More than 85,000 retailers have gone online during lockdown

More than 85,000 retailers have gone online during lockdown

A new report from research firm Growth Intelligence has found that more than 85,000 British retailers have joined digital marketplaces or launched online stores in the past four months, as they figure out how to adapt their business models to ‘the new normal’.

The new figures come as no surprise to marketplace Fruugo, which is currently experiencing record levels of sellers joining its platform, as well as a spike in customer traffic to its website which has forced it to deploy extra hardware to keep up with demand. During the last weeks of June the company’s year-on-year sales were up 200 per cent, supporting findings from another recent report by IMRG showing that the reopening of physical retail stores is yet to impact ecommerce sales in the UK.

Tony Preedy, Fruugo’s Chief Commercial Officer, comments on the new figures and what they mean for online marketplaces:

“Marketplaces have been gaining traction for some time, but the shift in consumer behaviour that COVID-19 has caused has been drastic, with the ecommerce industry as a whole seeing accelerated growth. The possibility to shift to an online-only sales strategy has helped many retailers persevere through the crisis, and online marketplaces have played an especially important role in helping smaller and medium-sized businesses embark on their first eCommerce experience. The past few months have also shown that our place in the eCommerce landscape is solidifying, as many retailers that now need to become efficient data wranglers, not just shopkeepers, will need third party expertise in order to cope, especially with the management of international sales.

“It is clear that retailers of all sizes have to continue to digitise going forward, as little is pointing to a significant retraction of online sales. Stores will have to be integrated with online operations to enable them to act as a network of distribution centres that offer either ship-from-store or click-and-collect capabilities. Retailers agile enough to adapt to these changes in consumer behaviour will naturally emerge strongest.”