There are now over a quarter of a million registered .ie domains. The newly rebranded Dublin-based beauty salon, The Wicklow Street Clinic, was the 250,000th registered .ie domain name, www.thewicklowstreetclinic.ie
In operation for over thirty years, The Wicklow Street Clinic is a leading beauty salon in Dublin that specialises in a wide range of treatments and therapies for skin and body.
Over 70% of the clinic’s clients now book appointments online while their products and voucher sales have increased 50% since launching their new online store in April this year.
Being online is critical for business success
Commenting on the 250,000th .ie domain, our Chief Executive David Curtin was delighted to see that The Wicklow Street Clinic is reaping the rewards and recognising the value of a website for sales growth and customer experience.
“Customers value ease and convenience and in order to survive, SMEs need to respond to competition from international websites. Our research shows that 69% of consumers find it frustrating or extremely frustrating if a company does not have a website. In our experience, many business owners need help as they start to plan and prioritise what is required to digitise the sales process. We work closely with SMEs through our OPTIMISE Programme and to date have assisted over 130 small and micro-business owners to enhance their website capabilities and grow online sales.”
Commenting, The Wicklow Street Clinic owner Rasa Levinaite said:
“Our website contributes hugely to the success of our company. While we maintain a traditional reception and phone-booking service, about 70% of our customers book their appointments online. We’ve been focusing on building our online presence as it’s vital to respond to customers’ needs. The reality is that if you can’t provide what customers want through your website then customers will look elsewhere.”
Importance of having a .ie
Statistics from our Digital Health Index (Q4 2017) show that buying Irish is important to almost three-quarters (73%) of Irish shoppers. A website with a .ie domain shows local customers that a business is trustworthy and familiar, and international consumers that it is authentically Irish.
Ms Levinaite believes that having a .ie domain is now essential for Irish businesses:
“The .ie domain reassures people that our website is safe and secure and that they are dealing with an Irish-owned and Irish-operated company.”
Continued .ie growth
Our recent .ie Domain Profile Report H1 2018 demonstrated the best ever half-year period for the registration of .ie domains, with 154 new .ie domains registered every day. New domain registrations grew by 39% year-on-year to 28,126 in H1 2018. Almost two-thirds (62.5%) of new .ie domains were registered by businesses (including corporate bodies and sole traders).
Local communities, clubs and societies can now register .ie names that include their townland, county or other geographical names. Citizens and residents can apply for nicknames or abbreviated first names. Following the phased introduction of a .ie ‘secondary market’, existing domain holders can now sell on .ie names that they no longer use.
Easier and faster to get a .ie
Obtaining a .ie online address is now easier than ever before following the introduction of our new liberalisation policy. The policy, implemented in March 2018 after extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and the general public, has resulted in a streamlined registration process.
While applicants are still required to prove their connection to Ireland, the process is now easier and faster and has opened-up the .ie namespace significantly for Irish citizens, businesses and associations. For new business start-ups and small-scale enterprises, liberalisation has removed an administrative obstacle to .ie domain registration.