Bristol ecommerce provider sees surge in European business

Bristol ecommerce provider Huboo has announced pan-European growth in 2023, reporting that European order shipments more than doubled in 12 months.

Huboo’s Netherlands fulfilment hub, which celebrates its third anniversary in April, grew order shipments by 128% last year, while the German hub, which celebrates its second anniversary in April, saw shipments increase by 123%.

Thee company, launched in 2017 with just two safe storage lockers in Bath, has since grown to employ more than 700 people globally across the UK, Europe and the USA.

Now, with over 1,400 clients worldwide, Huboo is able to measure the confidence levels of eCommerce brands in various overseas markets.

In 2020 for example, shipments from the UK to Europe made up 14% of total orders. This saw a significant drop to 4% in 2022 thanks to the increased red tape and administrative costs introduced by Brexit, which made cross-border opportunities unviable for many smaller eCommerce brands.

However, Huboo reported an increase to 6% in 2023 as UK brands began to explore new digital fulfilment technologies aimed at easing the pathway to EU trade.

Martin Bysh, cofounder and chief executive of Huboo, said: “Our latest European shipments data tells two stories. Firstly, that there is a massive pan-European growth opportunity available to eCommerce brands all over Europe. Secondly, that UK eCommerce brands are dipping their toes into EU water once again, using fulfilment partners such as Huboo to manage the burden on their behalf.

“We’ve worked hard to develop technology and processes that seamlessly manage the complexities of cross-border trade on behalf of all our clients, which we believe is the only way smaller eCommerce brands can compete.”

Huboo Netherlands achieved calendar year revenue growth of 171% between 2022-23, reaching £3.8m in revenues, while Huboo Germany achieved calendar year revenue growth of circa 400%, taking revenues past £1m for the first time.

Using Huboo’s eCommerce platform, brands can get underway selling across dozens of popular European marketplaces within hours, shift stock over to Huboo’s European warehouses to minimise the cost and complexity of shipping, and rely on Huboo’s inventory management to forecast and meet demand at all times, regardless of shipping location.

Bysh added: “If you’re selling products on one channel, it’s relatively cheap to expand and sell across multiple channels, providing you’ve got the right inventory management software in place. This is the eCommerce opportunity in a nutshell, and our data and the conversations we’re having with clients suggest that appetite for cross-border trade is finally on the rise again.”

Pan-European clients signed in the past 12 months include Deliciously Ella, Europe’s #1 plant-based recipe platform, which needed an eCommerce partner that could manage the complexities of exporting into the EU and alleviate the growing burden on its in-house team.

Since partnering with Huboo and shifting stock over to its Netherlands warehouse, Deliciously Ella’s European orders have increased by 99%, including a significant uplift in repeat custom, thanks to Huboo’s ability to track stock efficiently and improve in-stock rates.

In November 2023, Huboo announced that it had raised £29 million to accelerate the company’s journey to market expansion and profitability, following a seventh successive year of strong growth, during which the business doubled in size, adding 800 new clients and more than £25m of new business.