Power lightning Image credit pixabay/wikimediaimagesBrightpearl has announced a new industry league for UK eCommerce businesses. It is hoping to attract registrations from UK eCommerce providers with £1M – £250M of revenue. Registration is free and will close on 16th July. Brightpearl intends to publish the list on 23rd September 2021. Besides the kudos of the listing and being recognised by Brightpearl, there does not seem to be any other benefit for taking part. Brightpearl is hoping that the list will receive recognition similar to the Inc 5000 list in the US within the UK retail sector.

Derek O'Carroll, CEO Brightpearl (Image credit/Brightpearl/Derek OCarroll)
Derek O’Carroll, CEO Brightpearl

Brightpearl CEO Derek O’Carroll commented: “There has been a big shift to online post-Covid, and with Brits stuck at home for most of the last year, online deliveries have been one of the rare highlights of our stay at home life. Our own data shows many multichannel retailers reporting incredible growth rates – and we decided it was time to celebrate the nation’s fastest ecommerce growers over the past 12 months.

“The Lightning 50 only takes into account one metric when scoring businesses – growth. Our hope is that the Lightning 50 will really shine a light on some of the incredible work online businesses have been doing throughout the pandemic.”

The list will include categories from:

  • Apparel Fashion & Footwear
  • Baby & Toddler
  • DIY and Gardening
  • Electronic and Components
  • Entertainment & Recreation
  • Health & Beauty
  • Homewares
  • Luxury Goods
  • Sports, Leisure & Hobbies
  • Toys & Gifts

Is online the future?

The intent is to recognise the winning companies during the pandemic in a world that has shifted and is likely to stay shifted to online shopping. 67% of Britons are planning fewer visits to the high street than pre-pandemic. This is a good thing for those retailers that have already embraced eCommerce. Over the last year, according to IMRG, retail sales grew 36% in 2020, the highest growth since 2007. For some retailers, that has meant a growth of 600%, according to Brightpearl research.

Furthermore, 20% of consumers will only buy online in the future, and 65% intend to increase online spending above 2020 levels. Many are also buying online things they would never have considered doing to pre-pandemic. It opens up new opportunities for entrepreneurs to look to establish themselves.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Is this a pure marketing exercise? In some ways, yes, there is no doubt that Brightpearl will benefit from the contacts it will gain for its retail operations platform. However, this is also a wider celebration of the eCommerce business in the UK. What is surprising is that the Bristol-based company has limited it to UK businesses. It also has operations in both the US and Canada. Digital Commerce 360 estimates online spending was 21.3% of all retail sales in 2020, an increase from 15.8% on 2019. This jump of 5.55% was far higher than the 1.4% from the previous year.

Those e-retailers who enter will get recognition of their status and find where they are compared to their competitors. With entry free and the information published only the percentage of growth, not actual revenues, as per other lists, it will offer new marketing opportunities for those appearing on the list.


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