IE Domain Registry, the company that manages and maintains Ireland’s country domain, .ie, has today launched its ‘Digital Town’ initiative for the second year running.
Pioneered and led by IE Domain Registry, the Digital Town initiative seeks to highlight the economic, social and cultural benefits of the internet to towns across the country. The initiative aims to ensure SMEs and local economies are realising the full potential of digital technology, particularly e-commerce.
Sligo has been selected as this year’s Digital Town. Sligo has been chosen for its achievements in cultivating a truly digital environment in the town, and for its ongoing success in fully embracing digital for its residents and local businesses. IE Domain Registry believes that in showcasing Sligo’s efforts, it can inspire other Irish towns to begin their journey to becoming fully digital.
This comes after findings from IE Domain Registry’s SME Digital Health Index 2018—research conducted among 1,000 SMEs—show that Irish SMEs are not maximising their full e-commerce potential.
Ireland’s e-commerce economy is worth €12.3 billion, but just 3 in 10 SMEs (30%) can take sales orders, and even fewer can actually process payments for transactions through their website (26%). Almost two-thirds (61%) of SMEs do not promote their services online and just 1 in 10 SMEs have taken part in a digital skills training or business funding programme.
In 2018, there were approximately 254,929 SMEs and micro-businesses in Ireland, accounting for 99.8% of total enterprises. IE Domain Registry research shows that each of these businesses stand to lose up to €25,761 a year on average if they do not have a website.
Commenting today, David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry said, "We are delighted to select Sligo as Ireland’s Digital Town 2019, a town that is actively embracing digital and internet in all its forms. Sligo has made significant advances in cultivating a strong digital environment in the town. The arrival of high-speed broadband has stimulated a significant increase in digital activity and has allowed businesses and citizens to reap the benefits of the internet for their business, community group or local service."