How to Compare the Top Adobe Commerce Partners (2023)

When looking for an Adobe Commerce partner, a great place to start your research is the Adobe marketplace. It has a list of certified developers and technology partners that have been trained in Adobe Commerce — but you shouldn’t choose an Adobe Commerce partner just because they’re featured on Adobe’s certified list. Certifications are only one indicator of skill — it’s still important to find out if an agency has the relevant experience to understand your business’s unique challenges, support your website’s needs, and deliver results on time. 

To guide your research, we’ll talk about:

Finding the Right Agency to Manage Your Site

So, how do you find the best agency for your eCommerce store's needs? We have five steps that can help you identify the right agency for your site. While going through these steps, remember to be diligent in your research and remember that your needs are unique. The best agencies will be able to adapt to your brand's goals — if it seems like they can't, then don't be afraid to look elsewhere. Use the following five steps as your guide.

1. Find Agency Partners in Adobe’s Directory and Read Their Profiles

The first place to begin your research is Adobe's partner directory. Review the profiles of Adobe Commerce partners and assess their technical and customer experience capabilities. 

Consider questions like: 

  • How long have they been working with the Adobe Commerce platform? 
  • What types of businesses have they worked with in the past?
  • What services do they offer? 
  • Do they specialize in specific services that might be relevant to your business needs? 
  • What is the overall rating of the agency? 

Then, you can gather some names you’re interested in and continue researching. 

2. Read Reviews 

The Adobe partner directory lists hundreds of agencies, so using this as your sole source to find the right agency for your specific eCommerce needs isn’t practical. Moreover, not all agencies listed on the Adobe Marketplace are created equal. Most professional developers are recognized by Adobe in some way — so certifications are not super unique. 

That’s why it’s important to expand your search into other areas, such as customer reviews published on reputable review sites. Look for reviews published on Adobe’s directory and reputable third-party review platforms like Gartner, G2, and Capterra. Look for clear examples of specific experiences that seem relevant to your needs. For example, if you want to migrate your eCommerce store from Magento 1 to Magento 2, look for particular reviews that give you some insight into an agency’s processes for migrating eCommerce stores  — the more details, the better. 

When combing through reviews, take note of the pros and cons listed for each agency (even if a customer’s experience skews heavily in one direction, it’s crucial to assess how they could impact your project). Also, consider the qualitative element of these reviews — don’t just go by the volume of the reviews, but rather dig into each one of them and ask questions like:

  • Do these reviews come from verified buyers? Trusted reviewers will typically have a profile picture and use their real names, instead of posting anonymously. Given your potential agency’s customers are eCommerce businesses, it’s also a good idea to go through the reviewers’ company website to see the agency’s work in action.
  • How recent are the reviews? Consider the technology and processes customers mention. This will show how different Adobe Commerce partners can work for you in the long term while giving you a closer look at their services and how they’ve evolved with Adobe’s platform.

3. Visit Agency Websites

Once you’ve identified a list of five to eight potential Adobe Commerce partners you are interested in working with, go through each agency’s website to validate their services, take a closer look at their previous projects, and assess past results. 

As you review their website, ask yourself a few general questions:

  • What is the focus of their website content? A particular platform or service? A particular client profile they service?
  • Do they create blog content relevant to your needs?
  • Do they highlight any businesses similar to yours in their case studies?
  • Do they describe the makeup of their development team and their project approach?

By reviewing case studies you may also be able to answer these additional questions:

  1. What is their approach to tackling advanced customizations in complex online stores with similar product inventory management needs as yours? 
  2. Do they have experience integrating with existing systems (e.g.  ERP/CRM)? 
  3. What measurable results do they describe for past eCommerce clients? Are these results relevant to your own eCommerce business?
  4. Do they provide services for ongoing optimizations in terms of security, hosting, accessibility, and maintenance? 

4. Dig Deeper with a Consultation Call

After you’ve narrowed your list down to a couple of agencies, set up consultation calls to review your specific needs and get more clarity on the agencies’ experience, deliverables, and pricing. 

At a high level, it’s helpful to ask questions such as the following: 

  • What is your (or your team's) eCommerce experience? Ask the prospective agency about their experience with different platforms and various eCommerce business challenges.
  • What other companies (if any) do you work with in my industry? Could you tell me if there are any competitive relationships I should be aware of? This will help you steer clear of any conflict of interest. 
  • What is the makeup of my team and who will be my primary point of contact? Each agency manages projects differently. Some prefer to do the work without much client involvement, while others conduct regular meetings for ongoing collaboration. Learning about how this is handled will give you a better understanding of the kind of partner this agency will be.
  • Can you provide specific details about your agency’s recent successes? Talk about the case studies you’ve read and ask more nuanced questions. This is where you can really dig in and get to know the behind-the-scenes. 
  • How do you communicate with clients on progress and results? What tools and resources do you use for support ticket management and for day-to-day communications? How open is project information to each client? It’s important to ensure that you and your Adobe Commerce partner are on the same page in terms of communication, deliverables, and timelines. 

5. Proceed with a Discovery, Proposal, and Referrals

Following the information collected in your consultation, you’ll want to be sure the agency has a clear idea of the work you need them to do. They should take time to ask detailed questions not only about your end goals but also about your business, its history in commerce, its clients, products, and future prospects. Information about your existing technology stack will be an important element to discuss as well. 

When they have exhausted their questions, it will be up to the agency to provide you with a proposal for how they can deliver the necessary work.

