As the UK Government delays the easing of all restrictions to at least the 19th July due to the worrying increase in Delta variant cases, here’s an update on the PPE portal project. In the last week of May 2020, as we were exiting the first Covid-19 lockdown, we blogged about the technology and expertise Volo Commerce is providing to the recently launched eBay-NHS initiative to set up a portal for healthcare providers to order the PPE they need for the pandemic. Exactly 12 months later, in the last week of May 2021, we reached 3 billion items delivered by the PPE portal.
Over 52,000 front line service providers have registered on the portal and over 50,000 of them – around 88% – have used the portal to order their PPE items. These providers include domiciliary and residential care providers, GP practices, pharmacies, optometrists, the dental sector, children’s social care providers and drug and alcohol care providers.
Volo is one of a number of partners in this initiative of national importance. The Volo Origin platform manages the PPE listings and the millions of orders, connecting directly into eBay. We also provide considerable ongoing support and maintenance. We don’t charge for our technology and expertise.
The growth trajectory of the portal project is staggering. In mid-July 2020, Tamebay reported that the portal had shipped over 18.5 million PPE items. By the beginning of November the portal had shipped 325 million items. In the week of 28th October to 3rd November alone, 51 million items were shipped. By the beginning of December, the total number of shipped items had reached 500 million. In mid-January, it breached the 1 billion items mark.
Chris Farrelly is Volo’s founder and CTO, and he gave his view on the latest milestone:
“Five months ago I said that 1 billion PPE items was an almost unfathomable amount, and in those 5 months the project has tripled that number, with 6-figure daily order volumes. The Volo Origin platform has always had the reputation of being able to cope with vast SKU volumes and order volumes, and this project is the ultimate testimony to that I guess. I’m delighted that we continue to be a key part of the backbone of the NHS-eBay PPE portal.”
In February of this year the PPE Portal Team within the UK Department of Health and Social Care was shortlisted for the annual Civil Service Awards in the Collaboration category. In December our platform won the award for ‘Outstanding Innovation During the Covid-19 Crisis’ by the IAAF (The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation) at the 2020 ‘Pride of the Aftermarket’ Virtual Awards. (The Volo Origin platform is behind ecommotors, which is a full service ecommerce enabler for the aftermarket industry.)
You can get in touch with us here to discuss your ecommerce growth requirements for this year and beyond.