Glasgow-based tech startup OnePatch is hoping to benefit from a rise in internet retail activity during the UK coronavirus lockdown and increase its user numbers 1000%.
The company, which creates a solution to the growth and management of multi-channel e-commerce businesses, aims to have 500 users by the beginning of 2021. This figure will embed long-term sustainability.
Through its product, the company covers the online retail spectrum, from home-based sole traders to major concerns with large, varied inventory and complex stock level management and shipping issues.
OnePatch also plans to increase its sales force by a factor of five in the short term as well as boosting the merchandising capabilities of its operation in India, where it has a strong and established development team. It currently has eight staff in its Scottish HQ.
It recently doubled its HQ capacity by moving into new premises in the south side of Glasgow.
After a soft-launch in 2019, OnePatch went into full operation in February this year. It believes it is the only offering of its kind in Scotland and one of only a handful of similar companies in the UK, the US and Australia.
Chief Financial Officer Brendan Dunne, who owns the company along with his brother, CEO Richard, said: “The name OnePatch derives from a computer patch panel which collects everything into the one location.
“That essentially is what our offering does, connecting online retailers’ sales channels, product listings, accounts package, inventory management and shipping couriers into one easy-to-use system.”
OnePatch’s Indian business arose from a long-term collaboration with Calcutta-based development expert Miguel Khan, who has now established a base in the sub-continent that employs nine developers and two merchandising staff.
Dunne said: “While our focus at the moment is on growth within the UK, there is huge potential in India, which has a population approaching 1.4 billion, and in Indonesia, with 273 million people.
“Online commerce is really taking off in these regions and we plan to increase the Calcutta sales team to at least 10 in the short term to make sure we are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities which are arising.”
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While internet sales as a percentage of all retail sales have been rising steadily over the years, they have experienced a massive surge in the past few months. In February this year, they accounted for 19% of all UK retail sales before rising to a high of 32% in May this year.
However, OnePatch is also embracing bricks and mortar retailers, who have been struggling in the face of the relentless advance of online activity, with an electronic point of sale (epos) system which will also integrate all their activities.
He said: “At present we have a unique advantage, since our technology is in the region of three years ahead of our immediate competitors and we offer free onboarding as well as customisation within user software.
“Our ultimate goal would be a public listing and the way growth and progress is accelerating at the moment, we are very well embarked on that path.”