The majority of eCommerce projects are performed on a time and materials (hourly) basis. The more detailed the discovery, the more accurate the project estimates will be (but the longer the lead time). Be wary of “low-ball” proposals aimed at getting your business only to blame scope creep when their estimates are blown out of the water. The best agencies will take the time to go through any proposal in detail and identify the logic behind their pricing.

When you’ve further narrowed your agencies down to one or two, it’s time to ask for referrals from past clients. When agencies connect you with their clients, they can prove their credibility and expertise, and add another layer of proof to the claims they might have made during the consultation call or in their case studies. 

At this stage, it’s helpful to ask more questions about customer and technical support, pricing transparency, and quality of work, such as: 

  • How did the agency handle urgent requests? 
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses? 
  • How was the quality of their customer and technical support? 
  • What contribution did they make to the final outcome? 
  • Would you consider them again? Yes or no and why? 

Read more: Choose the Right Certified Magento Agency for Your Business


IronPlane’s Adobe Commerce Agency 

At IronPlane, we specialize in Adobe Commerce development services and have more than a decade of experience managing custom development projects across both B2B and B2C sectors. As a Certified Gold Adobe Solutions Partner, our team of dedicated Adobe developers has knowledge in building up Magento storefronts, migrating sites, creating custom features, and optimizing existing sites to better support operational flows and business goals

In the next sections, we’ll walk you through our step-by-step process and methodology. 

Step 1: Consultation Call

To kick off the project, we start with a consultation call where our Adobe Commerce specialists discuss big-picture objectives with you. We explore the scope of work to identify your current challenges and determine how your eCommerce storefront can support short- and long-term business goals. 

Here are some of the questions we ask during our consultation call:

  • What are the top three goals you’re trying to achieve with these site upgrades? Is it an increase in conversions, a more user-friendly website, better pricing options, a seamless checkout process, or something else? Please specify. 
  • What are the most pressing challenges you’re facing right now with your B2C/B2B eCommerce platform? 
  • What options have you already tried to implement to bring a change? 
  • What are some of the expected hurdles we can expect while working on your project? Or are there any constraints in place, like migrating a Magento 1 site to Magento 2 within 3 weeks along with its complete inventory? 
  • How many people will be involved in this project and who is the decision maker?

Step 2: eCommerce Audits

We break our eCommerce audits into three options as shown in the table below: Free Audit, Code Audit, and Comprehensive Audit. Each audit digs progressively deeper into your existing eCommerce website to provide a greater understanding of the work required to get the site into shape and to start optimizing for your business goals.


Audit Chart

Step 3: Project Planning 

Once we’ve defined the scope of work during the audit phase, it’s time to plan the details of your project and establish budgets and timelines. Doing so helps us define what we’re expected to build and implement; any limitations, dependencies, and assumptions; desired outcomes. 

Let’s say, for example, you want to upgrade from an earlier version of Magento to the latest stable version. In this case, we would map out a structured plan considering existing site dependencies and requirements with a detailed outline of the objectives, tasks, timelines, desired customizations, and any extra functionality you may need. 

Step 4: Partner with a Dedicated Solution Specialist 

After we kick off your website project, we assign a dedicated Solution Specialist who is equipped to answer any questions you may have during the project. Your Solution Specialist will also provide checkpoints to update you on the project’s status, set the agenda for the next phase, and take feedback, so your project stays on track. 

Our Past Work 

If you want more information and success stories, take a look at the following case studies that highlight our experience with both B2B and B2C businesses: 

  • Tacony, where we redesigned, upgraded, and optimized Tacony’s existing Adobe Commerce sites to better support their different business divisions.
  • ControlTek, where we merged two sites and added extensive customizations to improve UI and UX.
  • Bosca, where we migrated their eCommerce store from Magento 1 to Magento 2 and implemented integrations with ERPs.


FAQs: Top Adobe Commerce Partners

Who is the top Adobe Commerce partner?

There is no "top" Adobe Commerce partner. Adobe has different partner grades that depend in part on the partner's sales volume for Adobe's paid platform offerings. An agency's Adobe partner grade is not a guarantee of quality service or quality development, rather it is one of many factors you will want to consider as you search out not the "top" Adobe Commerce partner, but rather the best development team for your particular business and your particular needs. 

How much does an Adobe Commerce partner cost?

The typical hourly rate for a certified Adobe Commerce agency ranges anywhere from $160 - $220/hour. However, this rate may vary depending on the agency’s portfolio and past experience. Plus, some agencies may quote you higher for complex jobs like migrations, redesigns, and customizations. 

What’s better: a large agency or small agency?

Large agencies may not be a good fit if:

  • They offer a wide variety of services without specialization.
  • They have a sales team fully separate from their services team.
  • They have one development team for the initial project and another team for ongoing support.
  • They have an expansive list of client projects but only maintain a very limited set of those clients for long-term support.

Small agencies may not be a good fit if:

  • They lack the depth and breadth of development skills to meet all of your needs from simple to highly complex.
  • They hire freelancers on a project basis rather than as long-term, dedicated team members.
  • They lack substantive experience supporting a variety of businesses such as B2B, B2C, DTC, and hybrids and in working with different platforms including Magento Open Source, Adobe Commerce, and Adobe Commerce Cloud.
  • Their limited resources force them to prioritize initial development projects over ongoing support.

Are Magento and Adobe Commerce the Same?

Magento was bought by Adobe in 2014, but the terms “Magento” and “Adobe” are often used interchangeably — even though they are technically different eCommerce solutions. Adobe offers: Magento Open Source, Adobe Commerce, and Adobe Commerce Cloud. All of these platforms are based on the Magento core code. For more information you can read our summary of the differences between Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce Cloud.


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