Small businesses across Ireland are being warned their lack of digital capabilities are affecting profits.
Statistics from the dot ie Digital Health Index show that nearly a fifth (17%) of SMEs do not any have sort of digital presence. And of those companies, more than half (55%) have no intention of creating a website in the future.
This comes at a time when consumers across Europe are estimated to spend approximately â‚¬487bn this year online, according to research by Retail Excellence Ireland.
David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry — who produced the Index — says a lack of awareness may explain a non-existent digital footprint in certain SMEs.
“A significant cohort of SMEs remains offline with no intention of building a website in the near future. Many aren’t aware of how being online can drastically improve their business and others feel like they don’t have the skills to do it.”
The Index found that 90% of potential customers for SMEs go online to find out information about companies and their products and services before making a purchase.
The Domain Registry also encouraged organisation who do have a website to improve online purchasing tools. Of the 72% of SMEs with a website, only a quarter of these are able to accept online payments and a third (32%) can make online bookings or reservations.
“More and more Irish SMEs are making the leap online and benefiting from e-commerce and online engagement with customers. It’s a positive trend that’s continuing,” Curtin added.
Want to improve your digital footprint? Get in touch with Milner Browne today and our small business experts to see how we can get your organisation trading online with customers.