At beverage company Bickford’s Group, sales and marketing manager Chris Illman said the company established an online brand sippify.com.au four years ago for its 32 trademark products.
It also has a separate online store for its homeware brand Wheel and Barrow.
Since social distancing rules were introduced, Illman said “sales online have absolutely exploded”.
“Online for the month of April, we will sell more in revenue than we would have sold online for 24 months beforehand,” he said.
“I have never seen a sales channel in recent times react as swiftly as what this has.”
Illman said if consumers were expected to be working or staying at home it appeared they were more likely to be buying online and the more trusted, respected brands had emerged as being more attractive to shoppers.
Exporters are also being encouraged to take advantage of this trend and develop their online capabilities as the rest of the world continues in lockdown.
The Department for Trade and Investment today opened a new eCommerce Accelerator Program (eCAP) directly targeted at South Australian small to medium-sized exporters who want to sell their products or services digitally and globally.
Exporters can apply for up to $10,000 grant funding to help establish an ecommerce presence to circumvent the need to meet face to face with buyers overseas while international travel is prohibited.
“Innovation is the backbone of successful business and this program offers businesses the opportunity to adapt and change to the challenges presented by COVID-19,” Trade and Investment David Ridgway said.
“We recognise that for many exporters, this means a completely new approach to how they interact with existing and potential clients.”
Businesses will be able to use the money towards undertaking training that may assist developing their business models, selling products online via third party platforms, or establishing e-commerce capability
Leading meat processor Thomas Foods International is also seeing rapid growth in its e-commerce channel.
General manager commercial Simon Tanke reports a dramatic rise in online sales for its Thomas Farms products during the past six to eight weeks.
“We’ve seen habits and behaviours change and what that has generated in the last six to eight weeks has been extremely overwhelming, we are probably looking at a 10-fold increase in the time,” Tanke said.
Exporters are also being encouraged to develop their online capabilities as the rest of the world continues in lockdown.
Thomas Foods International’s Tanke said that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought in many people who had never used e-commerce sites before.
“There’s been forced consumer change that has basically given trust to consumers who have used our platform, that they are getting a high value product that has led to significant repeat purchases,” he said.
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