With 67% of Brits planning to visit the high street less, search begins to find the UK’s fastest growing online retailers

Despite increased footfall since the return of stores this past week, 67% of Brits are planning to make less visits to the High Street over the next year as they become comfortable shopping online.

The boom in online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic has been a ray of hope for the retail sector, and research from IMRG reveals online retail sales grew by 36% in 2020, the highest annual growth since 2007*.

A search is now underway to recognise those UK ecommerce businesses that have thrived during the last year.

Entries are now open for the first ever ‘Lightning 50’, a definitive list of the fastest growing ecommerce companies in the UK. 

Digital Operation Platform, Brightpearl, which provides digital operations solutions  for some of the world’s biggest retail brands, is launching the search to celebrate UK e-tailers which have grown the most during the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses can enter for the chance to be included in the final list here: Lightning 50 – Brightpearl Entries close on Friday 16th July 2021.

Online retailers have been seeing year-on-year sales increases of upwards of 600%, according to research from Brightpearl.

A poll the company conducted also reveals that two thirds (65%) of shoppers are planning to increase their online shopping spend in 2021 over 2020, and one fifth (20%) will only shop online within the next five years. 

Furthermore, 45% of consumers are now buying things online that they only previously bought in-store, and two fifths (40%) of buyers are less likely to shop in-store than they were before the pandemic, according to the same consumer study.

Brightpearl is now seeking to reveal the definitive league table of the fastest growing online retailers. It’s free for businesses to enter, and open to ecommerce businesses with annual turnovers from £1M-£250M.

“There has been a big shift to online post-Covid, and with Brits stuck at home for most of the last year, online deliveries have been one of the rare highlights of our stay at home life”, said Brightpearl CEO Derek O’Carroll. “Our own data shows many multichannel retailers reporting incredible growth rates – and we decided it was time to celebrate the nation’s fastest ecommerce growers over the past 12 months.

“The Lightning 50 only takes into account one metric when scoring businesses – growth. Our hope is that the Lightning 50 will really shine a light on some of the incredible work online businesses have been doing throughout the pandemic.”

Bristol-based Brightpearl works with thousands of retailers introducing software that puts orders, inventory, financials, POS (point of sale) and CRM (customer relationship management) in one place.


About Brightpearl

Brightpearl is the number one digital operations platform (DOP) for the retail and wholesale sector. Built to manage the complexity of modern business, the scalable platform offers  flexibility to respond to rapid changes in demand and smooth integration with other core operational systems within the organisation. 

Brightpearl’s complete DOP solution includes financial management, inventory and sales order management, purchasing and supplier management, CRM, fulfillment, warehouse and logistics. In addition, the solution has high-performing connectors to the major ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce. Over 1,200 businesses in 26 countries use our platform. We manage over 10m transactions and $3bn of business a year.

Brightpearl is a flexible and agile solution that enables fast decision-making and insights. The platform is designed  for retailers and wholesalers  to manage the heart of their business easily from one single system. Brightpearl’s configurable automation workflows have measurable time and cost saving impact for our customers, allowing them to focus more resources on growing the business. Our team guides retail businesses through a highly efficient implementation process which typically gets them up and running in less than 60 days – twice as fast as our competitors.

Brightpearl’s US headquarters is in the heart of downtown Austin with a global headquarters in Bristol, UK. You can connect with us on Twitter (@BrightpearlHQ), LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/Brightpearl), and Facebook (facebook.com/brightpearl).

Media contact:

Mark Hook


Notes to Editors 



Apr 22, 2021