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Delamode Group has acquired Lithuania-based e-commerce delivery provider PirkAnglijoje to expand its online delivery service, EshopWedrop, in Eastern Europe.
Marketing manager Dave Gladen told The Loadstar he hoped the acquisition would create “a snowball effect”, with Delamode looking to further extend its coverage over the next 12 months.
“We are looking to franchise the business model this year and, within the next two to three months, we hope to have found a partner in the Caucasus to cover Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia,” said Mr Gladen.
“And, dependent on finding the right partner, we are also looking at Iran.”
Industry association E-Commerce Europe reported that Baltic consumers were increasingly favouring buying online, with 2016 B2C e-commerce turnover expected to grow 15.1%.
However, Delamode said customers in these countries often faced prohibitive delivery costs when wanting to access online retailers in Western Europe.
This resulted in the 2012 founding of PirkAnglijoje for Lithuanians, followed by Delamode’s EshopWedrop in 2015, covering customers in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.
Delamode chief executive Stephen Blyth said the integration of PirkAnglijoje would create a step change in volumes across the group’s e-commerce routes.
“We believe there is significant untapped demand among the Eastern European consumers to take advantage of,” he added.
Mr Gladen said the platform worked by allowing a customer to consolidate all the purchases from individual European e-retailers into one shipment, which is then delivered by EshopWedrop.
“This results in both time and, most importantly, cost savings for consumers,” said Mr Gladen.
“We also offer direct-to-door or a click-and-collect service.”
Managing director of EshopWedrop Mircea Bandean said there was a strong appetite in Lithuania for online goods and services abroad, with 320,000 of the 650,000 Lithuanian e-shoppers making cross-border purchases.
He said: “By integrating the PirkAnglijoje customer base we will have approximately 5% of the market of all cross-border online shopping deliveries to Lithuania.”
In addition to expanded service in the Caucasus, Mr Gladen said the group was looking at franchising into the Western Balkans, and offering services to stores in the US.