Today we're getting to know Adam King - one of the co-founders of Media Lounge, an award-winning ecommerce agency in the UK and certified Shopware partner.
Adam has over 20 years ecommerce experience and runs his own retail ecommerce stores, bringing daily real-world experience into the agency. In this interview, we get to know about his customer-centric approach to headless ecommerce, discuss the importance of working with scalable systems, and find out which Shopware 6 features he finds most valuable for his clients.
1. Adam, you have been working in ecommerce for over 10 years, but have only recently rebranded as an ecommerce agency - can you talk us through the change in focus?
When we launched in 2009, we’d previously been looking for an ecommerce platform for our own online store and struggled to find a suitable platform. The choice at the time was either custom builds or systems like Oracle, IBM Websphere, and Magento. After choosing Magento for our own store we then focused on delivering solutions on that platform for other business.
Fast forward to 2020 and the needs of the ecommerce retailer have changed. We now see customers requiring more flexibility from their admin interfaces, quicker implementation times, micro services integrations, intra-connected systems using API, heavy customisation and personalisation to tailored to their specific needs or the needs of their audience, as well as choices between cloud, on-premises, SaaS and ownership options. To offer a balanced service and one where we can advise the retailer on the best solution for the needs of their business, we wanted to offer a wider range of ecommerce platforms and focus on delivering “Next Level Ecommerce” solutions to our clients.
2. Media Lounge recently joined Shopware as a partner agency. What appealed to you about the platform and if you could name one killer feature for merchants, what would it be?
Shopware have clearly put the retailer at the centre of their software solution and created a product which works for businesses at all levels of their retail journey. Limitations from other platforms such as internationalisation and multiple storefronts are technically what sets this platform apart from the competition, so retailers with these requirements – or foreseeable needs in the future when scaling – won’t be met with platform limitations.
Having worked with hundreds of retailers over the past 11 years, we’ve always sensed a lack of control over page architecture given the skillsets in most SME businesses; so giving the retailer a powerful page builder tool gives them back that control and means they have less friction when wanting to make changes to a page structure as well as reduces development costs. We also love the rules engine, but you said choose one, so we’ll just drop that in as an honourable mention.
3. If you were in control of the Shopware development roadmap, which bit of functionality would you push to the front of the development queue?
Making cloud as flexible as the on-premises version. We understand it’s a new service addition and is currently part of your ongoing development roadmap, but building a strong cloud offering where retailers can be up and running in a matter of days allows Shopware and your agency partners to win business over other SaaS platforms and when coupled with your other platform benefits like page builder, rules engine, internationalisation and multi store, you’ll have an industry leading platform!
4. What advice would you give to ecommerce business owners who are faced with an unplanned or predicted downturn in sales?
At this time? Downturn in sales?? Perhaps you’re doing something really wrong…. The high streets are closing, people are working from home increasingly more, online shopping is becoming habitual for all demographics, and overall ecommerce revenue is growing at an exponential rate. If your revenue is eroding, then someone out there is doing it better than you. They either understand their customers better, have marketing which resonates with their audience in places they hangout, have a better service proposition, or have a better user experience and customer journey.
I have a presentation on the 3 funnels of ecommerce, in short is:
- 1: Optimise you customer journey and plug any leaks where customers exit your process; a good agency can help you with this and should be their continued focus.
- 2: When they do exit, and they will – no matter how good you get at optimising your sales journey – how do you reconnect with them and bring them back into the sales cycle.
- 3: Only when 1 and 2 are performing at the most optimal level do you pour in more marketing spend at the top of the funnel, which will result in a better conversion rate and ROAS.
Data and tracking are everything you need to get started, which you should have already, so start understanding your customer and how they engage with your ecommerce business and work back from there.
Adam, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. We’re so glad to have Media Lounge in the community and can't wait to see how you'll use Shopware 6 for your projects!
About Media Lounge
Media Lounge is an award-winning full-service eCommerce agency based in Bournemouth on the south coast of the UK. Our team of over 30 awesome, talented, and passionate eCommerce professionals work with retailers to architect and develop eCommerce projects using the latest cutting edge platforms, chosen to compliment and future-proof B2C and B2B online retailers. Over 400 eCommerce stores and 11 years on, we've helped grow online retailers to their next level. We live and breathe eCommerce, innovating with new technology and improving our knowledge of how eCommerce impacts retailers' day to day. It's not just about launching a shiny new store, but working closely to make sure the store delivers on the fundamentals.
From small conversion rate optimisations to larger integrations, we support retailers all the way. We have the in-house expertise and experience to deliver complex omnichannel experiences and provide the infrastructure and support so online retailers can focus on taking their business to the next level.