The introduction of COVID-19 restrictions has led to a significant increase in online sales for Irish retailers, according to a leading ecommerce firm.
Magico, which is based in the west of Ireland, says online sales by retail clients have increased by an average of 400 per cent since the public health measures were introduced on March 12 resulting in the temporary closure of thousands of businesses across the country.
Magico’s retail clients include providers of pharmacy and health, footwear and fashion, sports and leisure, construction and industry, petfood and gardening services and products.
“While traditional high-street retail activity will experience a significant downturn in 2020, online sales in Ireland will surpass all previous records this year as lockdown-affected businesses and consumers look online to sell and buy products,” stated Paul Montwill, Managing Director of Magico.
“We have been implementing eCommerce for over 20 years for clients in all industries, both in business-to-consumer (B2C ) and business-to-business (B2B ), and we have never witnessed such a seismic shift in online sales. The spike in sales is akin to that seen on Black Friday but is one that has become permanent for retailers using our abcommerce platform.
“Irish retailers that have embraced ecommerce in recent years have been best placed to counter the challenges presented by the Government-imposed restrictions on trading,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Montwill said “new industries” in the online economy will emerge over the next 18 months as the world prepares to “live alongside” COVID-19.
“There are many ways for business development and growth in this new economy that is emerging. Online sales technology is becoming more affordable and easier to implement whilst the benefits remote working technology have been brought to the fore like never before,” he said.
“We believe there is a number of areas of growth in this new economy,” added Mr. Montwill. “People will have more leisure time to fill in, so businesses selling home activities will grow. Similarly, people will be spending more times with their families so new ideas for family activities may emerge.
“People will get used to having groceries delivered so new technologies for automatic ordering of groceries may emerge. Elsewhere, delivery companies will need to grow, there will be an increase in buying locally, online assessments by GP’s will increase with a resultant demand for online technologies to enable such interactions, and technologies that enable our schools to remotely implement the school curriculum will continue to be developed and improved.”
“With this new economy likely to last 18 months, consumers may in the long term see an improvement in the quality of their home life so many of these new growing industries may become permanent. Furthermore, the world has naturally taken the initial big steps required to solve global warming – we are hopeful that this may give the environmentally friendly industry a new push that could become permanent,” concluded Mr Montwill.