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Wholesale app use sees dramatic rise in Q1 2020

Wholesale app use sees dramatic rise in Q1 2020

The number of orders received by wholesalers through ordering apps increased dramatically in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to new figures released by RNF.

The figures for January to March 2020, taken from RNF’s Beam Commerce platform, showed a 66% increase in total transactions via app along with an 84% increase in the total number of orders. With average basket size up 4% too, this represents a significant increase in value for what was already the industry’s only growing sales channel.

Rob Mannion, MD of RNF, said: “These figures show impressive digital sales growth across both retail and foodservice customers, with retail customers seeing a 63% uplift in total transitions and 75% increase in order numbers, while foodservice customers saw a huge 375% uplift in total transactions and 319% increase in order numbers.

“While some of this growth has been driven by operational changes caused by Covid-19, this did not really come into play until late March so the full impact is still to be realised.

“It’s also pleasing to see that figures taken from our longest-established retail wholesalers continue to see strong growth. Here transactions are up 50% year on year, with the total number of orders up 43% and average basket values continuing to grow.

“It’s clear that Covid-19 is causing real challenges across the sector but the Q1 figures suggest that mobile ordering apps could have a key role to play in helping wholesalers adapt business models to suit changing circumstances.

“This is particularly pertinent for the foodservice sector, which has seen huge growth in app use during Q1 but which has also been hit hard by the pandemic. On the one hand, this sector has seen most, if not all, of its customers close indefinitely but, on the other, adopting digital sales channels is a proven and effective way to reposition a business and engage with new customers.

“For those wholesales that find themselves with more time on their hands than usual, investing in collating the information needed to move their business online could be the smartest use of time.  When lockdown restrictions are eased – if not lifted – over coming months, it will those that have successfully moved operations online that are likely to benefit first.

“Our experience, backed up by data from Beam Commerce, has shown a consistent move towards mobile ordering over the last two years. If the last few weeks are anything to go by, the Covid-19 pandemic could prove to be the catalyst that turbocharges that shift.”

If you’d like to find out how RNF can help you get online and future-proof your business get in touch with us.