SME Digital Health Index
Measuring the health of Irish SMEs’ digital presence
The SME Digital Health Index 2018 provides analysis of usage and attitudes towards digital assets by SMEs. In 2018, we moved to an annual format and surveyed 1,000 SMEs rather than 500 twice yearly, as per previous reports. We believe this new format will give us greater insights into the business landscape and allow for more comparable year-on-year data.
A key component of this report is our newly developed Digital Skills Assessment framework. This is a new approach to measuring and analysing SME’s digital skills. We award an overall grade to SMEs for their ability to communicate with their customers online, facilitate transactions, and enhance or ‘boost’ their online presence.
The results are extremely interesting. While many SMEs have digital assets, e-commerce adoption still remains low.
Ireland’s Digital Skills Assessment
The majority of SMEs are relatively good communicators online. However, only a third of them achieve an A or B grade in transacting online and less than 2 in 10 SMEs are boosting their online presence. These grades demonstrate that SMEs need assistance in digital upskilling in order to compete in the global marketplace.
SME attitudes to digital
More SMEs have websites than ever before (72%). Crucially, almost three-quarters of these websites are optimised for smartphone viewing, as the majority of web traffic originates from mobile devices. Customers demand a positive user experience that is in line with their browsing habits.
However, just 3 in 10 SMEs can process sales order through their websites, despite e-commerce being worth €12.3bn to the Irish economy. SMEs need to update their services urgently as consumers will shop with rival businesses or foreign retailers to find the goods they want.
The benefits of an online presence
89% of SMEs say their website plays an important role in driving new business. A website is a digital business card that allows customers to learn more about their products and business. With e-commerce, a website can become an online store open 24/7.
The barriers to doing more online
24% of SMEs say a lack of time is a barrier to doing more online. Running a small business is no easy feat and digital planning can often fall by the wayside. In reality, building a website or adding e-commerce has never been easier or more affordable. SMEs need to have their misconceptions about online investment challenged.
This contains all supporting graphs from the report and can be downloaded separately:
Regional fact sheets
Download your region’s fact sheet: