Retailers flocking to e-commerce channels

More retailers than ever are turning to online-ordering channels as the coronavirus continues to impact shopping behaviours.

According to the new HIM Wholesale eCommerce (Retail) Report for 2020, searches and usage of digital wholesale channels have reached record levels.

And data collected between 11 and 25 March shows an increase in customers searching for products such for in-demand items, such as pasta and toilet roll, are up more than 1,300% and there have been almost 5,00 unique searches for the term germs.

Within these figures, HIM’s report also notes that whereas brand-specific searches have historically dominated, retailers are currently showing more of an inclination to use keywords instead.

The insight also suggests many retailers who wouldn’t normally have considered using online-ordering methods have turned to them as demand hits new levels across the convenience sector – although it’s too early to say if this trend will continue after the outbreak comes to an end.

“Due to consumers stockpiling essential items, such as household and grocery items, demand for certain products has soared,” said HIM & MCA Insight Insights Manager, Ellen Codd.

“Retailers are having to stock up more frequently, which is clear from the significant increase in searches and increased frequency of transactional sessions on wholesaler websites.

“There’s a definite change in search behaviour, as searches move from brand to product focused and in the case of searches such as ‘germs’, retailers are focused on finding any appropriate products to keep stores stocked.

“It’s important that products are tagged with alternative terms, such as hand sanitiser and hand gel, to ensure the correct product is returned after a search for similar words.”

coronavirus covid-19 digital e-commerce Ellen Codd HIM MCA Insight retailer wholesaler