How to pick a platform for sustainable revenue

The financial success of a business is built on a healthy, sustainable income, and your digital agency is no different. With a reliable, long-term source of revenue, agencies can hire the best developers, offer training to upskill their staff, and increase their capacity to deliver the best service possible.

But developing a high quality, recurring source of income isn’t easy, especially in today’s climate. With economic challenges set to exist for the foreseeable future, your agency may need to evaluate how it derives its income and seek more high quality and nailed down revenue streams. The unpredictability of business, especially in the current climate and the fast pace of change in the digital sector, means that revenues traditionally considered safe could dry up at any time. So, to protect your company and it’s income, you need to open up multiple avenues of income.

What are the potential revenue streams available to your agency? Well, there are a few, but how easy they are to develop can depend on the ecommerce platform you build on.

Regularly taking on new builds

It goes without saying that the more clients you have and the more stores you build, the more potential for income there is. To increase your agency’s capacity for building stores, you might consider taking on new developers and growing the business. While that will increase your capacity, it’ll also increase your costs.

Instead of focusing on the size of your staff, consider the ecommerce platform you’re using. Does it allow you to produce top-quality stores in a reasonable time? Or does it inhibit you, making the build awkward and time-consuming? If the platform is already in use by a large portion of the agency market and has a low barrier to entry then it may be difficult to make your offering stand out from the crowd; perhaps consider a platform that offers some unique opportunities and angles to successfully compete with other agency pitches.

Each platform is different. While some are developer-friendly, others are overly difficult to use and develop upon. If your platform is preventing you from delivering excellent sites at a speed that allows you to regularly take on new builds, you should consider making a change.

Developing long-term relationships with clients

Of course, securing long-term revenue is not just about having as many clients as possible; you should also focus your efforts on establishing long-lasting relationships with them.

If your relationships with customers seem to end when you’ve handed over their store, you need to find out why. The answer might lie in the ecommerce platform the store is built on.

One explanation could be that the platform you use is so easy to build on that retailers with relatively simple requirements will just carry out the work themselves. Though this additional work may not be a huge source of income for you, it helps to maintain your relationship with the client and could lead to high-value work in the future.

Another explanation could be the extensibility of the platform. If the store only has the capacity for limited functionality or is of a closed source nature, it can restrict your potential for additional development work. In contrast, using a platform capable of accommodating those retailers with more complex requirements opens up possibilities for retailers seeing the value in an agency’s ongoing involvement and increases the likelihood of your agency being called upon for upgrades.

Building apps and add-ons

As an aside to generating revenue from new store builds, you might consider heading to the platform’s marketplace and building some new add-ons for the community. This can be a good source of income, but there are some things to consider.

Firstly, if the platform is open source it can give the developer the ultimate flexibility they need to create integrations and create new functionality, although even with closed source cloud solutions, developers can still create API driven apps but may find their hands tied as to the extent of bespoke functionality they want to create. . Then, there’s the marketplace itself. Is it saturated with so many add-ons that yours could simply get lost? Does the platform have a reputation for apps of varying quality? The answer to those questions may determine how successful your add-ons are.

Many apps offer free plans offering limited functionality with a subscription required in order to unlock the apps full potential with some being offered at no cost; the rationale being the provider will generate its income directly from using the integration (merchant services being a good example). There are undoubtedly good opportunities in identifying app opportunities with service providers who may then introduce existing and new retailer clients to you with a view to re-platforming, especially if an existing platform integration is not performing and the provider fears the potential loss of a customer.  

So, before you invest time and resources into building add-ons, you should make sure you’re using a platform that gives you the best opportunity to make money.

How Aero helps agencies maximise their revenue

At Aero Commerce, we understand just how important it is for agencies to establish reliable streams of income. That’s why we’ve built a revenue model that supports agencies building and developing on Aero to generate sustainable income.

We designed Aero to come naturally to developers. As a result, it’s intuitive to build on, meaning agencies can readily produce stores, capable of meeting complex requirements, on time and within budget. Aero’s extensibility, also allows for increased opportunities for agencies to carry out development work for their clients and meet their ongoing requirements as they evolve.

The Aero Commerce marketplace offers another opportunity for agencies to make money. Agencies can develop and sell apps and themes to other agencies. This creates the opportunity for early adoption, with an agency’s module or theme being used by other developers across their clients’ stores.

Another significant opportunity for agencies using Aero is our partner commission share program. We believe that everyone who contributes to Aero should be rewarded. That’s why partner fees negotiated by Aero are shared with our agencies. A percentage of all revenue we receive from partnered solutions is shared with our agencies thereby creating a high quality, recurring source of future income the agency would normally never see.

Strengthen and extend your revenue streams

Whether you’re looking to future proof your agency, increase its value, or make it a more attractive prospect for investors and buyers, developing reliable revenue streams is crucial.

If you want to develop on an ecommerce platform that is designed to maximise your revenue, and you’d like to be part of our partner program, we’d love to welcome you to the Aero family.

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