Nine out of every 10 websites for Irish small and medium-sized enterprises cannot process sales, according to research commissioned by IEDR, the organisation that manages the registry for the Irish internet domain .ie.
The IEDR’s study found that the majority of Irish businesses are not e-commerce enabled and cannot take or process consumer sales online. Although 63 per cent of Irish SMEs have a website, 91 per cent cannot process sales online, 62 per cent cannot in the first instance take a sales order online and 68 per cent cannot process payments online.
Half of SMEs don’t interact with customers through social media or web chat, and 54 per cent don’t have responsive website designs that allow their sites to be easily viewed on tablets and smartphones.
This is despite the fact that 73 per cent of business owners describe their sites as “important” or “very important” for generating sales. The study has been published to coincide with the launch of the fifth annual IEDR’s Optimise fund, which supports Irish SMEs seeking to become e-commerce enabled.
"Our research has consistently shown that Ireland's small businesses often struggle to develop an online sales presence," said IEDR chief executive David Curtin.