How to find the best ecommerce marketing agency for your brand

Marketing your ecommerce brand is a huge task. It requires consistency, dedication, and a solid knowledge of your market. With stiff competition (there are also over 12 million ecommerce companies in existence), you’ll need to be on top of the latest marketing trends to stay ahead. 

If you’re a growing brand with very few hands on deck, it can be tricky trying to keep up. 

Partnering with an ecommerce marketing agency is going to give you a leg-up. You’ll get an expert perspective on your business, along with tools you can take with you into the future.   

Sounds nice, right? 

But how do you pick an ecommerce agency that best suits your business? 

To give you a helping hand, we’ve compiled a list of the different types of agencies (including what tasks they can take off your hands), how to find the right one, and how to make the most of your partnership. 

The benefits and drawbacks of hiring an ecommerce marketing agency

Unsure whether an ecommerce marketing agency is for you? Here are some key benefits followed by some drawbacks so you can make a well-rounded decision. 

Benefits of hiring an agency: 

  • Unlock expertise: Tap into the expertise of a team with lots of experience. An agency will have cherry-picked team members who are great at different marketing activities. 

  • Test new channels: You may already have an in-house marketing team working on your content or email strategy. But they might not have the knowledge to expand into new channels like paid ads. Bringing in a specialist agency to focus on new areas will help you test the waters and decide if you want to invest more in these channels. 

  • Access to specialist technology: Agencies often have access to premium technologies and the latest software. It can add up trying to invest in them all yourself, but partnering with an agency gives you access by proxy. 

  • Get an outsider's perspective: It can get insular working on your business day in, day out. Partnering with an agency can provide a fresh perspective on current trends and big-picture ideas. 

  • Hire an expert without a full-time price tag: Hiring an ecommerce marketing agency isn’t cheap, but hiring a full-time employee can be more expensive. You’ll get specialist expertise at value-based pricing when you work with an agency (and you can say part ways at the end of your contract if it doesn’t work out).  

Drawbacks of hiring an agency: 

  • They don’t know your brand: Introducing a new agency to your brand is going to require a little learning period. They need to get used to your brand guidelines (if you’ve already established them), and they need to understand your values. This probably won’t be a problem for long-term partnerships (and in-house employees), but if you’re only hiring an agency for a few months, they’ll need to ‘get’ your brand quickly.  

  • They could be working with your competitors: Not all agencies will list every single client they work with. So, there could be a real chance that they’re working with one of your competitors. This could work in your favour - the agency will understand how to set you apart. But, there’s also the risk that they’ll replicate what they’ve done before. 

  • You’ll need to manage them: Hiring an agency is a partnership and you’ll need to set aside time to manage it. This means that you can’t just send them a brief and off they go. You’ll need to nurture the relationship, set expectations and have difficult conversations if things aren’t going to plan. 

The different types of ecommerce marketing agencies for brands

Are you a pro at Instagram but rubbish at paid ads? 

Maybe you’re struggling to increase your conversion rates, or want a trusted partner on board to help you through those pesky algorithm changes. 

Whatever your reasons, an ecommerce marketing agency can give you a helping hand. 
You could opt for a generalist digital marketing agency that’ll take over your entire digital marketing strategy, including social media, paid ads, email, and content. They’ll essentially build and execute all types of digital marketing campaigns. Or, you can invest in a specialist ecommerce agency that’ll focus on one specific area of your marketing. 

Here are the different types of specialist agencies: 

  • Branding agencies: Get help figuring out your brand visuals, messaging, and positioning in the market. 

  • Web design and Shopify agencies: These agencies help build online stores from start to finish with an emphasis on graphic design and user experience. 

  • Social media agencies: Hand over your social channels to the pros. These agencies will often create a custom strategy as well as carry out the day-to-day execution. 

  • Paid ad agencies: Work with paid ad experts who can set up and monitor campaigns across multiple different digital channels, including Google, Facebook, and Instagram. 

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) agencies: SEO agencies focus on improving your rankings in the search results through keyword research and SEO strategies. 

  • Email marketing agencies: These agencies help ramp up your email efforts. They might create sequences, segment customers, and build out automated campaigns that whir away behind the scenes. 

  • Content marketing agencies: Get help with your content marketing strategy, including planning and content creation.

  • Conversion rate optimisation agencies: These agencies are solely focused on increasing your conversion rate. They run tests, tweak visuals and copy, and analyse your site's performance. 

