6 Things to Avoid in a Magento Agency

Whether you require a large-scale migration, or an enhancement of your existing site, only the best Magento developers will be able to make promises and keep them. So, what are the alarm bells and how do you get the answers you need?

Kira Hawker

Magento has become one of the most popular platforms for ecommerce websites. With over 320,000 websites, and 16% of Alexa’s top one million sites, running on Magento, it has become a game changer for thousands of ecommerce brands.

Why is it popular? Well, it is flexible, scalable and intuitive, with a wide range of extensions to enhance your site’s performance. The basics can be learnt easily and the out-of-the-box solution can help small brands and startups make their way into the ecommerce ether. However, to get the most from Magento you need a dedicated agency who understands not just the Magento platform, but your business as well.

Unfortunately, finding the right ecommerce agency can be tough for a number of reasons. False promises, lack of certification, or a spotty history of success with likeminded brands, can all lead to an unimpressive and ineffective project.

The good news is that there are numerous alarm bells you can take notice of when auditioning agencies for your Magento project. Whether you require a large-scale migration, or an enhancement of your existing site, only the best Magento developers will be able to make promises and keep them. So, what are the alarm bells and how do you get the answers you need?

1. They Don’t Have In-House Magento Developers

One of the biggest red flags of an ecommerce web development agency is if they outsource a large portion of their coding work to companies or freelancers overseas. Magento itself is open-source and, as such, anyone can download it and have a go. Some freelancers make their living entirely off Magento development, so it is not to say they are not talented. However, if you are paying a high price for a dedicated agency to do you work, you want to know it is being done by the team you are familiar with.

The negative of your agency working with outsourced teams, particularly those abroad, is that they are harder to get in touch with. The turnaround time between requests and amends could be significant, depending on time zones, causing delays to the deadline. Teams in countries where English is not the primary language could also see miscommunication or a weaker grasp of your business’ aims and ideals.

2. It All Sounds Too Good to Be True

When you sit down with your potential agency, are they making you offers you can’t refuse? Making promises about your Magento website’s performance, or the suggestion of immediate increases in revenue, is a risky game. Good ecommerce digital agencies worth their salt will understand that Magento is not an exact science, and suggesting you will make an extra million in the first quarter if you hire them is dangerous. The right agency will be confident about their techniques, but realistic about expectations. The best way to avoid agencies like this is to ask for proof of their claims by way of testimonials and case studies from their old clients.


Confused woman

3. They Try to Baffle You with Jargon

If you are looking for an agency to enhance your online offering with a Magento ecommerce site, it is probably because your business lacks the know-how and resources to do it yourself. Some agencies may try to capitalise on this by using technical terms and jargon that you are unlikely to understand. They may do this to baffle you, thereby covering their own gaps in knowledge and experience.

It might be a good idea to get a grasp of the basic Magento and ecommerce terms you would expect to hear, just to give yourself a bit of a head start. An unsatisfactory agency may expect you to be blinded by their seemingly endless knowledge, so you can disarm them with your own understanding, hopefully encouraging clarity for the rest of your meeting.

4. They Offer You Cookie-Cutter Solutions

One of the best things about Magento is that it can offer businesses tailored solutions that are exclusive to their brand and ethos. Some of the biggest ecommerce brands in the world use Magento, including Nike, Ford and Christian Louboutin, and each of their websites supports their brand in a unique and irreplicable way.

A good track record is great for an agency, but not if they are offering the same solution to every client. Look through their portfolio to get an idea of the different industries they have worked in. If you are fashion ecommerce and they seem to have only worked with electronics stores, it could be they are using a cookie cutter solution and replicating it again and again.

Cookie cutter solutions

A good agency will take time to learn about your business and the market you sit in. They should be excited at the prospect of working within your particular industry and passionate about offering you something entirely tailored to the needs of your business and your customers.

- The Gravytrain Approach

5. They Aren’t Up to Date with the Latest Techniques

Ecommerce in general, is an ever-changing entity, with numerous trends growing in momentum every day. Being open-source, anyone can download the source code and build exciting new Magento extensions and capabilities into the basic framework. Your agency should not only be au-fait with the latest and greatest of Magento’s community offerings, creating their own extensions and modules for your project is a huge benefit.

Your new agency should be excited to work on new technology and be on the bleeding edge of techniques and trends.

6. They Don’t Have Magento Certification

Probably the most important red flag to consider is if the agency you are speaking to does not actually have official Magento certified developers. Their web development team should be certified if you are to get complete piece of mind. Essentially, Magento qualifications help to give credence to any claims they may make.

Gravytrain’s dedicated team of web developers are all certified both as developers and solution specialists. This means clients know their site is being built the right way from the very beginning of the project. Certifications are the proof you need as a client that the team you hire have widely-recognised qualifications.


All of the above are aspects to consider when looking for the best ecommerce agency for your brand, but you will know when a team you sit down with strikes the right chord. Magento ecommerce helps brands find huge success, but this is only achievable when you have the best Magento developers at the helm.

At Gravytrain, we use our extensive knowledge of the Magento platform to deliver a website that gives your customers an unrivalled shopping experience. By beautifully showcasing your products and offering a instinctively straightforward user journey from product to payment, we can help inspire consumers to come back again and again.