Its Cyber Monday - but Irish SMEs are still missing out on online sales

Shoppers have migrated online - and there's are no excuses for not having your digital presence up to scratch...

Retail has gone online and it's never coming back to the high street - but less than a fifth of small Irish companies are selling online.

A study carried out by the IE Domain Registry earlier in this year found that only 19% of Irish SME's have websites which can process sales.

After consulting 500 companies and 1,000 consumers it found that close to a fifth don't have any web presence at all - and half of these companies said they have no plans to go online in the near future.

Of these firms with no websites, two third said they didn't think they need one because of the industry that they trade in - while one third said that they did not have the time to set one up.

This trend has not gone unnoticed and Budget 2016 contained provisions to help Irish SMEs to grow online.

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has taken Cyber Monday to issue a call to Irish businesses to develop their online offerings:

"Around the world, people are getting ready for Christmas by getting online. Irish companies offer world-class products and services, found nowhere else. Cyber Monday is the perfect day for them to capture the interest of new customers around the world, and I encourage all our small businesses to take full advantage of this," he said.

"In the recent Budget I secured €3m for the 'Trading Online Voucher Scheme', which is being led by my Department.  It is specifically targeted to help small businesses increase their online sales and exports. For qualifying small businesses, grants of up to €2,500 are available to help them get online and get selling," Mr Naughten continued.

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is available to assist small businesses who want to trade online. Businesses can apply for a voucher to invest in developing their e-commerce capability, of up to €2,500 if it is matched by their own funding to develop online services to sell goods.

The scheme is administered on behalf of this Department by the Local Enterprise Office network.

1 in 3 Irish brands are offering discounts for Cyber Monday - Irish bargain hunters expected to spend an extra €53m online according to Core Media's research.

Like Black Friday, the day of sales in an US import - Irish shoppers are expected to have spent some €100m on Firday and most of that was online. 

Currys PC World expects that 90% of its Black Friday sales were online.