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The State of Omni-Channel Data Integration in the UK: March 2016



If you’re a regular follower of VL’s blog, you know that last year we broke into the UK market

Since then, we’ve been tuned into what’s happening in the UK e-commerce and omnichannel retail markets.


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We’ve been sharing current UK omnichannel events and news through our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts.

We’ve been writing articles based on current events, and we’ve even produced our own original content on trends and market comparisons.

And we’ve been working with industry experts and insiders to get the word on the ground from an omni-channel data integration perspective.

Recently, we had a brief chat with Mark Goodwin, Head of Integration Practice at Graziashop, the Luxury Online Fashion Marketplace, on what’s hot in UK ecommerce and data integration.

Keep reading below!

Earlier this week, we asked Mark Goodwin of Graziashop about what’s trending in the world of UK omni-channel retail and omni-channel data integration.

Our last update from Mark was in early November of 2015. Since then, we’ve re-examined some key statistics and figures for North America and Canada. We were pleasantly surprised to see that Canada is finally making headway into the digital market, and that the conversations surrounding customized omni-channel data integration services (like those that VL provides) are becoming more mainstream with more and more businesses seeing the value in these robust and scalable solutions.

So we were curious: is the UK seeing similar trends, or are they on a growth path completely unlike that of North America?

Here’s what Mark had to say:

“UK E-commerce and Data Integration in the UK is focusing around brands and retailers looking to embrace ‘Global marketplaces’ for global expansion activities in both sales and brand awareness that go beyond just selling on eBay and Amazon.

The focus is centered on brands and retailers wanting to test new geographies and buyer demographics as part of their international growth programme through ‘key’ marketplaces in different geographies while still having their own site and stores.

As there are now over 450 online marketplaces and growing globally – that’s a lot of different integrations going beyond the scope of traditional ‘feed providers’ as true bi-directional integration is required from suppliers (B2B) through to the marketplaces (B2C) and back.

To successfully introduce the new ‘sales channels’ in different geographies, each with their own unique operational and technical requirements, now becomes the main challenge when fusing it with the existing business as usual operations of the retailer/ brand.

Challenges then arise around:

  • Data Integration,
  • Product Data Quality,
  • Cross-Boarder Taxation,
  • Accounting Integration,
  • Carrier Management,
  • Returns Management,
  • Inventory Visibility,
  • And so on.

If the retailer then wants to utilise virtual stock or consignments, then the integration and operational complexities rise exponentially.

Some Facts

While Canadian e-commerce is catching up for this year, it looks like the UK is still a few steps ahead of us. Canadian e-commerce is taking off, but Canadian businesses are still struggling to get online in the right ways, like being mobile responsive. Canadian shoppers frequently cross-channel browse before making a purchase.

The fact of the matter is that e-commerce is on the rise globally. With only so much room within the borders of Canada, the USA, or the UK, successful businesses are looking to expand their markets and competitive advantages through the adoption of global marketplaces.


Global cross-border ecommerce is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020


On a global scale, multi- or omnichannel is already on trend to becoming the new normal for businesses and consumers. This means successful businesses will have to have an increased focus on their data integration solutions. Robust, scalable, and flexible omnichannel data integration services like VL OMNI will become strategic assets.

In any way you examine the state of e-commerce, it’s clear that omnichannel businesses adopting global marketplaces with strategy and data integration in mind will have a competitive advantage.

Stay tuned to VL’s blog for Mark Goodwin’s follow up article:

“International Expansion: The Rise Of Global Marketplaces (A Data Integration Perspective)”


About Mark Goodwin

Mark has worked within the Supply Chain and Retail industry for over 15 years and heads up the Integration Practice at Graziashop, the Luxury Online Fashion Marketplace.

As Head of Integration, his remit spans Systems Integrations, Third Party Management, Partnership Development, Ecosystem Enablement through to Talent and Resource Management within B2B and B2C for High Fashion and Luxury Goods brands and retailers.

Prior to this Mark has worked with an EDI/ Data Transformation vendor developing SAAS Data Integration Solutions for Online Retailing and has also built, led and managed both Global and European Recruitment campaigns for numerous organizations focusing on Business to Business Integration (B2Bi), EAI, Middleware, EDI, Retail Merchandising and Supply Chain Management.

When he’s not involved with Omni-Channel Data Integration, you can find him researching new strategic, technological and commercial enablers to speed the processes of end-to-end integration. Mark is also an avid reader of VL’s blog.

Looking for a scalable, customized omnichannel data integration solution that integrates seamlessly with e-commerce marketplaces and more?

You’ve found it.

Click below to book a chat with VL’s experts on how we can make your business’ applications and channels work harder and smarter with VL OMNI.

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