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    ‘Online-delivered main way for majority retailers to procure stock’

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    Online-delivered is the main way that a good majority of retailers purchase stock from wholesalers, a recent report has claimed, highlighting the growing role use of WhatsApp in driving engagement and delivering a personalised experience.

    According to UK Wholesale Online Report 2023 from Lumina Intelligence, online-delivered was found to be the main way that retailers purchase from wholesalers, currently standing at 71 per cent, demonstrating the growing importance of the online channel for wholesalers and suppliers.

    The report confirms that inflation, energy hikes and staff costs ‒ alongside ongoing volatile consumer sentiment ‒ are having major impacts on retailer and foodservice businesses.

    It adds that 67 per cent of retailers are worried about energy costs, and 63 per cent cite inflation as a major concern, both presenting huge challenges to profitability.

    The new report highlights the benefits e-commerce offers, including maximising reach and boosting operational efficiencies for wholesalers. And for retailers, digital solutions can enable the cheapest possible price and offer the all-important personalised shopping experience through tailored promotions and product recommendations.

    The report notes that during 2023, wholesalers have launched successful digital solutions focused on tailored category advice and personalised promotions.

    Meanwhile, for wholesalers, WhatsApp is driving engagement and delivering a personalised experience, especially when messages are sent at the most effective times of the day. For suppliers, Lumina Intelligence states that B2B WhatsApp messages are key to boosting promotions, targeting higher spend and reaching a broader retailer audience.

    With a very high proportion of search users never going past the first page of results, it is suggested that optimising internal search functions and media placements are key for ease of online navigation and engagement. Suppliers can collaborate with wholesalers to advise on clear taxonomy of products so that, for example, foodservice operators can easily find dietary alternative solutions on their platforms.

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