The high prices for gas, oil and electricity were the reason why many consumers began to consider heating with wood in 2022. This had a clear impact on demand, resulting in firewood being one of the most highly searched for products on the sourcing platform wlw. Discover what the other products were in the Top 5.
Alternatives for heating and power generation
The year 2022 was shaped by war in the Ukraine and the resulting shortages in sources of energy. The price for gas skyrocketed to an absurd level, and a gas shortage in Germany was a major fear for quite a long time. This led to many consumers and companies to search for alternative heating options. Firewood was then suddenly in higher demand than ever before – making it the most frequently searched for product on the sourcing platform wlw in 2022. The term “firewood” was entered more than 32,000 times, and for the same reason the term “wood pellets” also made it among the Top 5, with a good 20,000 searches.
This higher demand had a drastic effect on the wood market: the price for firewood rose sharply, and the price continues to remain at a high level even in 2023. In August 2022, it cost about 85 per cent more than in the previous month. In January 2023, the price for dry beech wood within the wood trade stood at between 150 and 180 euros per cubic metre, which is about 60 per cent more than in January 2022. The market has been nearly emptied – many specialist retailers can currently only get their hands on fresh wood that first has to dry for several months to provide a good energy output.
As the price for electricity also rose strongly last year, the interest in photovoltaics grew significantly in equal measure. Photovoltaic systems can be installed on roofs, on garages, as a covering over a terrace or as cladding on the outside of buildings – and they ideally provide energy independently from the electricity market. More than 28,000 searches were performed for this product, as recorded by wlw in 2022 – taking second place within the Top 5.
Machine construction and food
Just as highly impacted by the war were machine and plant construction systems – a key segment within the German industry that is suffering immensely due to the turbulent energy market. This can be seen not only in the rising prices for energy and raw materials, but also in the supply security of natural gas and power within single companies. What’s more, ongoing shortages in supply put a major strain on machine builders in 2022. The demand for products from this segment was thus high – “machine construction” recorded nearly 27,000 searches on wlw.
Various foodstuffs were also not easy to come by last year, making “food” one of the Top 5 products with roughly 21,000 searches.
An overview of the Top 5 search terms in 2022 on wlw
2. Photovoltaic systems
3. Machine construction
5. Wood pellets
B2B trade on the Internet continues to gain significance
All in all, the online trade for the B2B segment recorded a significant plus in the year 2022. According to the B2B market monitor from ECC KÖLN (German), net sales of 470 billion euros are expected to come out of 2022, which is a 10.7 per cent share of the overall sales of B2B products and services. The growth of net sales compared to the year 2021 amounts to nearly 34 per cent.
Another insight from this report: the relevance of marketplaces continues to rise. In the period from 2018 to 2021, these platforms were able to record an annual growth rate of 52 per cent. More than one quarter of sales comes from marketplaces such as wlw today – in 2018, this number was just 15 per cent.