Irish businesses ignoring potential net profits
Seventy per cent of €3.7 billion spent online in Ireland annually goes to companies outside the country
Had the UK vendors saved me much wasted time by having a clear page listing their shipping prices outside the UK – as many I have used n the past did – I wouldn’t feel doubly annoyed with them.
I’ve found that eBay vendors are consistently good at getting the whole online selling thing – but then I suppose they would. Experienced retailers on eBay know customers will comparison shop, and know shipping costs can sway a decision.
That said: I really shouldn’t have to go to eBay alone to get a clued-in online vendor. This isn’t 2003. The online market is reasonably mature at this point. The EU says 59 per cent of Europeans buy goods on the internet, and in surveys Irish people come out as heavier users of the web than most EU nationalities.
Yet in Ireland, according to recent Government statistics, only 23 per cent of Irish small businesses are selling online. And a survey two years ago indicated that a massive 70 per cent of the €3.7 billion that Irish people spend online goes to companies outside Ireland. That is billions – billions! – going out of the economy.
What is wrong with Irish small firms? It isn’t like this is a new problem.
Two years ago Google, Blacknight Internet Solutions, An Post and the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) launched a great programme called Getting Irish Business Online. It offers an online service to get SMEs online in under 30 minutes for free. A free domain for a year, a free website set-up, free email addresses and a VOIP phone line for a year.
You can check it out at http://gettingbusinessonline.ie/.
In addition, the Government last month launched a service of grant aid up to €2,500 to get Irish companies online.
Irish businesses: please investigate these offerings. If you do not have something as elemental as an online sales presence in 2013, even after five years of economic downturn, you leave many of us wondering if you are fit for business in the 21st century.
You cannot complain about sales going outside of the country if you make so little effort to capture the Irish customer.