How the beast from the east boosted ecommerce buys

We heard the beast from the east was coming, but were retailers really prepared for what actually came?

According to high street analysts Springboard, footfall plummeted 17.1% across the UK last week, with shoppers preferring to stay home than feel the brunt of the freezing cold chill. The impacts of the harsh weather were felt most in Scotland and the East – with a footfall drop of 45.6% in Scotland on Wednesday 28th February. And Thursday saw footfall in the rest of the country fall by approximately 30%. Hardly surprising when we consider the fierce weather warnings and the inability for many people to get to their local supermarkets.

However, it was a different story when it came to online retail.

According to our ecommerce trends data, in the course of the bad weather, overall ecommerce transactions rose over 11% on the week before. We broke the figures down by sector, and here’s what we found.

The most striking figure we discovered was in the groceries sector. When we looked closely at the data from supermarkets and large stores, we found that online transactions were up a whopping 88.7% on the same time last year and 16% on the previous week. This highlights the level of panic-buying that took place.

Other noticeable rises could be seen in the fashion sector, where online purchases were up almost 24% on the week before, and 20% on the previous year. New duffle coats and ski boots galore! There were also further rises in the health and beauty sector, where transactions rose 32% year on year, and almost 24% on the previous week.

The sector that suffered most was home and DIY, which saw a drop in transactions of 6.6% on the previous week. But who wants to do DIY when there are snow men to build?

A few days later and the snow has just about disappeared for many of us. But as your online store goes back to normal, we’d definitely encourage you to ensure it is optimised and ready for the next bout of bad weather. If consumers can’t get out to the shops, they will almost certainly go looking for what they need online.

Was your sector affected by the beast from the east? Start the conversation below.