9xb ecommerce

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by 9xb ecommerce's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from 9xb ecommerce is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.9xb.com

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
38 | CLAIRE AUSTIN
Addressing changes
Four years ago, with the aim of
redressing the lack of books about
perennials, I self-published my own.
Initially this was sold on Amazon, but
once Amazon saw the number we
were selling they began buying it from
our wholesaler and undercutting us on
price. Because of our customer base,
however, we have sold over 2,000
copies, and I am now in the process of
updating the book.
Besides labour costs, notably the
increase in living wage and NEST, there
has been one issue that has limited
our growth this year. Advertising on
the pages in magazines is costly and
does not yield returns. As such, we
began paying to insert a catalogue
into magazines, one of which is
the largest society magazine in the
gardening industry. This year we were
told they would not accept inserts
that competed with their plant sales.
Although the business has increased,
due to this refusal to accept our
advertising matter we have not seen
the growth we saw over the past
twoyears.
Being so rural, our local planning
office, understandably, refused
permission for us to sell plants to
visiting customers from our nursery.
As local customers wanted to collect
orders, rather than pay for delivery, we
had to invest in our local near-derelict
public house. After a year of hard work
and a lot of investment, this opened
a year ago and, I am pleased to say, is
paying its way. Besides a small garden
shop, restaurant and bar, I am now
able to give talks on gardening.
We are not sure how we are going
to inflation-proof or grow the main
mail-order business in the coming
years but, quite honestly, we never
have. It is the wealthy players in the
industry that restrict the ability of small
business to thrive. Meanwhile, Brexit
holds no fears, although the cost of
phytosanitary certificates could possibly
restrict the number and frequency of
importing plants. We are considering
growing more open ground perennials
either for our own production and
sales or to sell to other producers.
The upside to this is fewer plastic pots
would be required.
Horticulture is
not affected
by recession.
Over the years
change has
come as a
result of the
way plants are
bought
The Sarn is a pub,
restaurant and plant shop
399XB ECOMMERCE |
BUSINESS SERVICES
Managing Director Rob Burns
eCommerce Expo 2019
9xb is a specialist ecommerce agency that has been
delivering cutting-edge digital projects for leading retailers
and merchants, including Euro Car Parts, Jigsaw24, The
Post Office and Bathstore, since 2004. 9xb identified the need
for a flexible and scalableplatform that supported innovation
and removed barriers to success. Managing Director Rob Burns
tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the development of 9xb’s
ecommerce platform, Peracto, and how it is meeting the needs
of forward-thinking businesses.
At 9xb we combine creativity, strategic thinking and technological excellence to
overcome barriers to growth and help our clients maximise the opportunities of the
21st-century economy. As ecommerce experts, we advise on digital strategy, create
award-winning ecommerce websites and manage digital marketing campaigns. Our
clients range from large B2B operations with complex requirements to mid-market
B2C brands looking to drive online traffic and footfall into stores.
More than half of UK consumers are now shopping online with UK online spend
forecast to increase 29.6 per cent between 2019 and 2024, according to The Retail
Insight Network. All of our clients understand the need to be where consumers
want to shop, and that in order to do so, they need to invest in digital. In our last
financial year, we’ve seen 35 per cent growth in turnover as a result.
Overcoming barriers to ecommerce growth
Times are changing for both online and offline merchants and retailers, and
meeting customers’ ever-growing expectations has become an essential ingredient
FACTS ABOUT
9XB ECOMMERCE
»Managing Director: Rob Burns
»Founded in 2004
»Located in Leeds and
Harrogate, Yorkshire
»Services: Ecommerce store
development, multichannel
digital marketing, hosting,
monitoring and support
»No. of employees: 46
9xb ecommerce
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
40 | 9XB ECOMMERCE
for success. A flexible ecommerce
platform with a service-oriented
implementation team underpins
businesses’ ability to adapt quickly to
fulfil customers’ needs.
While exhibiting at eCommerce Expo
in London, we spoke with a number of
businesses about managing business
complexity online, for example
automating workflows, integrations
with external IT systems, managing
large product catalogues and opening
new markets by transitioning from
B2B sales into B2C or vice versa.
With over 15,000 visitors and 150
exhibitors, this year’s expo exemplified
a market rapidly growing in both size
andcomplexity.
Our ecommerce platform, Peracto,
bridges the gap between custom-
built technology written to meet a
specific business’s needs and out-of-
the-box, mass-produced platforms
that constrain a business to fit existing
configurations. Peracto provides
feature-rich ecommerce functionality
with the ability to easily customise and
add integrations as the business grows.
With a distribution network fulfilling
over 65,000 orders per day, Euro Car
Parts are unrivalled in their ability
to provide a best-in-class service to
their customer base. They achieve
this through speed, reliability and
convenience, all of which informed
their decision to choose 9xb and
Peracto as their ecommerce solution.
Another 9xb client, Watco, is a UK-
based manufacturer of industrial floor
coatings, repair materials and anti-slip
products. Traditionally a catalogue
business, Watco modernised the
ecommerce experience for customers
through a best-in-class website
providing improved user experience
and superior customer service at point
of order. As a result, their online
conversion rate and transactions
have increased, and we have recently
launched country-specific ecommerce
stores targeting European markets.
Developed with input from key clients,
the Peracto platform continues to
mature in line with changing consumer
expectations and business needs. An
exciting roadmap of new features is
planned for 2020 and beyond.
Data protection and online
security
