eMark symbol for Irish online goods: attempt to stem €8.5m daily losses to economy

26 Nov 2013

With Irish consumers spending more than €8.5m every day on goods online from overseas retailers, Irish-based retailers are about to fight back with an ‘eMark’ symbol – a ‘guaranteed Irish’ mark – that it is hoped will support Irish jobs and businesses.

In the coming weeks, the industry members behind the eMark symbol will be revealed.

The industry members feel that Irish firms and jobs are being threatened by large and internet-savvy online retailers, especially in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.

The eMark will enable consumers to identify approved Irish online businesses before making purchasing decisions.

Some 43pc of Irish consumers purchased online last year, and 2.6m Irish people regularly shop online. Some €4.1bn was spent on online shopping in Ireland in 2012, up from €2.96bn the previous year – but 75pc of these purchases went through companies outside Ireland.

In other words, €98 per second is lost from the Irish economy, according to EuroStat. The consequence of this means fewer jobs and less business for Irish companies.

eMark’s Michael McCormack pointed out that the online retail market is set to grow to €21bn by 2017 and therefore with the phenomenal increase in online shopping by Irish consumers there has never been a more crucial time for Irish retailers to act and win back market share from international online retailers that are dominating this space.

“With a strong demand having re-emerged in recent years by the Irish public to buy Irish, this bodes well for the online industry and the eMark is here to provide the guarantee of Irish ownership to online consumers,” McCormack said.

“Our goal is to make sure consumers are informed about what companies are Irish and therefore this should lead to more people likely to choose those companies and ultimately support Irish businesses and jobs,” McCormack added.


The new eMark symbol which should start appearing on Irish e-commerce sites in the coming months

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years