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In-house vs. Outsource eCommerce Development: Pros, Cons, Pitfalls

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Whether you are a small business owner looking for growth opportunities or a seasoned business owner searching for new approaches to leading business, the eCommerce world offers everyone room for exploring and evolving. The only question is how to go about it?

Should you hire an eCommerce developer who’ll handle your project on their own? Or do you need a whole team? Is it better to hire full-time developers or look for external eCommerce partners?

It all depends on the type of business you have. There are many factors to consider, from the size of your company to what goods or services you sell. Don’t worry; we’ve broken down all the facts in this article to help you find the best solution to cover your eCommerce needs.

In-house eCommerce development

In-house eCommerce development

In-house eCommerce development is just what it sounds like. You hire a team of developers who’ll work full-time on your company to cover all the eCommerce needs. Depending on the size of your business, it can be only a few people or the whole department. Either way, they’ll work solely on your projects and solutions.

Pros of in-house eCommerce development

Let’s start with the pros of in-house eCommerce development. Aside from the most obvious ones, such as a significant grasp of a company’s culture and values or constant access to the team during the work hours, the other pros include:

Full control

With an in-house eCommerce development, you have a team of developers working on your business solutions. You are not only in charge of the process but fully in the loop about every aspect of the development process. The developers focus solely on your business needs, and you can quickly cause actionable changes based on your business strategy and personal observations.

With an in-house development team, you can be sure that they will transmit your vision and values into the solution and quickly fix things in the process.

Complete dedication of the team to your project

With an in-house team, you have several developers working exclusively on your projects and won’t have to worry about finding the right specialists for each project separately.

At the same time, you can also outsource your eCommerce needs and hire a dedicated team of developers. In this way, you will also have a team of developers working on your projects consistently. As a plus, you can scale the team according to your needs, adding more developers to the projects if needed.

Quick response time

When you have a question or need to fix something right away, the developers are only one Slack message away. Working business hours, you can expect the immediate response and assistance of the developer’s team at all times.

This is especially handy when the issues arise on the platform that prevents you from getting or growing sales. With an in-house team, you can expect to get a quick-fix temporary solution before conducting a thorough analysis and working out a long-term solution to the problem.

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Cons of in-house eCommerce development

Now it’s time to move on to the cons of in-house eCommerce development. Actually, there are quite a few of them.


With an in-house development team on board, they won’t work on high-priority tasks every second of every day. Every employee needs a quick minute to catch a breath throughout the day, and developers are no exception. As a full-time employee, you’ll pay them for the whole time, no matter how many hours of work they’ve actually spent.

Surely, we aren’t saying that eCommerce developers spend their days drinking coffee ten times a day, but when it comes to comparing in-house and outsourcing costs, the second option is more money-wise in the long term solely due to the hourly-based wages.


It’s harder to find a skilled developer than you might think. Yes, more and more specialists enter the market, but the need for them is growing even more rapidly. Hence, developers’ salaries are skyrocketing. This seems fair because no developers mean no online business.

Developers’ wages often are not manageable for the businesses that are just starting out or when you need a large team. You may think about finding the young specialists who have lower salary expectations, but it’s also not a good idea, and we explain why in the following con.

Staff churn

It’s no secret that the majority of developers don’t tend to stay with the same company for a long time. There’s a high demand for skilled developers in the tech industry, and it’s common for the competitors to take away the most professional developers with a higher salary and other perks.

So what, you say, you can always quickly replace the employees; there’s a huge pool of specialists to choose from. Wrong, though. While you may find a new developer quickly, they’ll need some time to adjust to your project and work. You will spend extra time explaining the processes and training new developers all over again.

Besides, even though there are many developers to work with, finding the right candidate takes time. And the more time you spend on those processes, the more money you lose. Now, think about the vetting, hiring, and onboarding processes that you will likely endure regularly with an in-house development team. Not the smartest way to spend a company’s budget.

Outsourcing eCommerce development

Outsourcing eCommerce development

Now, let’s talk about outsourcing your eCommerce development needs. What does it mean exactly? Instead of handling the technical part of your business internally, you hire a third-party eCommerce agency to handle your eCommerce needs. Basically, it’s a remote team of professionals working on your eCommerce solution, allowing you to focus on other parts of your business.

Pros of outsourcing eCommerce development

When it comes to the pros of outsourcing eCommerce development, there are many. In fact, every eCommerce business, no matter big or small, will find a specific advantage that matches their needs in exactly the right way.


With outsourcing your eCommerce needs, you pay just for the work done. No sick leaves, no holidays, no pension fund contributions. Most eCommerce agencies work on an hourly basis. While the cost of outsourcing may be higher per hour, in the long run, it turns out to be cheaper than paying the salaries of full-time employees.

With an outsourced team, you know exactly what to expect from the hours billed and can plan your budget accordingly. It also gives you more flexibility because you can plan your budget on a case-to-case basis.

High level of expertise

When outsourcing your eCommerce business needs, whether it’s Shopware or Magento services, you access a wide range of developers with different skills and knowledge sets. The point is to choose not the most seasoned developer but the one who worked on similar projects before.

In this way, you won’t spend extra time explaining the processes and routine as well as can gain their unique knowledge or insights regarding your business. Additionally, working with the eCommerce experts, you don’t need to check in on the smallest details of the project, which saves you loads of time micromanaging.

One more significant benefit is that you can hire already certified developers instead of working with developers and spending additional time and money on gaining certification.


Most outsourcing companies charge by the hour, with the price depending on the size of the project and scope of work. Due to loads of experience, the agencies usually precisely define the needed amount of hours for this or that project. Knowing the estimated costs in advance, you can lead project management and plan more efficiently.

Some business owners fear that communication will become an issue with remote teams, but that’s not the case. Remote team management has developed rapidly since the pandemic outbreak, and with modern technology, there are many opportunities to manage remote teams effectively. Don’t worry; you won’t have to wait for three days to hear back from the developers on urgent matters.


The last but not least advantage of outsourcing is the complete flexibility and scalability that comes with it. What if you need a small team of developers for your current project, but you know for a fact that the next couple of projects will require much more developers? But the ones that come after them won’t be as big? You can’t constantly hire and fire developers; it’s simply not money and time-wise.

Meanwhile, with an eCommerce partner, you get to scale up and down your development team according to your needs and specifications. For instance, if you need to handle one complicated technical task, you can hire developers by the hour to work with that and pay just for their work instead of paying the full team’s salary for a small amount of work.

Cons of outsourcing eCommerce development

We’ve researched this topic through and through, and to be honest, found only one con to outsourcing eCommerce development. Here it is:

Finding the right partner

This is pretty much the only bump on the road of outsourcing eCommerce development. Plenty of eCommerce agencies and companies offer eCommerce services, and to an untrained eye, they don’t seem any different from each other.

How should you choose one, and is there really a big difference? Before committing to one agency, make sure to learn about their previous experiences and projects. Even if you found an agency with years of experience and great success stories, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an agency worked with projects similar to yours or created similar solutions.

You need a partner with the necessary set of skills and technical capabilities to carry out your projects.

In-House vs Outsource team

Summing up

So, what’s best for your business: in-house or outsourced development team? While in-house eCommerce development has certain positive features, outsourcing development covers them all and has some more.

With an outsourced development team, you not only spend less money on the development but get to work with the specialists with the most relatable professional experience and skills. You can also scale the team up and down depending on your projects. And if you don’t want different people working on your projects, you can always hire a dedicated team.

If you have some questions left or want to hire a dedicated team of eCommerce developers right away, contact us!