GPMD’s Year in Review: Our CEO Reflects Upon 2022

Last year for me was quite extraordinary on many levels. In world events, between the war in Ukraine, the double digit inflation, huge drops in stock markets around the world, and no less than three UK Prime Ministers; I could not have fathomed that the year would turn out this way. Then to top it all off, in the digital world, we saw the collapse in value of crypto currencies  and an end to the high growth of the pandemic years with tough trading in the latter half of the year, as well as losing some of the UK’s best-loved brands

As an agency, we have seen the transition throughout the year and how it impacted our clients and their business models. We saw the merchants we work with consolidate their resources and reevaluate their tech stack for better efficiencies, processes and automations. On the new business side, we did see a higher influx of new projects and site builds in comparison to the year before. For me it was definitely a year filled with unexpected twists and turns, but I was grateful for what we achieved as a small team by the end.

Main Objective: Continued Operational Efficiency

We spent 2021 investing in a number of initiatives and 2022 focused on driving through those investments. Our main objective continued to be operational efficiency and updating our processes, which resulted in huge gains throughout the year. Starting with the initial overhaul of our internal processes, we focused on communication and visibility to enable each person at GPMD to increase their accountability and efficiency. To give you a clearer picture of what this means, we were able to achieve a +100% increase in revenue per team member.

My focus in 2022 was very much on the agency side of our business. The year was all about delivering high quality client work, completing our final two PWA projects (British Standard and Proviz), as well as our BigCommerce build for Japan Centre. On the new business side, our biggest client win for 2022 was MUJI’s replatform to BigCommerce. For me this feels like a game changer client that doesn’t come around very often and I’m excited to embark on this journey with a brand of this calibre.

3 New Headless Site Launches for GPMD in 2022

We launched the following sites in 2022:

GPMD Forms New Partnerships 

I am very thrilled to have the following leading brands choosing us as their strategic partner to help their drive ecommerce growth:

Challenges and Learnings in 2022

Headless Projects

I am very proud of what the team achieved regarding the PWA projects, but I will admit that they were our biggest challenge. 

Headless projects by their very nature are technically challenging and require a high investment. A lot of time went into these projects including a close look at areas like profit margins, complexity, suitability for ongoing maintenance. 

We are currently working on the next stage for headless and planning to launch a truly composable solution by the end of the year.

Choosing Wisely when to Innovate

The learning for me was to take a more strategic approach where to drive innovation and customisation. Moving forward, we now have a defined process when it comes to leveraging new technologies, balancing our focus on innovation with thorough research and planning. 

Additionally, we have seen that sometimes the best approach is to work with native functionality, rather than building something bespoke, as this lowers the cost and makes it easier to deliver high quality work.

My Highlights in 2022

GPMD experienced plenty of highlights in 2022, here are a few of my favourites:

Launching New Services

This was one of my highlights because I was very happy to see the team launch three new complimentary services as part of our current offering. 

Marketing Strategy

Our Marketing Director, Lena, built out a marketing strategy service based on our client Lazy Susan, who had requested support in that area.  

Ecommerce Strategy

Our Chief Commercial Officer, Rabia and I also worked on ecommerce strategy pieces requested by our clients Granger and Tangle Teezer. 

UX Consultancy

The final piece of the puzzle was the hard work done by our design team, Matt and Thayse, who focused on building out a UX consultancy that ties in nicely with the design work they have done successfully for many years.

Rodial Wins at the Ecommerce Awards 2022

I was delighted to see Rodial win silver for Best Health and Beauty Website. As a side note, GPMD was also honoured with a bronze award for Best Ecommerce Agency (40 employees or less), which highlights how hard the team has been working and what we managed to achieve. 

Web Summit and Workshops

With the world opening up again, we’ve also been able to foster more team gatherings. For instance for our Developer Day, where our developers from all over the UK and Europe got to meet up in person (some for the first time!) For me, it was nice to work with everyone for the day! I loved seeing how engaged and inspired the team was and I am really looking forward to what we are building out for the future of GPMD.

Another highlight was our female coworkers  - “our Women in Tech” (Rabia, Lena, Laura, Thayse) attending Web Summit in Lisbon to learn more in each of their respective fields and bringing back a lot of insights for the team and for themselves. It was great to see them take the initiative to go there and it looked like so much fun that for 2023, this will likely be a GPMD team outing!

Commerce Catchups

Our Chief Customer Officer, Rabia has also developed a customer only event that happens once a quarter - the GPMD Commerce Catchup. The event series allows for our customers to exchange ideas, insights and learn from one another. Our merchants have shared how much they enjoy these sessions with the team and I believe they are incredibly valuable for us as well. It started as a virtual event during Covid, but we hope to have physical versions of this event in 2023. 

Looking ahead 

The chart below shows our revenue split by platform for the calendar year 2022. For the year ahead I’m expecting a greater share for Shopify and BigCommerce. Our aim is to achieve an equal balance across platforms to maintain our platform agnostic approach.

Being agnostic means we are always looking at other platforms on the market and there are two that we will be evaluating closely this year: Commerce Tools and Commerce Layer.

2023 Objectives for GPMD

I’ve set the following objectives for us for 2023:

Building a very strong team will be a very important part of our strategy in 2023, we’re looking to fill a number of positions with experienced, senior people in all areas of the agency

Overall, I am very excited for what we have planned for GPMD for this year. If you enjoyed reading this reflection, feel free to have a look at a recent blog I wrote that focuses on efficiency and automation in ecommerce.

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