This will have produced a warm glow for WPP CEO Mark Read: Forrester Research has annointed WPP as a leader in “commerce services,” citing its “strength and higher client satisfaction in commerce strategy, emerging commerce touchpoints and commerce experiences compared to other providers evaluated.”
The report goes on to say: “WPP leads with strategy and implementation as well as in Amazon and social selling.” The report gave WPP full scores for global or multibusiness unit commerce architectures; emerging commerce touchpoint services; commerce experiences supporting services; privacy and compliance; programme management; vision; and partner ecosystem. WPP partners include Adobe, Amazon, Alibaba, Salesforce, SAP, Shopify and Sitecore.
Focussing on ecommerce has been Read’s main priority at WPP aside from the small matter of paying down debt and rationalising WPP’s bewildering array of agencies and other companies, including merging most of WPP’s big creative agencies. WPP now employs 13500 people in commerce and styles itself a “creative transformation company.”
Read (above) says: “WPP’s strength and strategic capability in commerce has enabled our clients to change their business models at pace, sell online, and grow despite the challenging environment. We now work with 76 of our top 100 clients on ecommerce, and we believe the recognition of WPP as a leader in commerce services further strengthens our position as the global omnichannel partner of choice.”
Shouldn’t do any harm. With digital now taking over half the $600bn global ad market and just about every company you can think of trying to increase its share of online sales, advising a client on their marketing without the ability to spruce up their website is becoming a lost cause.
New agencies like the UK’s New Commercial Arts, with former Wunderman Thompson exec Rob Curran among the partners, says its mission is “uniting brand and customer creativity, to make brands more desirable and easier to buy.”
That is, making sure the website works too.