Black Friday: Only 1/3 of Irish SMEs can process online sales

26 Nov 2015

With Irish consumers gearing up for Black Friday, and Cyber Monday soon to follow, its been revealed that a remarkable 65pc of Irish SMEs cannot process online payments, according to one report.

Considering the reliance a growing number of people have on both online purchasing and online researching – especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday – this seems like a costly problem for retailers.

Black Friday (tomorrow, 27 November) is a mammoth day for shopping, after the US-founded discount deals day found its way over the Atlantic in recent years.

Most, if not all, major retailers are getting in on the act in one of the largest shopping days of the year, with e-commerce driving the trend as Black Friday slowly consumes Cyber Monday into one big weekend of discounts.

The IEDR’s IE Digital Health Index report was compiled from a bunch of research drives over the past 18 months, finding that one quarter of all Irish SMEs lack any media presence whatsoever – although the figures are improving, marginally. Each research wave, of which there were three, surveyed around 500 SMEs.

The predicted spend of Irish consumers online for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday varies depending on who tells you the information, it seems. Visa Europe predicts a total spend of €98m, on Visa cards, online, over the entire Friday to Monday period. Tinderpoint thinks, for Black Friday in particular, €33m will be spent online.

What cannot be ignored, though, is that each of these predictions represents huge sums.

“The IE Digital Health Index highlights some alarming figures, in particular, the statistics relating to e-commerce capability,” said David Curtin, IEDR’s chief executive.

“Less than half, or 42pc, of Irish SMEs can take sales orders online, and an even smaller number, just over a third, or 35pc, can process payments online.

“In 2014, Irish consumers spent almost €6 billion in e-commerce transactions. At the moment, only a tiny amount of this is spent in Ireland, with most consumers purchasing products from stores in the UK and Europe where digital marketplaces are more commonplace and accessible.”

E-commerce image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic