Industry spotlight- E-commerce in wholesale with Ferrero

Over recent months, we’ve collaborated with Ferrero to better understand wholesalers’ long-term e-commerce strategies and their general sentiment towards digital. In order to do so, we surveyed over 50 wholesalers through phone calls and email communication.

The findings show that wholesalers are very positive, with a substantial majority saying they believe it is going to dominate selling in the next three-to-five years.

However, a slight majority also said it hit its peak during the pandemic, and 62% said it will grow, but only with support and resources.

65% of wholesalers surveyed have an e-commerce plan in place

More than 65% said they had an e-commerce plan of some sort, and 50% claimed to have plans to develop it beyond the next year. Almost all have seen a substantial change in online ordering in the past year, with a massive majority seeing it increase and just under 10% saying it had stayed the same.

On data, almost 75% of wholesalers report that they do share data of some kind, but only 16.6% claim to be fully transparent.

The majority share data only with their key suppliers. We’ve seen that wholesalers in theory believe that e-commerce has potential, but is the optimism shared across stakeholders?

Read more: E-commerce advice column- Ferrero


  • Wholesalers think e-commerce has a place, and most are planning for an e-commerce future
  • The majority of wholesalers have seen an increase in online ordering in the past 12 months
  • Weekdays appear to be the most active time for online ordering
  • While wholesalers are optimistic about e-commerce, most believe it will only grow if there is more industry support
  • Wholesalers only share data with key suppliers, regardless of their views or individual plans for e-commerce – this is the case across the UK


  • 75% either ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ e-commerce will be the key form of selling within next three-to-five years
  • 85% have seen online ordering increase over the past 12 months
  • 35% only share their insight and data with key suppliers
  • 82% of the wholesalers who don’t plan to develop their e-commerce offering still don’t think it will decline in the next three-to-five years
  • 53% of those who saw their online ordering stay the same or decline in the past year still believe it will be the key form of selling in next three-to-five years


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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via and 07960935659.


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