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Only 32% of Irish SMEs with website sell online

Just 69 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises in Ireland have a website. And only 32 percent of these online companies sell products or services online. By not selling online, SMEs are losing their share of the Ireland’s €12.3 billion ecommerce market.

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Ecommerce in Ireland seems to be more popular among consumers than retailers. For example, 45 percent of Irish consumers want to buy products online or in store on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday, buy only 32 percent of Irish companies with an online presence take sales orders through their website.

53% of consumers want high street shop to sell online

This is shown in the SME Digital Health Index 2019 [pdf] by IE Domain Registry. It looked at the digital behavior of 1,000 Irish small and medium-sized enterprises. At the same time, 63 percent of Irish consumers think a business looks outdated if it doesn’t have a website. And more than half of consumers (53 percent) want their local high street shops to offer an ecommerce website.

David Curtin, CEO of IE Domain Registry, says most businesses in Ireland still use their websites as static digital business cards. “Few engage in ecommerce and fewer still use business-boosting tools, such as project management and file hosting software.”

Most consumers think ecommerce will replace physical retail

Online shopping is important for six in ten consumers. And 53 percent even believe ecommerce will eventually replace traditional bricks-and-mortar shopping. Currently, 48 percent of consumers only visit physical retailers for every necessities, but buy other items, such as electronics and clothing, through online shops. “Considering most Irish SMEs don’t have any ecommerce capabilities, most of that money is therefore going abroad to international online retailers and/or to local online competitors.”

In October last year, government organization Enterprise Ireland opened an ecommerce fund to accelerate the online offering of Irish retailers.

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