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How to Best Plan Magento Support Retainers in Advance

How to Best Plan Magento Support Retainers in Advance

After the launch of your new Magento site, you need to be able to work with your ecommerce agency on an ongoing basis to make the most of your new site.

Once your new Magento 2 migration or build project has been completed, you need to work with your agency to scale and grow your ecommerce brand further. You will need iterative changes, new technologies and integrations, and bug fixes.

This support is usually through a Magento support retainer, but it’s important to make sure you plan these in advance as much as possible.

How can you best plan your Magento support retainer in advance?


Set ecommerce targets and clear KPIs

The first thing you should do with your ecommerce agency is set your ecommerce targets and determine KPIs. What do you want to achieve with your ecommerce site? What are the key challenges you are currently trying to solve with your site?

You should cover order and revenue targets but you also need to be specific. Do you want to focus on improving add-to-cart rate or basket abandonment rate? Do you have conversion rate targets?

You also should set timescales for achieving these targets (and be realistic with these timescales too).

By setting these targets as early as possible, you can then begin to prioritise your Magento support retainer. It can be easier to plan in advance when you can identify which changes are more likely to help you achieve your goals.


Work with a proactive ecommerce agency

Finding the right Magento support agency can be challenging. A strong relationship with your agency is important, whether you’ve just launched your site and need a support agency to manage your online store’s growth, or if you have an established site and need to take it to the next level.

An agency should be reactive to issues and new work from the client, but they should also be advisory on proactive recommendations in order to grow your ecommerce business.

If your agency is proactive, they will work with you to plan your Magento support retainers in advance.

A successful Magento agency will be an additional member of your ecommerce in-house team, to advise and support. Take a look at these questions you should ask when looking for a Magento support agency.


Plan for peak trading and busy periods

Most ecommerce retailers will begin planning for the peak trading period six months in advance (if not earlier), and will begin to have an idea of what technologies, features and campaigns they will be launching.

If you can plan these in advance with your support agency, they will be able to make sure that time is reserved in your monthly retainer for this work.


Plan for Magento version upgrades

You can also plan ahead for scheduled Magento version upgrades. Most updates are scheduled every quarter and your support agency will have a calendar of these updates.

Make sure that your support agency is transparent with the timings of these updates and communicate how much work will be needed for each upgrade. You will then be able to work together to schedule in the time needed well in advance.


Reserve a % of your retainer for reactive work

There will always be an element of reactive work needed in your retainer. You should work with your agency to reserve a percentage of your retainer for reactive work so that you can plan your proactive work around this time.

You want to work with your ecommerce agency to set this percentage as it will vary from retailer to retailer. An average amount is 30%.

This percentage may change regularly, but it’s important to set an ideal percentage so that it isn’t seen as unlimited time. Bug fixes and reactive work can quickly eat up your retainer, so make sure there are set targets for this time.


Create a schedule of new site features

Every Ecommerce Director has a wishlist of new site features they want to implement. If you don’t work with your agency to plan these in advance, they can quickly be put on the back burner to make room for bug fixes, version upgrades and technology integrations.

If you have a list of new site features that you want to add to your site, make sure that you share this with your agency so that they can create a calendar of new site features across the year.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to work on them all at once (nor would it be useful to do so!). However, if you schedule these in, you can make sure that reactive work is done around your wishlist, and not the other way around.


Keep your agency up to date with new technologies

You may be speaking with a number of ecommerce technologies that you plan to work with. This may be a new payment provider, personalisation tools or a new email platform.

Some retailers get their ecommerce agency involved as early as possible, whilst others prefer to wait until contracts are signed before looping them in. Whatever your preference, if you keep your agency updated with your plans, they can make sure that any integration work needed is scheduled in and doesn’t conflict with any existing planned work.

Your ecommerce agency will likely have an established partnership with them and will be able to make the integration seamless if they know in advance, or they may be able to offer alternative recommendations if they know a tool is complicated to set up and has the potential to take up your whole retainer.


Share company news with your ecommerce agency

Whilst it’s important to keep your ecommerce agency updated with plans for the site, it’s just as important to make sure they are updated with your wider company news.

If you are launching new products, expanding your team, opening new stores or if internal roles are changing, you should let your agency know as soon as possible.

You may be unaware of certain ecommerce challenges that these company updates will face, but your ecommerce agency will be able to share these with you.


Plan, plan, plan!

Your ecommerce agency is often an extension of your team and should be seen as an ecommerce growth partner. Be as transparent as possible with what you want to achieve and what you have planned, and your support retainer will be able to be used strategically and proactively.

Our Magento 2 support packages are flexible and tailored so you can choose the most appropriate level of support for your ecommerce needs, with monthly retailers and booster packages. If you want to find out more, get in touch.

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