The SME Digital Health Index 2019 examines the digital behaviours of 1,000 Irish SMEs, including their usage of digital assets like websites, social media, and e-commerce and their general attitudes towards digital technology, learning and investment. It also analyses consumers’ attitudes to digital technology, e-commerce and retail trends.
Ireland’s Digital Health Assessment
A key component of the DHI is the ‘Digital Health Assessment’, which ranks SMEs’ capabilities to communicate with their customers online, facilitate transactions online, and enhance or ‘boost’ their online presence with productivity software, like data analytics tools.
When graded against an ABCDEF system, Irish SMEs rank ‘C’ for communicating, ‘D’ for transacting, and ‘E’ for boosting.
SME attitudes to digital
Irish SMEs have more digital assets than ever before, 87% have at least one digital asset. However, only a minority of SMEs are using them to their full potential. E-commerce is the exception rather than the rule, less than a third (32%) of SMEs can actually take sales orders or process transactions through their website.
This is a trend that is pushing Irish consumers to shop with online competitors and international online retailers. 54% of Irish consumers will shop with a competitor if their preferred retailer is not online.
The benefits of an online presence
SMEs that invest in digital skills and assets almost universally see a return. 72% of SMEs say that one of the biggest benefits of being online and digitally savvy is an increased awareness or understanding of their business among customers.
A third believe their online presence has led to increased revenue. A visible, intuitively designed website with e-commerce capabilities functions like an online shop capable of making sales 24/7, 365 days a year to customers all over the world.
The barriers to doing more online
SMEs, particularly micro-businesses, are generally resource-poor. Time, money, and expertise are in short supply. 28% say a lack of time is a major barrier to doing more online. Consumer demand, however, is only going in one direction, and SMEs that fail to embrace digital will lose out sooner than they think.
This contains all supporting graphs from the report and can be downloaded separately:
Regional fact sheets
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Suite of graphics
If you are interested in sharing insights from our SME Digital Health Index 2019, you can download the following graphics: