Irish SMEs with a website receive an average of 22 additional jobs a year with each job worth an average of almost €1,100, according to new IEDR research.
The research, conducted by Ignite Research in March, also showed that nearly three-quarters (71%) of Irish shoppers are more likely to purchase goods and services from a business that has a website.
Despite this, only a little over half of consumers (51%) believe that their local shops and businesses are equipped for the digital age (i.e. have a basic website, have e-commerce capability). Indeed, three-quarters (74%) said they find it frustrating when a company has no website.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of consumers want the ability to browse and research their local business’s products and services online. Eighty three percent believe SMEs should have a basic website with contact details and opening hours and 68% believe a business is ‘outdated’ if it doesn’t have a website.
Crucially, 60% say they would shop with a competitor if they couldn’t find their preferred retailer online
Commenting on the findings, Chief Executive of IEDR, David Curtin said, "Nowadays, selling online is a straightforward process thanks to a myriad of inexpensive, easy-to-use tools. With e-commerce, Ireland’s SMEs have access to their chosen market of potential customers 24/7, 365 days a week. This trade is worth billions to our economy and is set to grow substantially as more people and businesses go online for the first time."
He added, "If you’re not online, your business is effectively invisible. Our research has shown that 80 percent of Irish consumers go online to search for information about businesses. If you don’t have a presence on the web, you’re missing out on a huge number of potential customers."