Retail Excellence has called on the Government to support eCommerce to assist Irish retailers to compete online, according to a statement issued by the group today (14 February).
Lorraine Higgins, Retail Excellence Ireland, Head of Public Affairs and Communications said: “Irish retailers need increased Government support to compete online”.
The comment comes in response to the latest results of the Visa Irish Consumer Spending Index, which recorded that face-to-face shopping was down 0.7% when compared to the same month last year, whereas online shopping was up 12.3% in the same period.
The figures mark the sixth month in a row of double-digit growth in electronic commerce.
Higgins added, “We welcome that overall spend was up 4% in January but the decline in buying in shops is something that concerns our members. Irish retailers are facing inordinate challenges in 2017 with increased online spend and further currency fluctuations so we need to be proactive in counteracting the impact of this.
“However, the challenge facing the industry is acute in that 22% of Irish SMEs have no online presence and of those that have 75% of them cannot process payments on their websites. When you consider the foregoing and the fact that in 2017 €560billion will be spent online across Europe it is clear we need to better assist retailers to win that prize.
The statement outlined that facilitating retailers to get online is the way forward.
“Therefore, proactive measures must be implemented as a priority. Facilitating retailers to get online with fully functional eCommerce websites is the way forward and we would hope the Government would be cognisant of consumer trends and assist retailers accordingly by increasing the budget for the Digital Voucher Scheme,” Higgins concluded.
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