The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) have today warned that Irish SMEs that remain offline are missing out on huge business opportunities.
According to its most recent dot ie Digital Health Index, 17% of Irish SMEs still have no digital assets whatsoever, therefore, no digital presence. More worryingly, over half of offliners or 55%, don’t intend on building a website in the near future.
Retail Excellence Ireland estimates that consumers will spend €487bn across Europe in 2016, with IEDR believing that Irish SMEs will miss out on their slice of this digital pie the longer they stay offline.
Ireland’s second Internet Day, which takes place in the Round Room at the Mansion House on Thursday, 27 October will put the spotlight on the benefits of e-commerce and how SMEs can overcome other challenges like exporting to international markets and using digital tools to transform customer experience.
The event is hosted by IEDR, who have carried out extensive research into SMEs’ digital engagement
The half-day SME seminar will be officially opened by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten.
Delivering the headline address is Emma Sinclair MBE, who at 29 was the youngest ever person to float a company on the London Stock Exchange. Her business, Target Parking, revolutionised the UK parking sector. She is now the CEO of EnterpriseJungle, an innovative software platform that delivers bespoke solutions to businesses to enable the workforce to work more efficiently, access information they need and interrogate data in real time resulting in a more productive workforce and efficient business.
The event will be moderated by entrepreneur and broadcaster, Bobby Kerr.
Chief Executive of IEDR, David Curtin said, "More and more Irish SMEs are making the leap online and benefiting from e-commerce and online engagement with their customers. It’s a positive trend that is continuing, but a significant cohort of SMEs remains offline with no intention of building a website in the near future. Many aren’t aware of how being online can drastically improve their business and others feel like they don’t have the skills to do it."