Hundreds of New Zealand businesses have shifted the way they operate in a matter of weeks to continue to trade in line with the Government's lockdown restrictions.
As a result, the country has seen a surge in businesses throughout the hospitality, beverage and wholesale sectors move their operations online to set up shop for home deliveries.
Fifteen days into the Covid-19 lockdown, more than 600 businesses that fall under the criteria of an essential business, selling produce, drinks and petcare products, have listed on business directory Delivereat, a website designed to pull together a running list of all the food businesses who offer delivery during the coronavirus lockdown.
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Entrepreneur Denym Bird, founder of painting turned hospitality business Paintvine, who built the website, says there has been an explosion of businesses turning to e-commerce to get through the mandatory alert level 4 lockdown, particularly in recent days following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's clarification on Monday that some businesses can do home deliveries as long as their stores remain shut.
Following initial mass confusion around what was deemed an essential business, and what businesses could operate, Ardern confirmed independent butchers, bakers and greengrocers could make home deliveries while New Zealand was at alert level 4.
Bird was waiting in a queue at a supermarket after the first weekend in lockdown which sparked the idea to create an online directory for essential businesses offering home delivery during the lockdown.
Delivereat launched last Tuesday with 40 or so businesses he and a friend found online.
Fast forward to today, more than 500,000 people have visited the site and about 620 businesses are now on the site.
At least half of the businesses listed on the site did not offer delivery before the lockdown.
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"We're seeing this massive shift in retail businesses that have been aware of online but haven't really paid much attention to it that are literally now being forced to involve to do this," Bird told the Herald.
Central Otago-based Lamont Wines, which supplies its wine to restaurant and bars, has built and online store and is now doing home deliveries.
Lamont Wines owner Craig Gasson told the Herald his sales had fallen dramatically - by about 95 per cent, like others in his industry - due to the coronavirus lockdown. The business ordinarily supplies wine to restaurants Monsoon Poon, The Grove, The French Cafe, among other restaurants.
"What we're doing now is personalised, reaching out directly to direct customers. Rather than us sitting back and having a website and a service where with not a lot of traffic through it, we've now gone on a more proactive approach to identify people who have bought wine from us and might be interested," Gasson said.
"We're in a privileged situation to do some trading."
While revenue from online sales was small relatively to orders pre-lockdown, Gasson said it was a help and it had made him seriously reconsider the businesses approach to direct to consumer sales after lockdown restrictions were lifted.
Wholesalers Bidfood and City Produce, which ordinarily supply goods to restaurants and hospitality venues, are now selling direct to consumer.
Roni Kapoor, director of City Produce, which has a core business of supplying Pak'n Save and New World supermarkets, cafes and restaurants with fresh produce, said the business took a hit following the lockdown and so it decided to set up home delivery.
City produce launched its home delivery service on March 27. It started off as word of mouth but shortly after had a website developed in three days.
It sells seven different boxes of produce boxes that come with a mix of fruit, vegetables and essential items such as milk and eggs, ranging from $30 up to $120 for a family box, which it drops off to doorsteps via "contactless" delivery.
Until now it has sold about 1200 boxes, and had prove popular with older folk and families with young children.
"The goal ultimately is to have a big turnover and hopefully we can make a little bit of money so we can support the families that we have employed as well," Kapoor said.
"Businesses have gone down so people have to reinvent themselves just to stay afloat."
Greg Cornes, owner of Auckland cafe chain Goodness Gracious, which employs about 20 staff, said he could see where the coronavirus pandemic was going and early on was looking for alternative ways for the business to operate.
"We were in a fortunate position before the lockdown in the sense that we outsource a couple of our main products; we have a contract roastery and a contract bakery," Cornes said, adding that the chain had been developing its "pivot" strategy from day one of the lockdown.
It now supplies its coffee bean blends and bagels to consumers, directly from the contract manufacturers. Prior to lockdown, it had online orders for pick-up only.
"We've set up the business to facilitate those transactions online and have them delivered according to the level 4 protocol."
Cornes said he was glad there was a way for his business to continue to trade.
"The businessperson in me is a little bit excited by the challenge - I just wish it wasn't to the scale of how so many people are going to be effected on some many levels," he said.
Operating online was a good option for smaller businesses but for larger operations, such as restaurants with large footprints, he said revenue made online would not offset in-house trade.
"To survive, businesses will [likely] find that they are constantly innovating and pivoting for the next six months to a year."