I frequently get asked why we decided to launch a sub-brand of Demac Media called Comet. A brand that was exclusively focused on Shopify design and development.
My closest friends understand that most of my decisions are rooted in a core belief that all businesses should be specialized and focused, especially in the changing eCommerce platform landscape.
Even when I started Demac Media, I quickly became obsessed with this idea of going super deep in a very narrow vertical. I thought that if we were specialists, we’d be easier differentiated from any other digital agency that were more general.
Fast forward 6 years from founding and Demac Media was growing steadily year over year. The strategy was working. We won far more opportunities than we lost, mostly because we were incredibly specialized in our offering.
When we originally partnered with Shopify, we thought that because we worked within eCommerce for so long we could just give Shopify projects to our existing teams and they could implement them just the same as we always did. This turned out to be less than optimal for a variety of reasons. Shopify is changing the eCommerce platform landscape, and the way we were working took us away from being specialists.
So, we did what many entrepreneurs before us did. Hello pivots!
Pivot #1: Enter Comet
We thought we could offer merchants with small technical challenges on-demand help if we built a dedicated team. Then we could allowed those merchants to purchase small blocks of time from that team on-demand. This too didn’t really work. The amount of hands-on time we like to spend with our customers getting to know their business just doesn’t work when the projects are super small.
Rather than have our 80+ person team trying to work on whatever comes their way, we “broke off” a team of people to exclusively focus on Shopify. We created a sister brand called Comet. Comet had a specialized development team that only did Shopify work while still being supported by our commerce strategy, sales, marketing and design teams that are platform agnostic.
This started to show promise. The market shifted though and Shopify’s customers started to get bigger, which totally aligns with our core Demac Media business.
Pivot #2: Time for next level of Growth
It’s been more and more clear that Shopify Plus is going to be a leader in the true mid-market eCommerce space.Click to tweet
I’ve actually written another post on this shift we’re seeing in the eCommerce platform landscape, so go read that for more of my thoughts on what’s happening in the market.
With this move up-market, we decided to fold Comet (and the customers we serve through it) back into Demac Media, ending the incubation period and entering the growth phase of this business. We’re going to be growing this team aggressively in the coming months and years, not because we like growth for growth’s sake, but because we see a giant opportunity in what Shopify is doing to the eCommerce platform landscape and want to contribute to this ecosystem.
There are a number of systemic changes currently underway in the land of commerce and we think Shopify and Shopify Plus are well-positioned to serve a very sizeable chunk of this new world.