The move away from High Street shopping towards digital retailing due to the Covid-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact even after lockdown ends.
That’s the view of Mike Callachan, the managing director of Dundee-based website and ecommerce development firm mtc.
He said firms have quickly pivoted to investing in websites and apps that allow them to sell goods online and keep their businesses afloat.
He has seen the increase in demand for delivery services first hand with the Snappy Shopper delivery app for convenience stores, which was developed at mtc.
SPAR Scotland announced yesterday that it would go onto the Snappy Shopper platform, which allows customers to select goods from a shop and have them delivered to their door within an hour.
Mr Callachan said: “Some firms who sold produce primarily to the restaurant trade for example are now selling to the public via their own app or website and this is now their sole source of income.
“We have seen a surge of enquiries from companies who need to quickly have an online presence that allows customers to place orders from a menu of items and have them delivered to their door and we are working seven days a week keep up with demand.
“We had a three-year ecommerce plan for convenience store home delivery retailer Snappy Shopper, but the reality is that we have achieved the targets in just three weeks.”
Mr Callachan said the top performing store using the Snappy Shopper app had achieved sales of almost £40,000 in a week.
He said the move away from High Street shopping to digital platforms has “dramatically accelerated” because of the pandemic, with long-established local household names now adopting an ecommerce facility.
The current situation means mtc has altered its own business model.
Previously the firm would charge around £4,000 for an app that would normally take eight weeks to deliver.
Now, mtc has adopted a model of charging a monthly rate to companies for ecommerce technology that can go live in seven days.
Mr Callachan said: “When the Covid-19 restrictions came into place, some companies initially moved to taking telephone orders, but if you only have one phone line, there is a limit to the number of orders you can take and how often people are willing to keep hearing an engaged tone.
“Now, we provide the client with technology that sounds an alert and prints off orders for them to pick and deliver.”
Founded in 1999, mtc has 120 staff, with around 70 based in Dundee. It also has an office in Edinburgh.
The company also provided the technology to beer firm Brewgooder, which launched an initiative for people to buy a four pack of beer for an NHS worker.
So far more than 6,000 packs have been pledged to NHS staff.