EUROPE: While most wholesalers now offer online sales, the popularity of this method compared to traditional in-branch sales varies greatly across Europe, a new report reveals.
The growth of online sales in our daily lives suggests that the traditional coffee and a chat in your local wholesaler’s branch is becoming a thing of the past. Most wholesalers have invested in an online presence but a new survey of specialised HVAC wholesalers reveals online sales, as a percentage of business, varies from as much as 50% in the Netherlands to less than 10% in Poland.
The survey by Dutch marketing consultancy USP looks at the behaviour of customers in six European countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and the UK.
Second behind the Netherlands for online sales is Germany at 44%, followed by Belgium at 27%. Meanwhile, in the UK, France and Poland, the traditional ways of ordering and purchasing products from the specialised wholesaler are still preferred over the online option. In Poland, online sales averaged just 9%, while in the UK it was 10% and France 16%.
The downside of online sales is that wholesalers risk losing the face-to-face customer contact.