During the pandemic, Worten kept all stores open, but it was the online that conquered the Portuguese in the period when they avoided going out.
In an interview with Jornal Económico, on the evolution of sales in physical stores and courses as well as adapting the safety measures imposed by the Directorate-General for Health to all surfaces, Inês Drummond Borges, Marketing Director at Worten guarantees that “from the first moment” they imposed the necessary measures to safeguard all employees and customers, and that the online saw an exponential increase in sales during confinement.
In the interview, the marketing director also addressed the favorable evolution of the marketplace, where they sell products from other stores in the Sonae group, such as Note (stationery), Wells (health) and Zu (pets).
How was the implementation of safety rules in stores?
The implementation of safety rules in stores went, in general, very well, with great tranquility, despite the radical change of routines that implied.
Worten kept the stores open during the entire confinement period, since the products and services it sells were considered essential goods, so we had to implement hygiene and protection measures for employees and consumers, from the very beginning, many times at the initiative of the company, even before legal enforcement. It was a way of guaranteeing to our people that they could safely perform their duties, so that they could transmit that same tranquility to the customers who came to buy at the store at that time. These measures have been continuously adjusted to the evolution of the health crisis in the country and are now absolutely integrated into everyone's new habits.
With the insecurity of going out on the street, people chose to buy online. During the quarantine period, how many customers made online purchases at Worten?
During the confinement, the worten.pt website registered seven times more sales than in the same period last year, with more than twice the traffic, which consolidated our leadership position in the E-commerce in Portugal. This is because, in fact, the store online it was already one of our largest stores in terms of sales volume, even before the State of Emergency arising from Covid-19. The reduction in consumer mobility has naturally reinforced this reality.
According to Marktest, Worten registered, in June, a reach million and 1 thousand individuals, which represents about 500% of the Portuguese aged 18 years or more.
Were there many differences between online and in-store purchases?
Naturally, and as would be expected, during the State of Emergency, there was a decrease in the number of stores. Due to the imposed confinement, not only did the Portuguese go less to the stores, but when they did, the visits were shorter and served to effect the purchase, as quickly as possible, not so much to see or compare the products, nor to obtain advice for a reflection and later decision. As a general rule, the customer already knew what he was going to buy and went to the Worten store in search of an immediate solution for his case.
In parallel, our store online it exploded in relevance in meeting the needs of the Portuguese, with the aforementioned multiplication of sales volume by seven.
The campaigns we launched, particularly that of free home deliveries for purchases made on worten.pt, between March and May, also contributed to this, a particularly relevant offer in times of confinement.
The new purchase formats that Worten launched in the period, particularly the drive-thru, in which, by calling the nearest store, you choose the product over the phone and then pay and collect it in the store's car park, without getting out of the car, they were highly requested by consumers for immediate purchases with maximum convenience.
How has the bet on e-commerce been going?
It has been going very well, and more than a bet on e-commerce per se, Worten has been betting, for some time now, on a strategy of complementarity between the physical and the digital, the so-called omnichannel strategy - which, it should be said, proved to be a competitive advantage in relation to the others players, very relevant, in the last five months.
We believe that this buying growth trend online, widespread to more layers of the population, is here to stay, so the site will undoubtedly have an even greater weight in the business in the future. However, there are aspects of the shopping experience in which what the physical store “delivers” is unique: contact with the product combined with the “human touch” in the advice of specialized salespeople.
What are the most popular products?
The products most sought after by the Portuguese were changing along the timeline of this crisis: in the initial phase of the confinement, there was a great demand for food preservation and preparation equipment and for coffee machines. It's easy to see why: with confinement, we spent more time at home, with the whole family, eating regular meals. The capacities of refrigerators and cabinets could minimize shopping trips and the help of a food processor made the difference in the quickest and even fun preparation of meals; on the other hand, with the cafes and restaurants closed, the coffee routine had to pass into doors, so we had a peak demand for coffee machines in the days following the declaration of the State of Emergency.
Nevertheless, the big stars were computer products: laptops and printers have even become essential products for teleworking and distance learning, so the demand for them has remained at unprecedented levels throughout the period. .
Interestingly, in the second half of the confinement, male personal care products registered a much higher demand than in previous years, due to the fact that barbers and hairdressers have their doors closed. From April 15 to May 31 of this year, the sales value of this category grew 75% compared to the same period in 2019, with hair trimmers, for example, almost quadrupling sales, while beard trimmers more than doubled.
With the lack of definition, the demand for products has returned to the usual trends related to seasonality: in other words, we are registering an increase in the demand for air conditioners and fans, as a result of the high temperatures that have been felt, especially in recent weeks. .
What is the balance of the Marketplace in the Worten business?
The Marketplace represents about 20% of sales online of Worten and has grown nine times over the same period last year. We also accelerated the incorporation of “selling”On our platform and integrated, on worten.pt, the Sonae Note, Wells and Zu brands, which has allowed us to further expand our offer with brands recognized by the public and which, immediately, deserve your trust. In this way, we make a very positive assessment of this business model, certainly a bet to reinforce in the future.