Columbus-based ecommerce agency Rocket Code has made a commitment to double in size, adding 30 new software development jobs in the next 18 to 30 months.
The business plays in an industry that shows no signs of slowing.
“Ecommerce revenue in North America is up 17 percent,” says Rocket Code Founder and CEO Jonathan Poma.
Projections show that number will only continue to rise over the next three to five years, and, “We can just place a pretty confident bet that if we can do things right, the opportunities are going to continue to rise,” Poma says.
The young agency has already experienced tremendous growth since its beginnings in 2014. Poma spent time as a technical business analyst at Dynamit, helping businesses build systems to manage their brand standards. A chance meeting with Homage Founder Ryan Vessler during Pelotonia pulled Poma away to the retailer where he headed up digital and ecommerce. One of his major projects was migrating Homage’s ecommerce platform to Shopify Plus.
Poma saw an overlap between what he was doing at Dynamit and his time at Homage, and in that sliver lived an ecommerce agency.
Rocket Code traces its beginnings back to March of 2014. Poma equates the first nine months to glorified freelancing, but saw an opportunity for more, and at the start of 2015, opened an office. The agency rapidly grew to 17 employees by the end that year, nearly doubling to 30 people by the close of 2016.
What does it mean to be an ecommerce agency? Rocket Code builds solutions that improve the relationship between brands and customers, creating longer-lasting and higher-value relationships.
How these brands and customers interact, “That’s kind of always happening and always changing,” Poma says. It’s no longer online and offline – it’s a connected world.
Rocket Code works with primarily digital-first brands in the mid-market space ($2-$200 million). If they had a profile, Poma says their clients tend to be less than 10 years old, with fewer than 50 people and are growing at a clip greater than 25 percent annually. The agency has done work for brands like Homage, Chubbies shorts, lingerie brand Journell and Bombas Socks.
Rocket Code’s capabilities cover infrastructure.
“Can a customer come to your site, buy things, get emails, get their order,” Poma says.
They layer in marketing and promotional support, building the tools, features and user interface to support loyalty efforts or promotions. Rocket Code can redesign an entire website or optimize an existing platform to make it stronger. No matter the service, the agency is focused on one key metric: revenue per session. How much is each customer on the site worth, and how do they optimize so that, “every visitor that they drive to the site becomes worth more money,” Poma says.
Columbus provides an ideal backdrop for Rocket Code to continue to grow.
“There’s a lot of technical talent here and lots of great agencies and lots of great retail,” Poma says. “We’ve never had really a hard time finding talent in Columbus.”
Rocket Code provides a competitive advantage in pricing that’s appealed to clients on the coasts and in major cities. Poma was recently explaining the value proposition to a client in NYC. The cost of hiring an engineer in a major metropolis like that could be upwards of $150,000, not to mention managing that person and their benefits. That same budget can be spent with Rocket Code and the agency handles the talent and is accountable to deliver results, giving the client bandwidth to do other things.
The state tax credit that will help create Rocket Code’s new positions is something they wouldn’t have had the bandwidth to pursue if not for Dan Borsky at Enterprise Advisory Group. The group exists to help businesses find ways to enable growth through state and city opportunities.
“He’s just been a fantastic resource,” Poma says.
For more information, visit rocketcode.io.