Almost 7 in 10 (68%) Irish SMEs risk losing out on Black Friday trade as a result of not being able to take sales orders online, according to a recent report published by IE Domain Registry, the company that manages and maintains Ireland’s country domain, .ie.
However, according to IE Domain Registry’s SME Digital Health Index 2019, which analyses Irish SMEs and consumers’ attitudes to digital technology, only 32% of Irish SMEs’ websites allow them to take sales orders or process transactions.
As one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year approaches, Irish consumers expect that 62% of their Black Friday weekend spend will be transacted online.
“Now more than ever, consumers expect to be able to get the full retail experience online," said David Curtin, CEO, IE Domain Registry.
"Given that almost 70% of Irish SMEs’ websites do not have any e-commerce capabilities, most Irish businesses are immediately on the backfoot compared to their digital rivals in Ireland and abroad."
“As a result, a significant portion of Ireland’s online spending goes overseas."
Curtin highlighted that as we approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we are reminded of the competitive nature of the retail industry.
"Consumers are already seeking the best offers they can find, and online platforms allow them to compare promotions within Ireland and outside it."
More than half (53%) of the respondents said that they believe that online shopping will, at some point, replace traditional shopping.
“Irish SMEs’ online presence is relatively high," Curtin said.
Almost 90% of small to medium firms in Ireland have at least one digital asset, such as a website or social media page.
"However, it is the gap in these businesses’ ability to use their online platforms for e-commerce that reduces their attractiveness to the online consumer." He explained.
Despite Irish SMEs’ lack of e-commerce capabilities, 59% of Irish consumers say that it is important for them to be able to make a purchase online.
Broken down by region, only 20% of SMEs in the capital plan on offering any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. That number drops to 13% in Connacht and Ulster, 12% in the rest of Leinster, and just 7% in Munster.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.