In April of 2020, Covid-19 hit the Maltese Islands hard. Everyone that could was forced to work from home, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues were all told to close their doors, and we were all pushed into a state of isolation. It was a grim time for most, but when faced with problems, us humans are quite good at finding innovative solutions.
On the evening of April 21st 2020, Marc floated an idea to his best friend Malcolm about how they could help the eCommerce market in the Maltese islands. The idea occurred to him when he realised that with all the online shops available to the Maltese people, there wasn’t a single place that could help them find what they needed quickly and efficiently. At that instant, Malta Virtual Mall, or as we like to call it, MVM was born!
Ecommerce platforms have been around on the Maltese islands for a few years now but when Covid-19 and the subsequent “lockdowns” hit, the online retail industry had to pick up the pace heavily. Although the number of online shops was growing by the day, there wasn’t a place where people could go to find what they were looking for exclusively from local online shops. We wanted to create this place in order to support local retailers in these tough times by connecting them to local customers through a free-to-use, efficient online platform. After a month of long nights and hard work, over and above our full-time jobs and other responsibilities, as well as a number of iterations of the platform, the idea of MVM came to life and we launched https://maltavirtualmall.com in May 2020.
Something not many people know is that we had a few main goals in mind when creating MVM, and though these have evolved and been added to in the past year and a half, we still wanted to keep them at the core of what we do. These goals were mostly focused on
• Financial and Environmental Sustainability
• Supporting the local market
• Connecting consumers with local businesses
• Providing a FREE, reliable and efficient service to shoppers
Essentially, we wanted to create something that was beneficial to the Maltese Islands and the people that live here, and we think we’ve largely succeeded in what we set out to achieve.
Further to that, we’re extremely passionate about sustainability, especially when it comes to the environment. We try to live our daily lives with the environment in mind and we wanted our platform to operate in the same way. We operate on systems that are energy efficient and being 100% online, we don’t need physical resources that need to be disposed of or recycled. We even created an Eco-friendly category of online shops on our site to help consumers shop sustainably. Naturally, TAPP was one of the first shops to grace this category page.
2021 was a great year for MVM. We’ve improved our platform, grown our reach, helped over 50,000 customers connect with over 680 local online shops, and got to partner with great people like Phil from TAPP Water Malta.
However, we’re far from finished and though 2021 was awesome for our platform, we have big plans for 2022 and beyond, which we’ve outlined in a new blog post titled MVM’s 2021 In Review.