Spring e-commerce push pursues right channels for growth


The UK division of one of the world's biggest mail and parcels operators has boasted how new partnerships with a series of leading e-commerce technology firms are set to fuel fresh growth.

Spring UK, which is wholly owned by PostNL, has announced deals with the companies behind three of the most influential order management systems and four of the e-commerce platforms used by tens of thousands of British-based online retailers. 

Craig Lee, Spring UK's Head of Sales, Marketing and Channel, has revealed that its suite of services has now been integrated with order and shipping specialists Linnworks, Mintsoft and Scurri as well as e-store providers Magento, WooCommerce, PrestaShop and OpenCart. 

He described the development as a “major step forward” which would enable e-commerce firms large and small to capitalise on Spring's unique role as a broker of 'best-fit' delivery options.

Channel relationships

“"The relationship with channel integrators and technology providers is something on which we have placed an increasing amount of emphasis in the recent past, given that they are so important for a wide range of online retailers. 

"Concluding terms with some of the very biggest names in both markets, therefore, is a significant coup and full vindication of that focus. 

"Spring is, of course, not the only logistics business to appreciate the value of channel integration but we believe that offering guidance on the most relevant options from the broadest possible choice of delivery products available - not just our own - is a critical factor in our favour. 

"In addition, we know how crucial speed is for the kind of retailers who work with our technology partners. Given how straightforward our own systems are, e-commerce traders are able to begin shipping to new or existing markets within days. 

"We believe that combination of convenience, effectiveness and simplicity is a very powerful proposition and something which will be instrumental in spurring more growth in the volumes which we handle." 

New retail technology partnerships

News of its new retail technology partnerships is the latest phase of implementation of a commercial policy introduced by Spring UK’s Managing Director, Steve Ferguson, on his appointment three years ago to revitalise the company. 

Having identified working with e-commerce channel connectors and marketplaces as pivotal to Spring’s operations, Mr Ferguson has overseen "significant investments" in developing such relationships and bringing in key senior staff, including Mr Lee, to support such a strategy. 

The order and inventory management systems devised by Linnworks, Mintsoft and Scurri are relied upon by thousands of the UK’s leading e-commerce firms. 

WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Opencart and Magento2, meanwhile, enable more than one million retailers worldwide to determine how their online stores look and function. 

Last month, Spring - the international cross border solutions arm of PostNL – disclosed that it had also made substantial improvements to services and commercial agreements in a number of countries.

That, in turn, followed the announcement in June of its launching a 'hybrid' Commercial Express service to help smaller e-commerce firms break into the lucrative US market without having to meet the high tariffs quoted by some carriers.