The exponential growth of E-commerce activity in Ireland during the coronavirus pandemic is likely to become the ‘new norm’, even beyond the crisis.

The transformed consumer landscape may have accelerated a process that was occurring at a much more glacial pace prior to Covid-19.

retired households online shopping

Huge numbers of people that previously avoided or only dabbled in online shopping in the past are now buying online – an additional 26,000 retired households ordered an online delivery within a 12-week period, with over-65s spending an extra €8.9 million online.

A recent survey revealed that online grocery sales grew by 76% compared to last year, with 15% of Irish households receiving at least one delivery during lockdown. People will likely become accustomed to these newly formed habits and the convenience of shopping online.

Changed consumer behaviours

  • In small towns and villages, people who would previously have bought from large retail chains will have suddenly re-discovered the importance of shopping and supporting local
  • Online grocery shopping, once people get into the habit of doing it, becomes a routine. The profound shift to online purchasing may be sustained permanently.
  • Individuals who tended not to shop online, such as the elderly, have been forced to do so and have adapted well. It likely there will be an acceleration in the decline of physical stores due to the behavioural change and adaptation to digital shopping habits.

Changed retailers behaviours

  • The precariousness of physical stores exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic had prompted retailers to re-evaluate their sales methods in order to protect staff and shoppers. We will see the transition into online retail maintained by many.
  • An increase in omni-channel retail approaches to develop a seamless integration between online and offline sales – to remain competitive in a rapidly digitalising world.
  • A much quicker expansion into services such as click and collect, and delivery, as traditional brick and mortar is not enough to maintain customer retention in a socially distanced society. Limiting the numbers of shoppers inside stores is affecting sales while the resulting queues to gain access are leading previously loyal customers to shop elsewhere.

As we step into and become accustomed to this new reality, it is evident that the Covid-19 experience has changed the way people shop in the long-term, especially in regard to e- commerce.mercury order login

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