UK-based postal operator Whistl has acquired Parcelhub and its sister company Mail Workshop. With the acquisitions, Whistl wants to accelerate its expansion in the parcels and fulfilment markets. Both businesses will continue to operate under their respective brands.
The United Kingdom
Online fashion retailer Next has announced it will start charging customers a £1 fee (1.14 euros) for returns they make through a courier or through a Hermes Parcel Shop. The collection charge will be applied for each collection, regardless of the number of items collected. Returning items at any of Next’s retail or clearance stores in the UK remains free.
Payments company Square has launched Stand in the United Kingdom. This is a hardware solution to turn an iPad into a point of sale system, so retailers can accept payments and run their business operations from their countertop. The launch of Stand in the UK follows one year after Square itself launched in this European country.
There are some strong rumors that Lidl is looking to move into ecommerce, after the discounter created a holding company called Lidl Digital Logistics in the United Kingdom. According to the Daily Mail, this shows that Lidl is entering the grocery delivery market.
Last year, 22 percent of Brits shopped online once a week, but that percentage has increased to 26 percent now. Also, 68 percent of the British population shop online at least once a month, while 3 percent do this every day.
International consumers are increasingly interested in UK-based fashion brands. The number of online mobile searches for UK brands from non-EU countries increased by 13 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year. Within the European Union, Italian consumers are most interested in UK-based fashion brands.
The business-to-consumer ecommerce turnover in the United Kingdom has increased to 13.7 billion pounds, 15.6 billion euros, last year. This is a 13.65 percent increase and for next year, a growth rate of 14.3 percent is predicted, which means ecommerce in the UK could be worth 17.8 billion euros.
UK supermarket chains Sainsbury’s and Asda have agreed to merge. The competition regulators still have to agree to the acquisition, but if it gets the green light, the merged identity will become the biggest grocer in the United Kingdom.
Online fashion retailer Boohoo has almost doubled its sales last year. The company’s revenue increased by 97 percent, climbing from 337 million euros to 664 million euros. Boohoo’s profit before tax increased by 40 percent during the same period.
Deutsche Post DHL Group has opened a new fulfillment center in the United Kingdom. In the English town of Radlett, an area of about 6,500 square meters offers same-day processing for the Greater London area. DHL already operates a similar fulfillment center in Germany and is now working to open such centers in the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.
Made.com has raised 40 million pounds, a little more than 45 million euros, of equity in its latest round of funding. The furniture retailer wants to use this money to boost its growth and to further expand its online and offline business across Europe.
Issues with stock levels are a major factor that affects the consumer’s decision to shop online. In the United Kingdom, more than half of consumers immediately turn to a competitor if the item they want is out of stock.
Online retailers could sell more to consumers who shop from their smartphones, if they would offer a better shopping experience via the mobile app. Especially in the United Kingdom, the mobile shopping apps could really use an upgrade.
Sales of the 20 biggest online-only retailers in the United Kingdom have increased by 23 percent last year. Their revenues went from about 7.6 billion euros in 2015/2016 to over 9.4 billion euros one year later. The increase is mostly because of the rise of mobile commerce.
Mobile commerce sales in the three biggest ecommerce markets of Europe – the United Kingdom, France and Germany – will reach over 85 billion euros this year. Almost 57 percent of this amount will come from the UK, while Germany will have bigger mcommerce sales than France.