eCommerce Development Company vs Freelancer: What is the Best Choice for Your eCommerce Site

Operating an online business in today's digital environment requires careful consideration of the costs, benefits, and challenges that go with it. Developing an eCommerce website involves various aspects, from design and development to marketing and logistics coordination. Yet, an eCommerce business's success or failure hinges significantly on its platform design's efficacy.

When it comes to designing an eCommerce site, businesses are often faced with one of two choices - hire the services of an eCommerce development company or contract a freelancer.

However, determining which option suits your business can be challenging. It's crucial to thoroughly examine both approaches and consider their advantages and drawbacks to make the right decision.

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Understanding eCommerce Development Companies

eCommerce development companies are experts in building and maintaining online stores and shopping platforms. Their mission is to enable businesses to establish and enhance their online presence, allowing them to streamline their operations and optimize their sales channels.

Development companies provide a comprehensive solution to enhance a business's online presence. From website design to custom app development, these companies are highly adaptable and partner with clients to transform design ideas into measurable outcomes.

eCommerce development companies are not limited to any particular industry or business size. This adaptability allows them to tailor their solutions to meet each client's specific needs and hurdles.

In addition to their core services, many eCommerce software development companies offer value-added services to support businesses throughout their online journey. These may include:

  • Market research and strategy development
  • User experience (UX) design
  • Analytics and performance tracking
  • Training and consultation

By offering comprehensive services and expertise, eCommerce development companies serve as a one-stop solution for businesses looking to establish or enhance their online presence.

The Structure of eCommerce Development Companies

eCommerce development companies employ a team of experts with varying skill sets who collaborate to provide exceptional e-commerce solutions. While the size and scope of these companies may vary, they typically consist of several essential roles:

Project Managers

As a pivotal player in the development lifecycle, project managers oversee every stage, including planning, strategizing, delivering, and ongoing support. With keen attention to detail, they ensure timely completion, staying within budget, and aligning the project's outcome with the client's vision.

Their expertise ensures successful project execution and helps to ensure optimal returns for all stakeholders.


Professional designers possess the expertise to craft visually engaging and intuitive website designs that seamlessly reflect a business's brand identity and target customers. Through attentive client collaboration, designers ensure the desired vision is accurately captured and translated into a functional online interface.


Developers have expert knowledge of different programming languages and platforms, and are accountable for constructing the technical foundation of an eCommerce site, covering both front-end (UI and UX) and back-end (database administration and server-side operations).

QA Testers

Quality assurance testers ensure the final product is free from bugs and performs as expected. They test the website across devices, browsers, and operating systems to identify potential issues and recommend improvements.

Digital Marketing Specialists

Digital marketing specialists are dedicated to boosting customer engagement and sales conversions using diverse digital channels. These channels include search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, email campaigns, and pay-per-click advertising.

The Pros and Cons of Using an eCommerce Development Company

If you're considering engaging the services of an eCommerce development company, it's essential to weigh up the pros and cons carefully.


Expertise and Experience

Partnering with an eCommerce company allows you to leverage their established proficiency and vast knowledge to build successful digital marketplaces. These experts are well-versed in modern design techniques, optimizing the user experience, and meeting technical prerequisites to develop an innovative eCommerce platform that performs well on all devices.

Time Savings

Launching an eCommerce store requires significant effort and expertise. However, the task can be overwhelming and time-consuming if you lack the necessary knowledge and resources. A wise alternative is to entrust the job to a professional development firm. Doing so lets you focus on other critical aspects of your business while they impeccably construct your new digital storefront.


A professional eCommerce development company can create an easily scalable website, allowing your business to grow without technical limitations. Your website can be updated and improved as your customer base expands to handle increased traffic and sales.

Ongoing Support and Maintenance

It is crucial for businesses without in-house technical expertise to prioritize ongoing website maintenance and support. Fortunately, most eCommerce development companies provide these essential services to ensure your website stays current, secure, and free of bugs.



Small businesses or startups with limited budgets may find hiring a professional eCommerce development company expensive. Nevertheless, it's important to weigh the long-term advantages and return on investment that a well-designed and high-performing online store can offer.

Loss of Control

Sometimes, it may be difficult to express your vision and expectations accurately when working with a third party. This can result in the project outcome not meeting your expectations and costing more resources to correct.

Dependence on Third-Party Providers

When partnering with an eCommerce development company, you inherently give up much control over the website's design, development, and upkeep to an outside party. This can lead to challenges in communication, delays in response times, and subpar workmanship.

What to Consider When Working With Freelancers

Freelance eCommerce developers are independent professionals specializing in creating and optimizing online stores. They are also proficient in various eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce.

