Week 12 was a key week across Western Europe as France and Spain followed Italy into regional lockdown after the announcement of the global Pandemic. Through this time, it’s been fascinating to see the resilience of retailers who have quickly pivoted to offering their customers new categories of goods and new avenues of delivery in response to the health crisis. New ways of buying and selling are emerging.
On this milestone, I was duly interested in taking a moment to dive into the emerging trends experienced by Mirakl-powered Marketplaces. Here are some key takeaways:
Top Marketplace Sellers During Covid-19 - Lessons Learned
Top performing categories: eGrocery, sports & leisure, home IT & electronics in France, Spain and Southern Europe.
Generalist retailers have on average doubled their Marketplace transactions (109% growth) with top product categories being gels, masks, and fitness equipment as people’s only way to exercise during the lockdown has shifted from outdoor to indoor.
There’s been a +110% increase in sporting goods +250% increase on treadmills, the #1 best selling item.
eGrocery marketplaces have tripled their traffic. These numbers have been especially high in France. This of course has been dependent on e-grocers’ ability to sustain fulfillment and logistics throughout the coming weeks. A strong example can be seen in the French eGrocer Pour de Bon, a marketplace specialized in fresh local products. They have seen a 600% increase in checkouts on March 16. Once orders are made, they are collected and distributed daily by ChronoFresh, a subsidiary of Groupe La Poste, which delivers the groceries directly to households thanks to a special authorization obtained by the French government.
We’ve seen a spike in computer, home furniture and B2B sales of items needed for a home office in Spain. Trends replicated in countries that had lower remote work numbers before the lockdown.
In leisure, game consoles are up 130% across the board; books have trailed behind but are accelerating with a 94% increase in week 12.
Lessons for Northern Europe
Here are some lessons learned from retailers so you too can continue activity during these troubled times:
Open communication - Retailers will need to ensure that communication channels are set up with sellers and buyers, and need to track who has the bandwidth to do what.
Set expectations - This can help in developing a relationship based on trust with customers. Retailers need to ensure they don’t make promises they cannot keep.
Be agile - Use your marketplace to generate data on the top products and categories being used to offer your customers more of what they want.
Create an omni-channel strategy - By combining local store inventory with marketplace inventory from third party sellers, you can ensure that you will not suffer from out of stock during this crucial time for you and your customers.
Leveraging the Marketplace model to avoid shortfall of the supply chain
Strikes, harsh weather, and social unrest began what has been a tough year for retailers worldwide. The coronavirus hasn’t helped. However, we’ve found that retailers with marketplaces whose seller-base is diverse geographically have suffered less**.** When foot-traffic is halted, a marketplace has allowed them to quickly shift their strategy and categories to offer their customers what they want, when they want it -- even if that means quickly pivoting into brand new assortment like gels, toilet paper or treadmills from buyers who have the stock.