22% of Irish SMEs are 100% offline

Online opportunities are being missed by small businesses...

More than one in five Irish SMEs have no online presence and 68% of these businesses see no need to create a website.

This is according to new data from the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) - the company which issues '.ie' domains.

Of the group who said they feel there is 'no need' to set up a website, 78% said that they rely on word-of-mouth and 17% are satisfied by the current scale of their businesses.

When exploring the factors keeping these businesses offline, close to one-third said that time demands kept them offline, 29% said a lack of digital expertise is a reason, and 26% said that cost is a factor.

David Curtin, IEDR's Chief Executive commented: "SMEs’ e-commerce and general web sales abilities also remain disappointingly poor. Just under a third of those with websites can process or take sales orders online. Ireland’s share of the European e-commerce marketplace is valued at €9bn and is expected to grow to more than €14bn by 2021.

"More than half of this spend, however, will go abroad. Without increased investment by SMEs in their online presence and by industry groups and state bodies in e-commerce initiatives, Ireland will become highly uncompetitive and businesses will lose out on revenue and customers, perhaps permanently."