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Retailers turn to dropship in November

By Retail Technology | Monday December 14 2020 | UPDATED 14.12.20

Major retailers turned to dropship to fulfil the COVID-19 driven surge in online sales in November

New data from Virtualstock – whose clients include Argos Sainsbury’s, Dixons Carphone and John Lewis & Partners – reveals increased orders on its dropship platform for the month including Black Friday.

2020 saw 40% and 37% year-on-year growth in order volumes in the two weekends (13-16 and 20-23 November) leading up to Black Friday Weekend, but only a 33% annual growth in orders on Black Friday Weekend itself. The two weekends before Black Friday 2020 had 24% and 15% more orders than Black Friday Weekend 2019 respectively.

The increase to order volumes throughout November reflects a year in which the structural shift to ecommerce has been greatly accelerated as a result of COVID.

Demand spikes

Consumer purchases this Black Friday Weekend mirrored the trends that Virtualstock has seen throughout 2020 with 3-in-1 sandwich makers, air fryers, and microwaves all among the most ordered products as more people were forced into cooking and eating at home more regularly, while computer monitors and coffee makers reflected the sharp rise in home offices due to the pandemic.

Dropship enables retailers to fulfil spikes in demand by accessing suppliers who fulfil orders directly with customers. It can also be used to rapidly ramp up and extend product categories online and plug any gaps in inventory.

Virtualstock founder Ed Bradley said: “This year has seen ecommerce growing stronger as the pandemic has thrust it into the limelight as the primary way in which many people now shop. November has been no different as we saw a huge rise in orders, despite many retailers investing less in marketing this year than previous ones.”


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