Boiler installation business BOXT has reported "unprecedented growth" during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The company says that Britons have taken advantage of its ‘contactless’ sales process and dedicated S.O.S safeguarding service for the vulnerable during lockdown, resulting in sales rising 75% year-on-year (YoY) in the first two weeks of June.

BOXT also witnessed a 25% jump YoY in sales of voice-controlled boilers through the online platform in the period from lockdown to the end of April (23 March - 30 April).

Sales of boiler installations surged further on between the six week period from May to date – up 50% YoY. 

BOXT delivered £26m of turnover in the year ending 31 March 2020. With 1.6 million boiler replacements per year taking place in the UK, the firm is targeting an increase to more than £50m this year.

Lockdown has also spurred a shift in purchasing habits, BOXT says, with 54% of orders being placed during office hours between 11am and 5pm, compared to 43% in the same period in 2019, driven by Britons working from home or being on furlough during the week.

“With March being a key month for boiler sales, we had concerns about how business might play out when coronavirus started to take a firm grip on the UK,” said Andy Kerr, co-founder of BOXT.

“However as soon as lockdown was announced, our e-commerce model and platform really came into its own and gave us a solid foundation with which to react. The rate of sales was unprecedented.

“Our technology was designed very specifically to streamline the quotation and booking process to make it so simple for the consumer, it would remove the antiquated and time consuming sales technique of having a surveyor come into your home first to quote for the job – which has paid dividends at a time when people are very rightly concerned about having tradespeople in their homes.

“When your heating system fails, it’s near impossible to avoid having an engineer in your property. When lockdown was announced, we needed to become even more agile; dialling up speed, service and safeguarding - both for our customers and gas safe registered installers.

“In this respect, our slimmed down commercial model, without physical sales surveyors made this infinitely easier to react to the challenging climate.

“We set up a dedicated 24/7 telephone number for those who needed the additional security of talking directly to someone to make their booking, completed personalised risk assessments prior to installation, and ensured next-day priority installation for the over 70s and ‘at-risk’ when they booked before 3pm.

“We also shifted to single visit installations with a solo installer where possible to further reduce the possibility of human contact in a bid to reduce the risk of infection.”