Rebooting Ireland: Five key takeaways from the The Business Show’s third webinar

Rebooting Ireland, The Business Show | Thu 27 Aug | Author – Business & Finance

The five key takeaways are:

  1. E-commerce has experienced an uptick with increased digitisation
  2. Technology has enabled customers to have a say in how products and services are consumed
  3. Every restaurant must have a food delivery option in the future
  4. Black Friday and Christmas will see a predicted increase in online sales
  5. Digital transformation will help us reach our climate change targets

Digital Transformation: Exploring the Impact on Irish Industry’ was the topic discussed during a live The Business Show webinar yesterday afternoon. Conversations centred on how further advances in the digital world will impact the Irish business landscape.

The webinar comprised of a moderated panel discussion featuring speakers Dermot McArdle, Head of Business Markets, Electric Ireland, Sarah Murphy, Head of Marketing, Scurri, and Brody Sweeney, Founder, Camile Thai Kitchen Group.

This third webinar in The Business Show series was hosted by Sarah Freeman, Managing Editor of Business & Finance Media Group.

If you missed the webinar, you can register to view it here.

  1. E-commerce has experienced an uptick with increased digitisation

Sarah Murphy is the Head of Marketing at Scurri, a software provider that connects and optimises the e-commerce ordering, shipping, and delivery process. She mapped out the elements of digital transformation that she and her team had to undergo from the outset of the coronavirus pandemic to now, saying: “We’ve been fortunate that e-commerce has boomed during the pandemic. One thing that we’ve done is we’ve helped companies overcome the challenges that they faced during digital transformation.

“At Scurri we’re really lucky that our software actually allows companies to build their ecommerce functionality and reach their customers so that they can actually scale and reach their customers. We’ve seen a 72% uplift in sales online over the past 6 months alone. There’s been huge change for us and we’ve definitely gone from strength to strength.”

  1. Technology has enabled customers to have a say in how products and services are consumed

Dermot McArdle is the Business Markets Manager at Electric Ireland, where he is responsible for the management and delivery of Electric Ireland’s business solutions to the LEU and SME sectors, in both Ireland and Northern Ireland, including electricity and gas supply, and telecom offerings.

In response to a question posed by Sarah Freeman on the ESB innovation directorate, Mr. McArdle said: “”The electricity industry has been around for 100 years since foundation of state, [with] one fifth budget allocated to electrification. If you look back over 100, 110 years, we’re moving much more towards a renewable space. Technology has enabled customers to get involved in how energy is consumed in this country.

“A lot of our larger customers have control over their energy consumption. We offer products to our business customers which allow them online savings. It’s about culture, it’s about recognising the industry was changing and getting ourselves ready to lead and react to market changes.”

  1. Every restaurant must have a food delivery option in the future

Entrepreneur Brody Sweeney is founder of Camile Thai Kitchen – the UK’s fastest growing Thai food chain with 33 locations, including five in London. Camile, which turns ten this year, was created in response to the ever-growing demand for high quality, healthier and more sustainable home delivery options.

When asked about the future of the food industry, Mr. Sweeney replied: “The restaurant industry has had a seismic shock like it hasn’t had in 100 years or more. Only game in town is off-premises consumption and home delivery. Every restaurant has to have a delivery option now, even fine dining ones.

“We’re seeing a lot of technological innovations coming through. We’re looking at cloud kitchens, they’re very effective for restauranteurs, much cheaper to staff. In restaurant kitchens there’s almost no automation, we’re looking to semi-automate the cooking process redeploy that labour.”

Mr. Sweeney also spoke about the implementation of a drone delivery service in the near future.

  1. Black Friday and Christmas will see a predicted increase in online sales

When asked about how online retail will be impacted by Black Friday and the Christmas season, Sarah Murphy replied: “We’re predicting a two-fold increase in sales for Black Friday. People need to prepare for that peak. The high street is not going to be busy around Christmas this year. 72% people want to continue shopping online.”

  1. Digital transformation will help us reach our climate change targets

Dermot McArdle, when asked about the effect digitisation will have on energy consumption and the environment, replied: “The main climate issue we have is the energy sector. If people are informed about what they’re using they’re likely to make more optimal choices. eople are working remotely, that’s going to drive benefits in terms of sustainable transport [and other areas].”