The Chronicle

Covid e-commerce boom

- Tim MacKinnon eBay managing director

THE lockdowns have accelerate­d ecommerce growth. And eBay has provided a lifeline to thousands of Australian retailers looking to keep their businesses operating and buyers looking for the things they need.

But it is not sustainabl­e. Online businesses have been winners but there are too many losers. Covid hit our retail and hospitalit­y sectors hard.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and of eBay. Most of the 40,000 Australian retailers we work with have physical stores. We need a healthy retail sector, not just an online retail sector.

Vaccines will enable these businesses to operate the way they need to for longterm success. While we’re making good progress on vaccinatio­n rates, we have learned the cost of complacenc­y. We need to move forward, and the best way to do so safely is by everyone (who can) getting vaccinated.

As Australia inches closer to opening up, I am looking forward to some normality. The simple things – like seeing my parents, getting a haircut, and going to the shops. eBay is driven by our purpose of economical­ly empowering people and creating a level playing field for everyone.

Lockdowns have turbocharg­ed the growth of e-commerce but the level of change and adaptation isn’t sustainabl­e. This is why Australia cannot afford to lose momentum in its vaccine rollout. Jab rates need to continue to climb for small businesses to survive.

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