91pc of Irish SME websites have no e-commerce capabilities

20 Apr 2015

A new report published by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) claims that 91pc of Irish SMEs can’t process any sales online whatsoever.

The findings came following a survey commissioned by the domain registry group that looked at the websites of 501 SMEs in Ireland and showed that many companies are hindering their ability to increase their sales by not having an e-commerce platform.

Likewise, in terms of running their business through the internet, 68pc of those surveyed showed they couldn’t handle payments online and 62pc couldn’t take sales orders online.

In terms of how they actually promote their business online and deal with customers remotely, the report showed that more than half – 51pc – have no social media presence or ability to launch a chat window with a customer service representative.

Incredibly, given its importance in driving interest to a business, only 4pc of businesses were found to have an analytics platform set up for their website.

Commenting on the research, the chief executive of IEDR, David Curtin, said: “What stands out most is the mismatch between business owners’ acknowledgement of what’s important and their actions. Business owners know it’s important, but they haven’t (yet) acted to sell online, with 73pc saying their website is ‘important/very important’ as a driver of generating sales, yet 62pc cannot take sales orders via that website.”

Continuing his criticism of the findings, he said: “In an ever more global economy, the absence of an online sales presence puts Irish businesses at a huge disadvantage [compared] to competitors. It acts as a major disincentive to attracting customers, for whom buying online is now the norm.”

Storefronts in Dingle, Ireland image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic