The tech business week: Irish e-commerce revenue up 51pc, e-Day approaches

25 Aug 2014

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news Irish e-commerce revenue has gone up by 51pc.

Irish e-commerce revenue increases by 51pc

Wolfgang Digital released the third in its series of quarterly e-commerce revenue studies and, while the figures are going up, those flailing behind need to beware of ‘digital marketing Darwinism’.

The Dublin-based digital marketing agency spent recent weeks collecting and collating a large sample of data from Irish e-commerce websites spanning retail, travel and charity verticals, which had a combined revenue in excess of €80m in 2013.

The resulting Irish E-Commerce Study for Q2 2014 comes with good tidings for e-commerce in Ireland. Revenue has increased by more than half (51pc), website traffic is up by 30pc, and average revenue per visit has grown by 17pc compared to the same period last year.

However, while 4 out of 5 participants saw revenue growth, the remaining one-fifth saw an average rate of decline of 25pc.

Wolfgang Digital CEO Alan Coleman sees this as ‘digital marketing Darwinism’, where businesses need to either keep up with the latest advertising technology or get left behind.

e-Day countdown: less than one month until cheques to e-payments switchover

Businesses and public-sector bodies in Ireland have less than one month to prepare for e-Day, the day Government departments and offices, local authorities and State agencies will no longer issue or accept cheques.

The 19 September e-Day is an initiative under the Central Bank’s National Payments Plan to cut costs and improve cash flow in the Irish economy.

Ian Talbot, chief executive of Chambers Ireland, said the move from cheque to electronic payment methods is a positive one that will save money for both the Government and businesses alike. “In fact, it is estimated that the economy will save €1bn per annum by a comprehensive move to electronic payments.”

Irish home tech firm climote partners with Scottish Power

Irish home technology company climote has teamed up with energy giant Scottish Power to offer 5.6m UK customers a product they can use to control their home heating remotely.

Climote co-founders Eamon Conway and Derek Roddy have developed the patented product, to be called ‘Connect’, that enables users to control their home heating and temperature from anywhere in the world, using smart technology.

Neil Clitheroe, CEO, retail and generation at Scottish Power, said the company saw a natural partner in climote, as Scottish Power promotes energy efficiency, and predicted Connect will be popular with its customers.

Bitbuzz reveals increases in revenue and registered users

Wi-Fi network operator Bitbuzz has reported an 11pc year-on-year increase in revenue to €1,102,153 for the first half of 2014, driven by demand for Wi-Fi in hotel rooms.

The Irish company also saw a 49pc year-on-year increase in its number of registered users, from 1,514,540 to 2,978,490 by the end of June.

That same month, Bitbuzz conducted a survey that suggests 70pc of hotel guests are not turning on the TV in their room, instead choosing to stream content through their tablet or laptop. This trend has seen Bitbuzz selling higher bandwidth back-end services to hotels throughout the UK and Ireland to cope with the increased demands for streaming video content.

Ryanair appoints John Hurley as its CTO

Low-fares airline Ryanair has a new chief technology officer: John Hurley, who will join the company on 15 September as it continues to implement its programme of digital and customer improvements.

Hurley will be coming to Ryanair from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt plc.

In his new role, Hurley will be responsible for developing and implementing a world-leading digital and technology strategy, and will head a team of 200 people as he oversees the rollout of the Ryanair Labs digital innovation hub based at Ryanair’s new Dublin Campus in Swords.

Steve Ballmer resigns from Microsoft board

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has decided to step down from the company’s board to focus on basketball and teaching, and enjoy the benefits of being a chief shareholder.

In a letter to his successor Satya Nadella, which has been published online, Ballmer reflected on the past six months since he retired as Microsoft CEO and admitted his time is now spent focusing on the Los Angeles Clippers (the professional basketball team he now owns), civic contribution, teaching and study.

“Given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off,” Ballmer wrote.

Online shopping image by Jmiks via Shutterstock

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