Ireland’s local retailers should prepare for winter lockdowns now by offering online ordering
services to their shoppers, according to Irish digital growth agency Grofuse.
With public health measures increased in Dublin to combat the spread of coronavirus and
other counties on the cusp on further restrictions, it’s been revealed that more than half of
people (54%) say the response has been appropriate. While almost half of respondents
(47%) say the worst is ‘ahead of us’.
And that may have serious repercussions for local retailers everywhere who have not
embraced online selling, says Grofuse Director, Ian Cullen.
He says: “Last spring changed our daily lives drastically, not least in the retail sector, and as
we move towards winter flu season – amid a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases – there is much
“With more and more people seeking their daily essentials online, it would seem prudent
that local retailers find the best e-commerce solution to satisfy their customers’ increasing
demand for home delivery and click and collect services. Embracing e-commerce now will
also help safeguard retail staff by reducing face to face contact and help smaller
independent retail businesses to compete with online supermarkets.”
Mr Cullen adds: “We’ve all witnessed the queues during the spring-summer lockdowns – will shoppers be so willing to do that as the cold, wet and windy winter weather takes hold?” Selling online was already charging ahead at pace in a number of areas prior to the pandemic, but is rapidly becoming “a need to have service” for consumers seeking local
produce from their local stores t
Mr Cullen explains: “Those who take heed of this changing behaviour and meet their shoppers demands for online ordering services now, will stay ahead of their competitors. Those who don’t, won’t. That’s because the profound shift to a consumer ‘need’ for convenient online local shopping looks like it may be here to stay.
“If products such as artisan bakery bread, butcher’s meat cuts, or farm shop fruit and veg were not searched in online stores before, now they are. E-commerce is clearly no longer a simple extension of the bricks and mortar store, rather it is becoming a necessity in order
for local, independent stores to survive and thrive.
“The retail sector is pivotal to assisting a nation through lockdown, it is critical that the
opportunity to provide for customers while increasing revenue streams through click and
collect and delivery services is seized,” he adds.
Plan, Prepare and Act
Now retailers have had time to prepare, but have they prepared enough? Retail giants such
as Marks and Spencer and Lidl have finally taken the plunge to offer online grocery ordering
and a number of small retailers are taking note of their customers’ new need – a need that
was evident even while lockdown measures were eased.
If you would like to prepare your retail business for an online Christmas, contact our team at
Mercury Order today. NI: +44 28 7122 8820 UK: +44 333 241 44 22 ROI: +353 1 247 5294.