagarika Das
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