We had a chat with Chris Lema reflecting on this last year. There has obviously been a lot of opportunities that have grown in the eCommerce space, but at the same, time I asked him about the challenges that agencies face.
We Need It Up Fast
One pressure is, we need this up fast. We need it faster than we’ve ever asked before. Clients don’t have nine months to get something up and online, right? If you’re talking about a really big and complicated WooCommerce or a really big Magento store, and the agencies are like, “This is our normal process. We’ll do it in six months.” So there’s pressure on an agency that says, “Tell me what you can get done in one month or two months. I need this up fast.”
Second pressure is that the folks that are asking for this stuff have fixed budgets, right? You’re asking for some of the most complicated stuff at some of the most inexpensive price points. And that applies pressure to agencies as well. And some of the best agencies will regularly go into, “Well, let’s do a phased approach. Let’s get you up and do phase one, and then we’ll use the revenue from phase one to put into phase two.” And so there’s definitely ways to manage it, but they’re seeing the second pressure, which is price points, right?
Trying to Do What You Don’t Know
The third pressure is not different than we’ve ever had. It just becomes more pronounced when those first two pressures exist. And that’s when agencies are asked to do things that, frankly, they’re not even sure they know how to do, because Amazon’s doing it or Walmart’s doing it, right? Imagine you’re like, “Hey, I want to spin up an online store.” “Okay, no problem. We can do that.” “Well, and I want it to have inventory and track it based on both what’s being sold online, but also what’s being sold offline in the physical premise.” You go, “Okay, that’s a little hard, but we can do that.” “And I also want to know what parking spot you just pulled into so that I can make sure to deliver your order to the right parking spot.” And you’re like, “Wait, wait, wait, wait. How do we get the parking spots?” You’re like, “What? Okay, hold on.” “And then I want a mobile app that will let me check in to the parking spot and give you the spot when I get there.” And agencies are like, “Okay, we’re going to have to think through this. This is not something we do every day.”
I think agencies are feeling three different kinds of pressures. We’re hearing it, we’re seeing it. And of course, that doesn’t stop the normal pressures like, “I want it fast. How do I make it faster?” That’s an everyday dynamic.