Royal Mail makes new e-commerce acquisition

As part of a general drive to invest in e-commerce, national postal operator Royal Mail has bought a shipping and parcel data management platform called NetDespatch. This acquisition will support the company’s aim to provide customers with integrated e-commerce solutions for managing shipping and tracking of parcels.

Over the last year, Royal Mail has been investing heavily in e-commerce solutions through multimillion pound acquisitions. E-commerce is core to the business’s success with the huge growth in parcel deliveries and Royal Mail very dominant in the UK delivery market.

Earlier this year the company bought out Australian startup Market Engine Global that enables businesses to manage online shop fronts in global marketplaces such as Tmail Global. In July Royal Mail also bought Mallzee, which runs a fashion sopping app.

NetDespatch is already a supplier of shipping label solutions to a number of medium sized customers who are also clients of Royal Mail. The product will compliment Royal Mail’s recent purchase, Storefeeder, that is the developer behind Royal Mail’s Click&Drop. This provides similar labelling labelling services to NetDespatch, but also runs stock control and order management services to its clients.

NetDespatch is a service that enables carriers to provide web based applications and services to more than 130,000 business customers, allowing them to use delivery data transferred from order management and warehouse systems, automating the production of shipping labels, customs documentation and generating any data files that are required.

Nick Landon, MD of Royal Mail Parcels said of the acquisition, “The acquisition of NetDespatch supports our strategy of providing our customers with leading edge e-commerce software. It allows customers with complex IT estates to integrate with us quickly and with the minimum of effort, allowing them to improve the service they offer to shoppers. We are confident that this acquisition will support the continued growth of our parcels business with new and innovative software solutions as the needs of our customers evolve.”