2016 is the Year of the Dragon*. That’s because we’ve founded Dragon Drop — a boutique web agency, specialising in ecommerce development and consultancy.

(* — 2016 is, in fact, the Year of the Monkey, but “Monkey Drop” didn’t work as well.)

Nice to see you, to see you…nice!

The team at Dragon Drop has over 30 years web experience behind us and we’ve seen ecommerce from the perspective of the supplier and the retailer. Between us, we’ve worked on more than 100 ecommerce projects for household name brands. We’ve been involved in good, bad and, yes, sometimes, ugly projects. We have formed strong opinions about the best ways to innovate on the web.

The state of ecommerce in 2016

In the past (and maybe still today), there was a perception that you had one web platform and it did everything you wanted it to. Retailers signed a long-term contract with their provider of choice and, if they needed some functionality not provided by the platform provider, then they would ask them to build it.

This made some sense when:

  • The ecommerce market was in its infancy.
  • There were a number of good platforms on the market, but APIs, micro-services and single-purpose web apps hardly existed.
  • The web played a much less significant part in a retailer’s revenue and earnings.

These days it is much more difficult for your ecommerce platform provider to give you everything you need. The web has evolved into the social, multi-device, content-rich ecosystem it is now. And as the complexity and rich nature of the web has grown, so has the importance of ecommerce to retailers.

As a result, we’re seeing ecommerce platform providers shift their focus onto stable core functionality, that holds up day after day, without crisis. As retailers, we want stability too — a few years ago, if your website went down for a few hours, you might lose a few thousand pounds of revenue; today, if you website collapses at the wrong time, you might lose 10 or 20 times that amount. Ouch!

What if I want more than ‘core’ functionality?

The downside of platform providers focusing on the core stability that you all cherish is that when you do want to develop something new it can take eons to get it onto your website.

And here’s the conundrum — platform providers find it hard to provide a stable platform and innovate at the same time.

So, what’s the solution?

Some retailers have tried to address this tension between stability and innovation by moving to a new platform, which involves:

  • A (very) significant financial investment — that often can’t truly be justified;
  • At least a year of focusing on the migration to the new platform, rather than focusing on developing your online business.

Afterwards, many retailers are left with a realisation that maybe their new platform isn’t as all-singing, all-dancing as they thought it might be.

Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side.

So, how do today’s retail businesses innovate on the web?

Our mission is to help retailer’s innovate on their current platform. We help you maximise your current investment of time, money and know-how by giving you the ability to build functionality on top of and alongside your current ecommerce platform.

At Dragon Drop, we want to build the things that will add value right now. The current crop of web tools and APIs make this process embarrassingly easy when compared to the technologies of just a few years ago — the six-month feature is a thing of the past. Minimum disruption; maximum impact.

We’re an experienced development agency, but we’re not just here to build your ideas for you. We’ll use our decades of ecommerce experience and technical wizardry to help you make decisions that will have a big impact.

For The Dragon Drop Development Company, this is the Year of the Dragon.