Ireland’s Digital Economy Powers Ahead
thedesignpool.ie review of digital business in Ireland
Since the pandemic took hold in Ireland in 2020, SME’s have begun adapting to the new digital economy. And even now as restrictions recede there is awareness that in terms of the delivery model, there will no returning to business as usual.
The data from the two Tipping Point reports (Source .IE), one in 2021 and the one below for 2022, would seem to reflect the reality that in terms of business there will be no going back to solely the traditional bricks and mortar approach.
The .IE Tipping Point report survey, carried out in January and February 2022, surveyed a 1000 Irish consumers and 502 retailers, assessing their views on Ireland’s digital economy.
In the report attitudes to pre and post shopping Covid were assessed . It was clear from the overall survey findings that eCommerce and digital business have both been strongly adopted by SME’s.
- Consumers continue to view online business websites abroad as more price competitive than Irish websites. However on the other side of this they see Irish businesses as more trustworthy.
Online Security and SME’s
- 75% of Irish consumers are very conscious of their online security when shopping, however 6 out of 10 small Irish businesses (or 62% of the businesses in our survey) take no precautions when it comes to the security of their websites which is approximately.
- With only 11% of these using a security certificate on the website and just 6% of SME’s using a password manager. This is akin to leaving the door to a physical business open at night, allowing people to come in and steal from you!
- SME’s must take their security more seriously. If this proves too time consuming for you then we offer a website maintenance and security package that looks after the security of the back end of a client website.
- With the increase in cyber attacks on business, consumers are now ,more than ever, aware of the value of shopping with a secure website. In fact 75% of respondents to the Tipping Point Survey indicated they were ‘somewhat concerned’ about the security of their personal information when shopping online.
- Finally, only 4% of businesses have staff trained in cyber security . This lack of training could be inviting trouble as we have seen with the wide scale attacks on businesses that lead to a breakdown in trust with customers
- In terms of the importance now of websites in generating sales, 72% of SME’s said they were important in bringing in revenue, up from 66% in 2021.
- 54% of SMEs will be investing in their digital business over the the next 5 years.
They type of investment will include improving their website, building a new one or creating an app linked to their business.
SME’s after Covid
Covid has definitely left a mark on the business landscape. Hybrid working has been one of legacies of Covid. Undoubtedly workers enjoy the flexibility of working part of the week from home.
The same can be said of the approach now to online shopping and eCommerce. It is viewed by many consumers as a quick way to be able to buy a wide selection of products conveniently. For others it allows them to view and research a product before they enter a shop and purchase.
Whatever side of the fence the consumer is on, the hybrid model will have to be catered for by businesses going forward.
However the Tipping Point survey found that just 10% of the SMEs see integrating their shop with their online premises, and vice versa, as a priority digital investment area over the next five years.
The Next Steps for Ireland’s digital economy
In summary Irish businesses are now adopting eCommerce and digital business but there is still a way to go.
The digital world moves at a rapid pace and it is important that Irish businesses meet the demands of their customers or international online retailers could step in to fill this void.
The Tipping Point report was commissioned by IE. Fieldwork was performed by Core Research.
A total of 1,000 consumers aged 18+ were surveyed via online questionnaire.
A total of 502 SMEs in the retail and customer-facing professional services sectors were interviewed via telephone.
Research was carried out between 6th January and 4th February 2022.
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