E-Commerce is becoming an increasingly attractive way to buy and sell products. In 2018, nearly 20% of all retail sales revenue are expected to come from online retailers.
Easier and cheaper to launch and greater flexibility are just a few of the most appealing reasons more and more entrepreneurs are favouring e-commerce over a physical store.
Johan Tjärnberg, Executive Vice President, Small and Medium Businesses, at our E-Commerce Partner Ingenico Group said, “Selling online, internationally, is now a truly accessible option for ambitious entrepreneurs, in a way that it wasn’t just five or ten years ago. We’re supporting the Great British Entrepreneur Awards to celebrate the creative minds that spotted a gap in the market, took on the risk of carving their own path, and found new ways to reach customers online, wherever they are in the world.
“By sharing their success stories, we hope to help other aspiring SMEs find the right technologies, fight off the competition and succeed by converting more sales in more markets.”
This e-Commerce boom is paving the way for some of the country’s most exciting entrepreneurs. And with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at 15 of the most exciting e-Commerce entrepreneurs to watch out for.
Ben Francis – Gymshark
Having started Gymshark from his parents’ garage as a 19-year old in 2012, Ben Francis is rapidly building one of the most successful online retail businesses in the UK. With plans to treble the workforce in a brand new office, the gym clothing brand is on course to achieve sales of over £100 million in 2018.
Cherry Freeman, Edward Griffith and Nigel Whiteoak – Love Crafts
Cherry, Edward and Nigel are the co-founders of LoveCrafts, an online marketplace dedicated to knitting and crochet craft products. It also operates as a social network for craft lovers. In 2017, it secured a £26 million investment, the largest VC investment in a UK start-up at that point in the year. With revenues in the ‘tens of millions’, a valuation ‘north of £100m’, and a £26m investment, LoveCrafts promises to be an exciting watch in the coming years.
Adam Frisby – In The Style
Adam Frisby is another ‘bedroom to multi-million pound business’ success stories, having created his Manchester-based online fashion brand in 2013. In The Style is quickly building a cult following of fans thanks partly to the influence of several reality TV stars and is growing sales of more than £30 million.
Fleurette Mulcahy and Alice Holden – Attollo Lingerie
Best friends Fleurette Mulcahy and Alice Holden are the founders of Attollo Lingerie, which provides attractive and affordable lingerie for women with D+ cup bra sizes. After four years of R&D, the pair launched the company in September 2017 and are already a huge hit with thousands of followers and women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan and Vogue.
Jas Bagniewski, James Fryer, Kuba Wieczorek, Felix Lobkowicz and Abid Ismail – Eve Sleep
Launched less than four years ago, Eve Sleep has enjoyed considerable growth leading to a listing on London’s alternative stock market late in 2017. Led by chief executive, Jas Bagniewski, Eve Sleep has invested heavily in its marketing over the past 12 months with a view to turning a profit by the end of the year, promising an exciting year.
David Wolffe – Wolffepack
David left his position as HMV finance director to invent and launch his Wolffepack backpack in 2012. The innovative technology, which allows wearers to swing the backpack from back to front in one easy motion, has been a huge hit with travellers, cyclists, hikers, photographers and other outdoor adventurers. Wolffepack now has its sights set using its EXPETOSYSTEM technology for new products to grow the business.
David and Claire Hieatt – Hiut Denim Co
Having somewhat revived the denim industry in the small Welsh town of Cardigan, David and Claire Hieatt’s jeans brand has established itself as one of the most luxury in the world. Already worn by the likes of music stars Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys, Hiut Denim’s public profile received a huge boost when Meghan Markle wore them on her first official visit to Wales following her engagement to HRH Prince Harry.
Umar and Adam Kamani – Pretty Little Thing
Witnessing first-hand the success of their father Mahmud, the founder of boohoo.com, brothers Umar and Adam created the Pretty Little Thing brand in 2012. With a rapidly growing following, particularly in the US, its clothes have been worn by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora and Nicki Minaj. After sales rose a massive 228% last year, Umar and Adam are targeting even bigger growth this year.
Kieran O’Neill – Thread
Kieran O’Neill is somewhat of an anomaly in entrepreneurship. While most start a business around something they’re really passionate about, Kieran actually hated his. Despite loathing clothes shopping growing up, Kieran is the founder of online men’s fashion website Thread. Using artificial intelligence, Thread acts as a personal shopper based on a user’s preferences, revolutionising the way men shop for clothes.
Alex Loven – Net World Sports
Recently named as the UK’s wealthiest young entrepreneur on the Sunday Times Rich List, Alex Loven began his Wrexham-based sporting equipment firm Net World Sports in 2009. Now selling more than 100,000 football goals a year, the 30-year-old entrepreneur found the inspiration for his business after buying a cricket bat on eBay for £60.
Helen Collins and Olivia Collins – Myza
Winners of The Start-Up Series in 2017, the UK’s largest monthly seed funding competition, mother Helen and daughter Olivia are the founders of Myza. Myza is an online marketplace for healthy sleep products; the first of its kind. With £150,000 investment and support from sleep experts, Helen and Olivia have their sights firmly set on becoming “the go-to online shopping destination for all your sleep needs”.
Aron Gelbard and Ben Stanway – Bloom & Wild
Founded by Aron and Ben in 2013, Bloom & Wild, named the UK’s top rated flower delivery company, arrange and deliver tens of thousands of bouquets across the UK through people’s letterboxes. Shaking up the flower market, Bloom & Wild make ordering flowers online as simple as sending a text message.
Zak Edwards – Prezzybox
Launched at the height of the dotcom boom, gift retailer Prezzybox has stayed at the forefront of e-commerce for nearly two decades. Now, with more ways of shopping online than ever before, and younger generations using technology in different ways, founder Zak Edwards is focusing on enhancing the company’s offering to ensure business growth.
Aneeqa Khan – ePorta
Aneeqa Khan is the founder of ePorta, the first online marketplace which allows interior designers, architects and tradespeople to source furniture. Aneeqa discovered a gap in the market and has made it her own, with plans to expand internationally ahead of her.
Stuart McClure – Love The Sales
Stuart McClure is the founder of Love The Sales, the online marketplace that brings together millions of sale fashion products in one place. Continually growing the number of products on offer and brands it works with, Love The Sales has ambitions to have gone through two or three investment rounds and have a global reach by 2019.