IIA steps into the breach to solve Ireland’s digital dilemma

10 Feb 2016

The majority of money spent online by Irish consumers goes overseas

Around 80pc of the €8.5m spent online every day by Irish consumers goes to overseas retailers because most Irish firms have missed the boat on the digital revolution.

To counter this, the Irish Internet Association (IIA) is creating a new diagnostic tool to help firms figure out what they need to do to get online fast.

Some 40pc of Irish firms don’t have a website and, of those that do, 68pc can’t process e-commerce payments, according to research from the IEDR.

The IIA is working on a new diagnostic tool that it says aims to help Irish SMEs find the best route to sell online.

The tool, which is being developed with the support of the IEDR, AIB and AIB Merchant Services, will be used at nationwide clinics that will equip SMEs with the knowledge and know-how to get online and get selling.

Key to the creation of the tool, says IIA chief executive Joan Mulvihill, is a research phase based on the SMEs themselves powered by Qualtrics that will go live today (Wednesday 10 February) at noon.

To participate go to www.iia.ie/etail and click the big ETAIL button.

No one-size-fits-all solution for e-commerce

Mulvhill said that, while the Irish Government has tried to get SMEs moving through schemes like the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, firms themselves need to understand best practice and identify the pain points when it comes to selling online.

“We need Irish businesses to fill out some key data points – it should take about 13 minutes to complete and this raw data will then be used by our expert working group (comprising members of the IIA) to build the diagnostic tool,” Mulvihill said.

“Business Online Vouchers will only be effective and transformative if SMEs can invest them in a best-practice e-commerce business model.

“E-commerce is not solved by building a website or adding a shopping cart button. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all solution’ and there’s no single RRP on the cost of doing it.”

Mobile commerce image via Shutterstock

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