The WPP network has acquired Fenom Digital for its Salesforce expertise.Wunderman Thompson\u2019s acquisition of New Jersey e-commerce business Fenom Digital is the first of the new year. It\u2019s also a sign of things to come as the WPP network looks to further build its e-commerce and supply chain capabilities.According to Wunderman Thompson chief executive Neil Stewart, Fenon is \u201cthe real leaders in North America\u201d in Salesforce expertise \u2013 a key service area for agencies as they look to compete in the technology services market.Fenom, which was founded three years ago, has a staff of almost 200 and counts clients such as GNC, Casper and Crocs among its roster. In addition to services spanning customer experience (CX), enterprise commerce, order management and supply chain, it offers Salesforce services \u2013 an increasingly valuable area for clients and the agencies vying for their business.\tA new breed of agencies are riding the online marketplace wave\tStewart tells The Drum the deal would fill gaps in Wunderman Thompson\u2019s current proposition. \u201cThe innovation built into its business allows it to grow gross merchandise value for clients at a very rapid pace. Secondly, it has huge credibility with the Salesforce teams in North America. Building that takes time \u2013 there\u2019s a long roadmap and we\u2019re looking to get there quicker.\u201cSalesforce is a big strategic vendor decision for lots of our clients. [Fenom] has a real, defined delivery methodology\u2026 that we didn\u2019t have around Salesforce in North America. That pushed us to make the acquisition investment over an organic investment.\u201dFenom\u2019s 190 staff will soon join the 3,500 e-commerce specialists within Wunderman Thompson, but the network plans to grow its team further still. Stewart says: \u201cWe\u2019re really interested in the methodology investment it has made. It has the ability to scale quickly based on the way it trains and educates its staff.\u201dDespite the firm\u2019s youth, its founder Dylan Runne and his team have been hailed by WPP boss Mark Read as having \u201ca proven track record of success paired with deep industry expertise\u201d. Stewart adds to this: \u201cWe\u2019ve known about them for quite a long time \u2013 we\u2019re aware of its quality and its scale and that made it an unbeatable alignment.\u201dGiven the competition among agencies and consultancy groups to offer brands e-commerce expertise, Stewart says that such acquisitions are key to WPP and Wunderman Thompson\u2019s growth approach. There\u2019s also fierce competition to acquire the right businesses and stay in the race; WPP held off competition from \u201cthe usual people you would have expected\u201d to close the deal with Fenom, adds Stewart.As well as the prior relationship between Wunderman Thompson leadership and Runne, filling those service gaps will help Wunderman Thompson achieve its longer-term strategy of expanding e-commerce capabilities.\u201cThere\u2019s a big revenue stream around technology services in that space because you\u2019ve got to build and integrate platforms or you\u2019ve got to provide the digital content at scale,\u201d says Stewart.\u201cThat\u2019s been pretty clear to us for some time and underneath that, we have some capability in the group, but we also have some gaps. The acquisition strategy has then been pretty much to support that service provision to clients.\u201dThat strategy was behind WPP\u2019s launch last year of supply chain business Everymile and the acquisitions of Corebiz, as well as earlier deals for Diff, Newcraft, Satalia, Pierry, Emark and Bower House.With e-commerce demand expected to grow further, the Fenom deal is unlikely to be the last in 2023.