How to brief an ecommerce agency for the best experience

To get the most out of your agency partnership, you need a good brief. It’ll be hard to help you if you don’t know what you need Make it easy for any partners you bring on board by clearly laying out your hopes and expectations.

Here’s some key points to include in your brief. 

  • Info about your brand: State the size of your brand, including monthly revenue, how many customers you have, the size of your team, where you’re based, and what kinds of products you sell. This is also a good time to highlight your company mission and what makes you different from your competitors. 

  • Business goals and objectives: Before you talk to an agency, nail down your goals. What do you want to achieve with an agency that you can’t achieve on your own? If you’re working with a specific type of ecommerce marketing agency (like a social media marketing agency), be sure your goals align with their expertise. Here are some example: 

    • Increase KPIs, like average order value, customer lifetime value, and monthly revenue 
    • Create a more streamlined brand and position it in the market
    • Reduce the number of abandoned carts
    • Increase social media conversions with Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and TikTok ads
    • Improve customer retention rates 

  • Customer personas: Any agency you work with will want to know who you’re selling to. Provide an overview of your ideal customer, including their average spend, favourite products, demographic information, and interests. 

  • Your biggest competitors: Let agencies know what (or who) you’re up against. Provide a list of your top 3-competitors and highlight what you like and dislike about their brand, digital marketing strategies, and campaigns. 

  • Your budget: It’s important for agencies to know how much budget they have to work with. Providing a ballpark figure will give them an idea of how much they have to play with. 

  • Strategy-specific information: This section will ultimately depend on the type of agency you want to work with. For example, if you’re on the hunt for an email marketing agency, you’ll outline how many subscribers you have, what tools you use, and your current email marketing stats. 

  • Your engagement expectations: Finally, outline how you want to work with an agency. Discuss how you’d like assets to be delivered and what level of communication you’re looking for. Dash is a great marketing asset management tool which helps you share content with an agency in one central place, so this could be a good time to mention the tools you prefer to use. 

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Where to find an ecommerce marketing agency? 

You could use trusty old Google, but with hundreds of ecommerce marketing agencies out there it can feel overwhelming. And that’s especially true if you don’t have a tonne of time and want to get a new partnership off the ground ASAP. Here’s how you could begin your search: 

  • Ask your social network: Social channels like LinkedIn and Reddit are great places to ask for referrals. You could post a question or look for people who work at agencies and ask to connect. This way, you can establish a relationship quickly and get a feel if they’re right for you. 

  • Get recommendations from colleagues: Ask the people you work with if they’ve used an agency before. Even if they haven’t had the best experience with an ecommerce marketing agency, they can advise you on who to avoid! 

  • Check out competitors: As we mentioned, it could be an advantage if an agency has worked with your competitors. For example, if you love a competitor's website you might want to check out their agency so you can get a design that’s just as good. Or, there may be a non-competitor that has similar brand values to you. You could find out if they used an agency for their branding. 

  • Search an online database: Websites like The Drum offers a long list of agencies that you can filter by type. Alternatively, head down to the next section of this post for some great recommendations. 😉

13 ecommerce marketing agencies for growing brands 

Choosing the right ecommerce marketing agency can feel daunting – especially when there are so many out there. To aid you with your research, we’ve compiled a list of ecommerce marketing agencies that offer both general digital marketing help and specialist strategies. 


1. Oddit 

Oddit

Oddit offers a fresh perspective on ecommerce websites. They look for ways you can increase the conversion rate of your online store by improving the user experience of your website.

Specialism: Brand CRO and UX 

Services
  • Website analysis 
  • Personalised reports 
  • Improved messaging, calls to action and page-flows 
Clients: P&G, Unreal, Buck Mason

2. ElliotDigital 

ElliotDigital

You might already have a marketing strategy in place, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need the help of an agency. ElliotDigital retention strategies for your email and SMS campaigns. 

Specialism: Email and SMS retention strategies 

Services
  • SMS and email marketing strategy 
  • Email design
  • Brand storytelling 

Clients: Surreal, Cornelia James, Days 

3. QuickFire Digital 

QuickFire Digital

QuickFire Digital specialises in building Shopify websites and marketing strategies. They’ll learn your customers’ pain points and work with you to build a website that’ll meet their needs. 