The Structure of Freelance eCommerce Work

When working with freelancers, you must clearly outline the scope of work and provide a timeline for project completion. This typically involves:

  • Defining your project requirements: To ensure a successful collaboration with a freelancer, clearly articulate your requirements. This includes the desired platform, specifics on features and functionalities, and your website's overall design and layout.
  • Finding the right freelancer: To ensure your project is successful, it's crucial that you conduct detailed research on potential candidates. This involves carefully examining their portfolios, verifying their references, and conducting interviews to assess their skills and experience.
  • Setting milestones and deadlines: When working with a freelancer, structure your project into smaller milestones and set deadlines for completion. This helps keep the project on track and allows for careful monitoring of progress and timely delivery.
  • Establishing a communication plan: To ensure clear and consistent communication throughout the project, you'll need to determine the method and frequency of communication with the freelancer, such as email, phone calls, or video conferences.
  • Monitoring progress and providing feedback: It is important to consistently assess the work of the freelancer, provide constructive input, and promptly address any problems or questions that may arise.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Freelancer to Develop Your eCommerce Site

When considering hiring a freelance eCommerce developer, it's important to weigh the pros and cons just as you would when working with a development company.



Employing a freelancer can result in substantial cost savings compared to working with an agency or hiring a full-time employee. This is due to the fact that you will only pay for the services provided and for a specific set of project tasks.


Freelancers often have flexible schedules, allowing them to work around your timeline and complete tasks outside traditional business hours.

Access to Diverse Skills and Expertise

Working with freelancers allows you to tap into a global talent pool, ensuring you find the right person for your specific project needs.

Customized Solutions

Freelance developers can create a tailored eCommerce site that meets your unique requirements and reflects your brand identity.


Less Control

When working with a freelance professional, it's important to understand that you may have limited control over their work process and schedule. This means there is a risk of potential delays and missed deadlines.

Inconsistent Quality

Working with freelancers comes with the risk of receiving lower-quality work, as they often lack the resources of larger development companies. It is important to manage expectations and thoroughly vet potential freelancers to ensure their capabilities align with your project needs.

Lack of Long-Term Commitment

It is important to consider the potential unavailability of freelancers for future projects or ongoing support, as it may lead to costly downtime if you require their assistance in the future and they can't be reached.

Key Factors to Consider in Making Your Decision

In order to make a well-informed decision about whether to hire a development company or a freelancer for your project, it is crucial to consider several factors:


When selecting an eCommerce developer, budget is a critical variable to factor in. Engaging the services of a developer from a reputable company might involve a higher cost than hiring a freelancer. However, these companies often guarantee superior work and prompt delivery, making them the most cost-effective option in the long term.

Project Complexity and Scope

To choose between hiring an eCommerce developer or a freelancer, consider your project's complexity and scope. For extensive customization, integration with third-party services, or complex architecture, it's probably better to opt for an experienced eCommerce developer.

However, if you find a freelancer with proven experience handling complex eCommerce projects, they may also be a good fit for your needs.

The Time Frame for Completion

If you have a project with a strict deadline, hiring an eCommerce developer might be a good idea. They have a team of experts who can work on your project and ensure it's completed on time without sacrificing quality.

The amount of time you have available is crucial, and a developer can help you meet your deadline successfully. While freelancers can also work to tight deadlines, their work speed needs to be factored in.

Required Expertise

In order to meet the unique demands of your project, it may require specific skills and expertise. As a part of a reputable company, an eCommerce developer typically has access to a diverse team of specialists who can contribute distinct abilities across various aspects of your project. This will guarantee that your project receives the customized attention and proficiency it needs.

Post-Development Support Needs

Consider the level of post-development support you anticipate needing. An eCommerce developer typically offers ongoing support, updates, and maintenance as part of their service package.

This can be crucial for keeping your online store running smoothly and addressing any issues. Freelancers also might offer these services, but make sure to ask before hiring if they can provide ongoing support.

The Takeaway

Take the right approach when developing your eCommerce site! With that said, When developing your eCommerce site, selecting the right strategy is paramount. Before choosing between an eCommerce development company or a freelancer, carefully consider all the relevant factors that align with your business objectives.

Thoroughly examining both options can help ensure the success of your eCommerce site while maximizing your return on investment.

To summarize we've briefly covered:

  • Understanding eCommerce development companies
  • The structure of eCommerce development companies
  • The pros and cons of using an eCommerce development company
  • The structure of freelance eCommerce work
  • The pros and cons of using a freelancer to develop your eCommerce site
  • Key factors to consider in making your decision

What next:

Additional Shopify Resources

With Shopify being one of the largest eCommerce platforms on the market means you’ll never be short of resources to learn how to build a profitable eCommerce business.

Kanteneo aims to be the best Shopify blog on the market, but you may require additional resources to help you on that journey. Below we’ve listed a top-selling Shopify book by Veronica Jeans to help you learn how to launch a profitable business.


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Rachel Valentine

Rachel Valentine is General Manager and Head of People Operations at Vincit US. She was integral to Vincit’s expansion in the Orange County, California and Arizona markets. During her time, Vincit has been recognized by Fast Company as a Best Workplace for Innovators 2020, and by Inc. Magazine as a Best Workplace in 2019. Vincit has also received workplace and culture-focused awards from Orange County Business Journal, Orange County Register, Tech in Motion and more.