Secretary General, Digital Business Ireland
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Irish SMEs were at the forefront of digital innovation – adapting their business models overnight, curating new products and forging crucial links with customers through selling online.
With millennials growing up alongside technology, we know that operating models of traditional retail are fast disappearing. Our most recent Digital Insights research found that 38% of consumers in Ireland are planning to moderately or significantly increase their online spending in 2022.
Empowering exports with B2B opportunities
Irish businesses are extraordinarily resilient – innovative in nature and pragmatic in approach. At Digital Business Ireland, we have been privy to the recent remarkable growth of export potential of businesses in Ireland. Any Irish SME that prides itself on quality of product and consistency of service is a potential exporter.
The most fruitful opportunities undoubtedly lie in B2B, with the global B2B ecommerce market size valued at USD 6.64 trillion; this is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7% from 2021 to 2028. The most efficient way for any SME to gain access to these markets is through digitalisation, and, with Enterprise Ireland helping to support scalable businesses, the opportunities are endless.
Digital infrastructure is sustainable and facilitates businesses in enhancing their international customer base.
Curating a digital strategy
With a robust, dynamic, B2B export strategy, businesses can leverage the full power of the digital economy by advertising online, using their website to attract new customers, driving engagement through social media and accessing new markets through online portals, e-commerce tools, AI, chatbots and search marketing.
Contrary to popular belief, investing in an effective B2B e-commerce strategy is cost-effective. Not only that, digital infrastructure is sustainable and facilitates businesses in enhancing their international customer base. It reduces the need for physical premises and provides staff with the option to work remotely.
Equally, e-commerce is incredibly convenient for consumers across the globe, and with the COVID-19 pandemic having initiated a considerable improvement in courier and delivery services, the export market has never been so inviting.
Helping SMEs succeed digitally
Looking to the future, we must continue to empower Irish businesses to leverage the full potential of global marketplaces by equipping them with the tools and resources needed to develop cutting-edge digital strategies, designed to optimise their B2B e-commerce capabilities. Reconfiguring traditional supports to meet these needs represents a step in the right direction.