Fast Company

GSI and Innovation

Is it in GSI's clients best interest for them to offer agency services?

GSI is one of the, if not the most adopted e-commerce platforms in existence. Their client list is a who's who in the retail industry. Following is an observation from the perspective of a microagency focused on user experience and emerging media.

They started out by selling their e-commerce platform and consultative services to help agencies leverage and customize their tool. They have since moved into the creative agency business and have positioned themselves as a one-stop-shop for everything e-commerce.

This makes a lot of sense for them but I question whether I would hitch my wagon to them from a client perspective. To my eyes, GSI has a conflict brewing with themselves. Their tool is enterprise level and very powerful but limited and inflexible as well in my experience. We've always viewed GSI as a partner for us in the process of creating great user experience for our clients - leveraging their expertise to help us push the limits of what can be accomplished within their framework. What motivation do they have to continue to develop their tool and be an active and engaged partner to other agencies?

I'm always up for healthy competition and definitely see the logical, strategic business direction for GSI but don't see the true benefit for their clients in the long run. It would be in GSI's clients best interest for them to focus on developing the most robust and flexible tool they can while forming creative partnerships and embracing existing client partnerships to ensure everyone at the table is focused on innovation.

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