Warwickshire e-commerce firm is doubling its growth... again
THE surge in online sales during the pandemic has been pretty good for one Alcester company, which is on the way ending this financial year having doubled its revenue.
And Blend Commerce, which has just taken on its 15th staff member, has ambitions to double its revenue again by the end of the 2021/22 financial year, adding another nine team members.
The company, based in Alcester High Street, is a digital e-commerce agency specialising in Shopify – the platform that has allowed about a million firms worldwide to set up online business transactions.
But Blend Commerce’s business strategy goes beyond the basics of getting a company’s e-shop up and running. One of its selling points, CEO Adam Pearce, says is the support services for its clients and a real desire to be involved in the firm’s vision and growth.
“The last three months of 2020, the market grew the equivalent of 10 years,” said Adam, a former teacher who has worked at schools in Stratford and Alcester. “Clients have gone through a big growth period and may not be sure what to do next.”
This is where Blend Commerce comes in.
“When we started we were very much a typical agency,” said Adam. “We would bring a client on, develop their website for them and then take our money and say ‘toodle pip’.
“Then we came up with the idea that we were going to supply an on-demand digital department and really what it means is that when a client works with us, we do the design and development work to either increase their revenue or increase their conversion rate or basket value, but also they get strategic support, so we have monthly meetings, we sit down with them and plan,” Adam explained.
The meetings cover online and real-world business issues - from mental health through to net profit margins and company cars as well as Shopify rebranding and redesign.
“We also have a thing called a mastermind each month where our clients get together and we set a particular topic to talk about,” continued Adam, who started his career in management consultancy before training as a teacher.
Brand Commerce started mainly with clients on the east coast of America – Adam’s brother-in-law, company co-founder and COO, Peter Gardner, had already been dealing US-based firms and recommendations saw their business spread State-side – the American firms like going to sleep knowing people in the UK are working on their projects.
“When we started out we were working with very small American businesses, but over the past four years we have tried to trade up every time we’ve done a project, so this year we have worked with Yamaha, Absolute Collagen and a sports brand,” said Adam. “We didn’t really anticipate that we would get to the level that we have now. A lot of our competitors are based in London or based in Birmingham and we are in this sleepy little town and playing with the big boys.”
Blend Commerce’s reputation in the sector has started to see more British clients come on board, especially over the past six months, which will help drive the firm’s own ambitious plans for growth.
“We’re aiming to keep growing at the 100 per cent rate each year,” said Adam. “We’ve got a four-year plan of where we want to be.
“While we’re trying to be aggressive as we can, we’re also aware that things may change.
“We’re conscious that we don’t want to become too bloated – some of our competitors have 60-65 members of staff but our appetite is not to get to more than 34 members of staff.
Not bad for a company that the brothers-in-law agreed to set up while having a few drinks at a barbecue.
Find out more at blendcommerce.com.