The Digital Health Index provides a comprehensive analysis of the quantity and quality of digital assets owned by Irish SMEs, such as websites, eCommerce tools and social media profiles.

In this edition (Quarter 4 2017), we record our highest ever score: 49.0 up from 45.43 in the previous Quarter 1 2017 research. The high score reflects SMEs’ use of certain digital assets, particularly websites, social media profiles and data analytics software.

We also found that SMEs are more confident in the quality of their digital assets, versus their competitors, and recognise the positive contribution an online presence makes to their overall success.

While only 40 per cent of those with a website can take sales orders, it is a noteworthy improvement on just 30 per cent in the last wave of research, indicating that SMEs are realising the benefits of selling online.

Despite these improvements, most SMEs are still not engaging in eCommerce. This is at a time when Ireland’s eCommerce industry is expected to grow to €14bn by 2021. Unfortunately, about 60 per cent of this figure is going overseas.1 Irish consumers are not waiting for SMEs to digitise their sales offerings: more than half (54 per cent ) would shop with a competitor for the same product or service if their preferred retailer was offline.

Further findings reveal that almost 70 per cent of consumers find it frustrating or very frustrating if they can't find a business online. The 19 per cent of SMEs, almost one in five, that have no online presence, claim that because the majority of their business is word-of-mouth, going online is not necessary. However, this report reveals that SMEs with a website earn, on average, an additional €26,825 per annum and 78 per cent of them said their website was important in generating new business and sales. 

While SMEs’ digital health is on the rise, further improvements are required in order for SMEs to compete in the global eCommerce marketplace. Visit www.iedr.ie to see the full report.

 

1 Source: Virgin Media Digital Insights Report 2016

Making dot ie access easier

The rules for registering dot ie domain names are changing. From March 2018, the need to explain why you want a particular name when registering a new dot ie domain name (also called ‘claim to the name’) will be removed. This change will make it faster and easier for those with real Irish connections, including SMEs, to register any available domain they want. Before then, businesses should make sure to register any available dot ie domains names they want, as this is the only way to ensure no one else does. For further information, visit www.iedr.ie/FinalCall  

 

IEDR is the official registry for .ie internet domain names and maintains the database of .ie registered domain names. Protecting, supporting and promoting the online presence of all .ie domain names is part of the work we do. www.iedr.ie | @IEDR_dot_ie