Independent online retailers in the UK are taking, on average, 23% more orders this March than in 2019, according to new data from James and James Fulfilment. Essentials such as health supplements and store cupboard ingredients have seen triple-digit growth in orders between the last week of February and third week of March.
There is not only increased demand for essentials, but also home entertainment and fitness products, such as board games, journals and yoga mats. This suggests that shoppers are considering their families’ mental wellbeing, as well as physical health, as they self-isolate at home.
The fashion and beauty sectors have fared less well, with decreased orders across accessories, clothing, cosmetics and jewellery.
The data is based on the order volume of nearly 300 independent online retailers. James Hyde, CEO and Co-founder of James and James, comments: “It’s clearly an uncertain time for people, who are adjusting to new ways of living at home, and retailers, who are struggling with peaks and troughs in demand. With retail being such an important part of the economy, it’s vital that we pull together to support both our current clients and any other retailers that are looking to eCommerce to survive.
“With lockdown now in force, companies like ours will play an ever-critical role over the coming months, in getting essential products to the people who need them – after all, for every 1,000 orders delivered to homes, we remove the need for 1,000 visits to shops.”