Lancaster firm invests £1m for eCommerce success

Cloud Commerce Group is investing £1m in an upgrade of its services and products in order to support its customers to meet the continued surge in demand for home shopping and eCommerce.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 4:54 pm
Mark Hallam.

The business, based on Church Street in Lancaster, has increased its UK development team from 14 in 2019 to more than 30 as of June 2021.

In addition, hosting and support infrastructure investment has increased by more than £500,000 in the same period.

The business was formed as Cloud Commerce Pro by local entrepreneurs Mark Hallam and Stuart Forrest after selling their division of Iomart PLC to BT PLC in 2008.

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It initially focused on order management and stock control systems for wholesale and manufacturing businesses.

Cloud Seller Pro was launched as an eCommerce marketing agency in 2016, supporting customers with Google Shopping, Amazon Marketplace and eBay campaigns.

The business acquired Manchester-based Channel Grabber in 2019, offering customers a full suite of eCommerce services to suit their size and shape.

As a group the client base consists of hundreds of retailers and wholesalers selling their goods across the world, integrating with the most widely used and popular marketplaces, eCommerce platforms, accounting packages, shipping couriers and payment gateways.

The development focus has been across the Cloud Commerce Pro and Channel Grabber software integration platforms in order to build greater resilience into the systems and to increase the number of integrations with couriers, payments services, accounts packages and marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and OnBuy.

The business has also invested in development for key partnerships for tools to enable customers to increase sales through strategic marketing campaigns organised by its Cloud Seller Pro marketing agency.

The company has also invested in a new training and customer onboarding service to help customers with a new suite of interactive learning tools and strategies to boost their eCommerce performance.

The investment in key staff and products has become necessary due to a rapid increase in online retailing and a demand by consumers for high levels of security and service.

Mark Hallam, co-founder, and chief executive officer, said: “We’re investing in the future success for eCommerce, for us as a business, but also because we know our customers need to be competitive and respond to the sheer volume of consumer demand for their products.

“There’s no question that eCommerce is here to stay. 30% of all retailing in the UK is now on eCommerce according to the Office for National Statistics, even with lockdown ending that’s 74% up on the year before.

"Consumer expectations are now extremely high, there’s no room for delay, error, loss, or poor pricing. Any of our customers have to be able to respond rapidly and competitively, be they big or small.

"They need to be where their customers are - on Amazon, eBay, their own website, or newer marketplaces like OnBuy. That’s where we come in. That’s where everyone in our business is focused every day, all day, in making simple the whole complex web of transactions behind each click.”