Online electrical retailer AO has reported a strong year of growth. In the year to 31 March, the UK company saw its revenue increase by 62 percent to 1.66 billion pounds (1.91 billion euros). AO also attracted over 2 million new customers in the year.
The United Kingdom
Lightspeed has announced the launch of Lightspeed Payments in Europe. At first, this payment solution will only available for hospitality merchants in the United Kingdom. Soon it will be available for retailers. Other European markets will also follow soon.
Parcel locker provider InPost has launched a returns solution that wants to simplify the process of returning items that were bought online. Customers no longer need to use or print labels, instead they use a QR code on their smartphone.
Ecommerce is, of course, very popular now the physical stores are closed in many countries across Europe. But online-only retailers seem to really reap the rewards of having a strong digital infrastructure. In the UK, online-only retailers are now the number-one purchasing channel for fashion shoppers.
Gorillas, a delivery startup from Germany, has launched its services in London. The company offers a full range of groceries from its own distribution hubs within 10 minutes. The UK is the third market in Europe where Gorillas is active.
ZigZag Global, a returns management platform from the United Kingdom, announced it has been acquired by Global Blue, a tourism shopping tax refund company, headquartered in Switzerland. ZigZag’s solutions will be cross-sold into Global Blue’s extensive merchant network.
Facebook Shops, a place for discovering business and searching for products in the Facebook app, is rolling out to users in the United Kingdom. It marks the first European market where the Facebook feature is available.
Online fashion marketplace Secret Sales has seen its month-on-month revenue increase by 4,000 during the Covid-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the outbreak, the UK company transformed from a flash sales outlet into a premium ecommerce marketplace.
Dutch payment fintech unicorn Mollie has entered the United Kingdom. Here it will support British merchants who are looking to grow into Europe. The payment service provider has enhanced its services available to UK companies who can incorporate several EU payment methods into their online stores.
Online shoppers in the United Kingdom are sitting on 2.4 billion pounds (2.74 billion euros) of unreturned goods they have purchased through the internet. Returning these items has become harder with the lockdown restrictions in place.
The Treasury, the UK’s economic and finance ministry, is exploring options for an online sales tax. With this measure, it wants to shift the balance between spending online and in physical stores. British high streets are currently struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Online fashion retailer Asos has required Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT, all brands from Arcadia, a retail group that fell into administration at the end of last year. Asos will take over the brands as well as the stock, but it won’t take on the physical stores.
Storfund, which shortens the cash cycle of online sellers, secured 30 million euros of capital from the Private Debt team of Swiss bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) and private investors. This year, the company wants to provide 1 billion dollars (825 million euros) of cash advances to online marketplace merchants.
Cross-border ecommerce sales from the United Kingdom saw a 57 percent year-on-year increase in 2020. Outbound online sales grew substantially from April up to the holiday period, with a significant spike starting in September.
Envolve Tech, a retail tech company from Wales, has entered the US market. The Newport-based company has launched an office in New York. The expansion follows after raising over 800,000 euros last year.