Retail

A fast-growing SaaS business has launched a new £500,000 tech platform it believes will be a ‘game-changer’ in the world of eCommerce.

Kevin Jones, CEO and co-founder of Shopblocks, has predicted that stockport.com will become a £100 million turnover business in its own right after winning a string of new clients.

He said the name of the new platform was chosen partly in homage to the fact the company recently signed a long-term lease for the entire floor of No 1 St Peter’s Square in Stockport town centre.

Jones said: “We’ve spent four years and £500,000 creating stockport.com and we believe it fixes the big hard problems that are out there in the world of eCommerce.

“The new platform allows manufacturers and wholesalers to grow their eCommerce revenue by automating processes across their various channel partners.

“In its simplest form we provide the ‘plumbing’ that sits behind a website to make sure things like transactional orders, product pricing, stock levels etc are all synced together. It’s a game-changer for the industry.

“We’re proud to be based in Stockport so when somebody suggested stockport.com for a name it seemed like serendipity.”

Jones co-founded Shopblocks in 2018 with Stewart Reynolds to produce eCommerce websites but started working on the new platform four years ago after clients consistently highlighted the same problem.

Stockport needs to go into ‘fifth gear’ to maintain momentum

He explained: “If a business is trading online and relies on multiple suppliers, partners and resellers etc it becomes very complicated.

“To run smoothly you need to make sure the transactional orders are synced in with product pricing, stock levels and several more pieces of key information, all in real-time.

“What stockport.com has done is find a way of connecting all this business information together seamlessly.

“Without the platform websites will continue to sell things that are out of stock and prices won’t be correctly aligned with their suppliers and distributors. If you give customers a substandard experience they’ll simply go elsewhere.”

Shopblocks recently closed a £1.2m funding round and now employs approaching 50 staff.

According to Jones even online retailers turning over billions of pounds aren’t fully exploiting eCommerce because of the limitations of the current technology.

“When a customer comes onto your website to buy something, often they don’t want to pay for a high value order on a debit or credit card,” he said.

“For example if they’re buying a big piece of equipment they may want to buy it on a credit agreement or a lease.

“It needs connections to a finance company to get a quote, electronic signature and contract organised.

Stockport.com inserts a layer that suddenly makes eCommerce possible for all these companies.”

Jones said the new platform recognised the fact that all customers are different.

“In B2B commerce, order values can be in the tens of thousands,” he said. “A discount, asset finance or some sort of leasing agreement comes into play.”

Stockport.com can provide connections to the distributors, connections to the finance companies and a great eCommerce website powered by Shopblocks.”

Jones said stockport.com was the perfect name for a tech business based in Stockport.

“We’re moving data from one place to another just like ships move product containers from one port to another,” he said.

“We were looking at various ideas, lots of words relating to products and stock.  My co-founder Stewart suddenly looked at ‘stock’ + ‘port’ and said ‘this is the one’. It felt like the stars were aligning on the name.

“I said that if we can buy the .com I’ll do it and that’s what we did.

“We’re really proud to be based in Stockport. We’ve been in Stockport for a number of years and have just agreed a long-term lease in the centre of Stockport. I see stockport.com as being a £100m turnover business in a couple of years.”