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Irish e-commerce and digital business in the Covid vaccine era

Covid-19
e-commerce
smes
Tipping Point
by Ellie Wong
29 Apr 2021

EOLAS Magazine - May 2021

The .IE Tipping Point report, Irish e-commerce and digital business in the Covid vaccine era, is our second report analysing consumer and SME behaviour and attitudes since the pandemic.

While vaccines offer Ireland a way out of lockdown, until a critical mass is reached and the population is immunised, our economy and society are set to remain in a state of flux. This flux is accelerating major trends in e-commerce and digitalisation. Behaviours and ways of working that boost sales, cut costs or increase convenience are likely to become permanently ingrained.

Key findings

The vaccine era but no return to normal

While vaccines have laid down a path back to normality, all government and medical advice suggests that economic restrictions and social distancing requirements are likely to remain in place until at least the end of 2021. Consumers seem to be mostly on the same page. 55% believe that life in 2021 will be mostly the same as life in 2020 or even more restricted.

The Covid consumer

The way Irish consumers spend online and in-store is changing. 68% of Irish consumers said they spent more online in 2020 than they did in 2019. A sizeable 42% say they will do most of their shopping in physical, bricks-and-mortar stores in 2021, despite the current restrictions, down from 48% in 2020. Greater numbers say they will shop only for necessities in-store but buy most other products online (43% vs 41%) or do most of their shopping online (15% vs 11%).

These changes reflect the current state of the pandemic. The longer compulsory online shopping continues, the more entrenched it will become in consumer behaviour.

The Covid SME

An increasing proportion of businesses recognise that a digital channel is key to their survival while the pandemic continues. 30% of SMEs now claim to sell their products via an online store, up from 25% in 2020.

Those SMEs with an online store have benefited from consumers spending more online. 86% say they have experienced an increase in sales or sales enquiries from their online store since the pandemic began. 86% say they have experienced an increase in sales or sales enquiries from their online store since the pandemic began.

Read the full Eolas Magazine article here

For further information, visit our .IE Tipping Point Report page where you can download the full report and factsheet.