Specialism: Shopify website development 

Services:
  • Website design and development 
  • SEO 
  • Shopify integrations 

Clients: Wild Beer Co, Blakely Clothing, Coral Eyewear 

4. The Social Shepherd

The Social Shepherd

The Social Shepherd team describes themselves as a social-obsessed bunch that specialise in delivering social content across multiple platforms. 

Specialism: Social media strategy

Services

  • Paid social
  • Social media management
  • Influencer marketing
  • Google ads and PPC
  • TikTok growth 

Clients: Passenger, Easy Jet, Godiva

5. DMT

DMT is a one-stop-shop for ecommerce brands looking to rebrand and grow their stores through various online marketing activities.

Specialism: Digital marketing 

Services

  • Paid social
  • PPC and Google Ads
  • Email marketing
  • Shopify websites
  • SEO
  • Design
  • Copywriting
  • Conversion optimisation

Clients: Murci, Missy Empire, Moda Furnishings 

6. 5874 Commerce

5874 Commerce

5874 is dedicated to all things ecommerce, whether you want a brand new site or help with your social channels. 

Specialism: Digital strategy

Services

  • Design and UX
  • System integration
  • International expansion
  • Digital marketing strategy
  • Customer support 

Clients: Slide & fold, Northern Parrots, The Warehouse 

7. Reload

Reload is a London-based specialist in search engine optimisation for DTC brands and has worked with various brands from small pottery sellers to Wrangler. 

Specialism: SEO 

Services

  • Search engine optimisation 
  • Paid search
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Performance marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Digital transformation
  • Content marketing 

Clients: Finisterre, L’Occitane, Philip Kingsley

8. CEEK

CEEK has run digital campaigns and social media marketing activities for small beer and vegan treats brands. 

Specialism: Digital marketing and social media 

Services

  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • SEO
  • Web development
  • Content marketing
  • Paid campaigns 

Clients: Twister London, Oatopia, Carte Noire

9. Propeller

Want a beautifully optimised ecommerce website? Propeller might be the agency for you. They specialise in optimising stores with bespoke user experiences and seamless software integrations so everything ticks over smoothly. 

Specialism: Ecommerce website design

Service

  • Website development
  • Mobile design
  • Digital marketing strategy

Clients: Fairline, Fullgreen, Zanzan 

10. Brave Bison

Brave Bison

Brave Bison is an innovative agency with a number of different arms, including ecommerce. They focus on creating seamless ecommerce experiences by combining marketing and cutting-edge technology. 

Specialism: Digital transformation

Services

  • Performance marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Digital experiences and design


Clients: Gap, Milk & More, Muller

 11. Noughts and Ones

Noughts and Ones

 

Noughts and Ones is dedicated to creating beautifully functioning ecommerce websites for sustainable brands. 

Specialism: Web design and development

Services:

  • Website design
  • Digital strategy 
  • Shopify store audit
  • SEO 

Clients: iStrap, The Cheeky Panda, PACK’D

12. Blue Horizons

Blue Horizons is a full-stack Shopify agency that helps redesign brands and create high-performance marketing campaigns. 

Specialism: Ecommerce website design 

Services

  • Logo and brand development 
  • Online and offline marketing
  • Shopify design and customisation 
Clients: Parkrun, CONTRA, GoodiBox

13. Whole

Whole

Whole is committed to increasing the conversion rate optimisation (CRO) of Shopify stores – however big or small.

Specialism: Conversion rate optimisation

Services

  • Conversion rate optimisation
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO
  • Paid ads and PPC 

Clients: Athletic Greens, ByCharlotte, WPStandard

When should you hire in-house marketers?

While an agency can be a solid partner to bring on board (hello fresh expertise!), in some cases it’s better to hire an in-house marketer. But when should you decide to take the plunge? 

Here are some scenarios where you might find in-house help a better option:

  • You need an agency to basically work full-time for you
  • You have a ton of non-technical tasks to carry out and don’t want to pay premium agency prices to do them
  • You want someone who knows your brand inside out
  • You no longer have the time to work with agencies and need a point-of-contact in-house

Making sure your agency works best for you 

Working with a trusted partner can be a great way to take off the pressure and focus on what you’re good at while leaving the technical parts of your business in the hands of an expert. 

When you’ve chosen the right fit, don’t forget to make working together a breeze. If you’re lucky, they’ll be using a DAM for agencies where you can grab your content from. And, if you have your own, you can use Dash’s public portals to share content and visuals with your team and agency for a streamlined and enjoyable partnership. 

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