Almost 20% of small and medium enterprises in Ireland still do not have any online presence, according to a new survey. Ignite Research analysed the online presence of 500 small and medium Irish businesses, including their websites, social media accounts and apps, and also surveyed 1,000 consumers.
One third of businesses with no website said that they did not have enough time do create one (we at Leinster Consulting understand small businesses and we are here to help). But the research suggests that by not having a web presence, small businesses are missing out. 75% of the consumers surveyed said they found it extremely frustrating when a business they want to interact with is invisible online, with a similar number saying a company that has a web presence is more likely to get their business.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform for small businesses, with 48% of firms saying they had a page, notably higher than the fifth of companies who are on Twitter.
In a statement, IEDR chief executive David Curtin said in 20th Century terms, being a business without a web presence is like being ex-directory.
“Irish consumers spent €6.5bn online in 2015, and they are more than happy to look abroad for products if they can’t get them here,” he said.
“Indeed, the research for the dot ie Digital Health Index found that only a minority of Irish SMEs’ websites can take sales orders online and even fewer can process payments. This is a glaring missed opportunity.”