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Online sales show wide variations across Europe

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.

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