When working with an ecommerce agency, there are two main ways to engage them, in terms of monthly support. A Growth-based Retainer or on a Support/Maintenance basis. Both have their benefits, and it's important to understand the difference, in order to make the best decision for your ecommerce brand.
A Growth-based Retainer’s a long-term relationship and way of working, where the agency provides ongoing support and specialist services to help your ecommerce brand scale and grow. Typically, this would include services like ecommerce strategy, CX design enhancements, development, optimising the site to increase conversion - by reviewing heat-maps, data, metrics and analytics tracking.
One of the main benefits of a Growth Retainer is that it allows for a more strategic approach to your ecommerce efforts. The agency can work closely with you to understand your business goals and develop a plan, that’ll help you achieve objectives. This can result in changes that lead to increased sales and revenue, by increasing conversion.
However, a growth-based retainer can also be more expensive than a support-based agreement. Additionally, it requires a significant time commitment from both you and the agency, as it's a long-term engagement. Working on a growth basis aligns to quarterly objectives, within a roadmap of 6-18 months of goals. Most Growth-based Retainers would require a 30-100 hours of the agency, per month.
SUPPORT & MAINTENANCE RETAINERS
On the other hand, working on a support basis with an ecommerce agency means that you pay them on an as and when needed basis, for specific tasks or projects. This can include things like minor updates, optimisation, technical issues or deploying new features. The agency is not as closely involved in the overall strategy and goal-setting of your business and is a lot more removed.
The benefit of working on a support basis, is that it's generally more cost-effective than a growth-based retainer. Additionally, it allows you to work with the agency on a more flexible schedule, as you only pay for their services when you need them. However, you’ll likely pay more per hour/day/task. A support-based agreement may not be as effective in driving long-term growth for your business, so its important to weigh up the ROI and comparison between Growth & Support Retainers. Without a dedicated agency working on your business, you may lack the expertise, experience and knowledge to develop a strategy that can help you achieve your goals and essentially your ecom brands growth. The agency, can likely accelerate that process for you!
Ultimately, the decision between a growth-based retainer and a support-based agreement will depend on your specific business requirements and monthly/quarterly budget. If you're looking to drive long-term growth for your ecommerce business, a growth-based retainer is likely the better and more-suited solution. If you're looking for more flexible and cost-effective support, a support-based agreement may be a better fit.