E-commerce is worth e12.3 billion to the Irish economy, and growing significantly. The .ie Tipping Point 2022 research2 found that while there has been a shift to local retailers customers are expecting more. Consumers are increasingly interested in paying for goods and services with a digital wallet, open to subscribing to their preferred retailers for exclusive offers, and willing to use AR to “try on” or sample certain products, such as clothes and furniture.
Successful businesses have continued to invest in their websites with 77% identifying that their website was important in driving future sales growth. Businesses who have invested in data analytics software have been able to proactively measure their digital ROI, allowing them to invest more money in features that work.
However, despite the consumer demand for hybrid shopping, just 10% of businesses are planning better integration of their physical shop and their online services. Only 8% of businesses are investing in AR experience and only 7% are investing in digital automation and productivity tools. Ireland businesses lag behind European counterparts in terms of e-business technology adoption (e.g. supply chain management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, radio frequency identification, etc.)
The digital transition of industry is happening now and at a fast pace. For manufacturing firms to remain competitive they must embrace their digital transformation to drive productivity, maximise the utilisation of their assets, support new business models, support process and product innovation – such as customisation and traceability of products – and develop new services.
To address these deficits the Local Enterprise Office in Meath can provide supports for their clients.
Getting your Business Online
The Local Enterprise Office Meath provides the supports to assist businesses to begin to trade online. For SME’s the Local Enterprise Office delivers the Trading Online Voucher Scheme for the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.
This scheme offers companies up to 10 employees and turnovers less than €2 Million a grant of up to €2,500 towards developing their website and capabilities to engage in e-commerce.
The Local Enterprise Office also offers mentoring from experts in Digital Technologies for enterprises as well as a range of training courses designed to give you the skills to trade online effectively and to develop the skills to utilise technology solutions for your business.