The need to protect personal and
organisational information through
effective data security has become an
increasingly important aspect of all
ecommerce projects. Data breaches
erode customer trust and can result in
large fines.
Recent legislation such as the General
Data Protection Regulation, defining
how personally identifiable information
is used, and the Payment Card Industry
Data Security Standards, relating
to online credit card security, have
significant implications for our clients
and our business. Existing databases
have been cleansed and anonymised,
hosting infrastructures have been
made more secure, and new data
is requested and stored in line with
carefully documented procedures.
ecommerce by 9xb
Times are
changing for
both online
and offline
merchants
and retailers,
and meeting
customers’
ever-growing
expectations
has become
an essential
ingredient for
success
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
40 | 9XB ECOMMERCE
for success. A flexible ecommerce
platform with a service-oriented
implementation team underpins
businesses’ ability to adapt quickly to
fulfil customers’ needs.
While exhibiting at eCommerce Expo
in London, we spoke with a number of
businesses about managing business
complexity online, for example
automating workflows, integrations
with external IT systems, managing
large product catalogues and opening
new markets by transitioning from
B2B sales into B2C or vice versa.
With over 15,000 visitors and 150
exhibitors, this year’s expo exemplified
a market rapidly growing in both size
andcomplexity.
Our ecommerce platform, Peracto,
bridges the gap between custom-
built technology written to meet a
specific business’s needs and out-of-
the-box, mass-produced platforms
that constrain a business to fit existing
configurations. Peracto provides
feature-rich ecommerce functionality
with the ability to easily customise and
add integrations as the business grows.
With a distribution network fulfilling
over 65,000 orders per day, Euro Car
Parts are unrivalled in their ability
to provide a best-in-class service to
their customer base. They achieve
this through speed, reliability and
convenience, all of which informed
their decision to choose 9xb and
Peracto as their ecommerce solution.
Another 9xb client, Watco, is a UK-
based manufacturer of industrial floor
coatings, repair materials and anti-slip
products. Traditionally a catalogue
business, Watco modernised the
ecommerce experience for customers
through a best-in-class website
providing improved user experience
and superior customer service at point
of order. As a result, their online
conversion rate and transactions
have increased, and we have recently
launched country-specific ecommerce
stores targeting European markets.
Developed with input from key clients,
the Peracto platform continues to
mature in line with changing consumer
expectations and business needs. An
exciting roadmap of new features is
planned for 2020 and beyond.
Data protection and online
security
The need to protect personal and
organisational information through
effective data security has become an
increasingly important aspect of all
ecommerce projects. Data breaches
erode customer trust and can result in
large fines.
Recent legislation such as the General
Data Protection Regulation, defining
how personally identifiable information
is used, and the Payment Card Industry
Data Security Standards, relating
to online credit card security, have
significant implications for our clients
and our business. Existing databases
have been cleansed and anonymised,
hosting infrastructures have been
made more secure, and new data
is requested and stored in line with
carefully documented procedures.
ecommerce by 9xb
Times are
changing for
both online
and offline
merchants
and retailers,
and meeting
customers’
ever-growing
expectations
has become
an essential
ingredient for
success
419XB ECOMMERCE |
BUSINESS SERVICES
As a reliable and responsible
ecommerce partner, we work with our
clients’ marketing, IT and legal teams
to help them achieve compliance.
2020 and beyond
Speed of digital innovation continues
to separate successful businesses from
those falling behind, as we have seen
from recent headlines regarding the
demise of retailers who’ve failed to
evolve. Earlier this year we conducted
a market survey to understand
where businesses are on their digital
journey, how much of a priority digital
innovation is, and intentions and key
priorities over the coming year.
Larger businesses see digital innovation
as key, setting aside more than 25
per cent of their marketing budget
for digital and listing their priorities
as improving online experience for
customers and increasing website
traffic. Smaller businesses still have a
long way to go in terms of meeting
customer needs online. Significant
investment remains focused on
improving and personalising the
customer experience through better
insights and emerging technologies
such as video, chatbots and
virtualreality.
To help our clients meet these
demands, we continue to invest in
our platform and our people, so we
can consistently offer a great product,
backed by exceptional service levels.
There is a nationwide shortage of high-
calibre ecommerce experts, making it
increasingly difficult to recruit the right
skills into our business. To combat this,
we work hard to retain our existing
team, and we have recently relocated
both our Leeds and Harrogate
offices to modern, connected, town
centre locations with easy access to
public transport. Recruitment costs
remainhigh.
We are at a crucial phase in our
growth. Over the coming 12 months
we will continue to invest in R&D
to further develop our ecommerce
platform and enable us to scale
effectively. Further investment will
be made in our sales and marketing
activity to build brand awareness
and to underpin the next phase of
ourjourney.
After a period of over three years
of political uncertainty, IT projects,
including decisions on ecommerce
platforms and online investment, are
being delayed by some. However,
with the increasing preference of
online over bricks-and-mortar retail,
the e-tailers who don’t innovate fast
enough will get left behind.
To help our
clients meet
these demands,
we continue to
invest in our
platform and
our people, so
we can
consistently
offer a great
product, backed
by exceptional
service levels
Winners of Best B2B
eCommerce Store and
Best eCommerce Redesign
for Euro Car Parts

www.9xb.com

This article was sponsored by 9xb ecommerce. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development