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Four sectors where online sales have soared during lockdown

Posted on May 14, 2020

 

Yesterday’s news that the UK now faces a “significant recession” will not have been a big surprise to anyone. Amid the doom and gloom though, there are some sectors, and businesses within them, that have reported positive news since the lockdown came into effect.

With people changing their lifestyles and the way they shop, those companies that have been able to adapt to this and find their COVID-proof niche have made the most of a bad situation. Here are some examples we’ve found:

1. Groceries

Research company GlobalData has forecast that online grocery sales in the UK will enjoy a surge of more than a quarter this year.

The Guardian notes that all major supermarkets have significantly increased their number of delivery slots, with Tesco more than doubling its number, while Waitrose has set up a new warehouse just for online orders.

2. Books

Stationery giant WH Smith has faced challenges in recent months, including requiring a cash injection of £162m from investors, and the comparative low footfall in airports and railway stations has hit its physical stores hard. Nonetheless, some encouragement can be taken from a reported 400% increase in online book sales over the past month, as people look for ways to pass the time at home.

Rival bookseller Waterstones is also taking advantage of the trend with an online clearance sale.

3. Bicycles

Recent weeks have seen a change in our road traffic, with the revving of engines making way for the turning of pedals. The bicycle revolution has opened up an opportunity for businesses selling this green form of transport, such as Brompton Bicycles, which reports a fivefold increase in online bike sales since the beginning of April.

4. Cosmetics

The first signs of COVID-related supply shortage and panic buying were evident when shops began to run out of soap and other hygiene products, leading many to look online for something they would normally have bought from supermarkets.

Newly set-up Yorkshire retailer Nut and Noggin, which sells eco-friendly shampoo and soap, has benefited from a 300% boost in online sales, with co-founder Rachel Clark explaining that she has seen customers buying the plastic-free items as gifts for people in isolation.

What these businesses have in common is that they have adapted to the changing environment and focused on what they can do rather than what they can’t. At the heart of any success story at the moment is a good website and online retail experience, so speak to Engage Web if you’re looking to take advantage of the internet explosion.

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