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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.

SME Digital Health Index 2018
SME Digital Health Index 2018 Download Now

Supplementary Appendices

This contains all supporting graphs from the report and can be downloaded separately:

SME Digital Health Index 2018
SME Digital Health Index 2018 – Supplementary Appendices Download Now

Regional fact sheets

Download your region’s fact sheet:

SME Digital Health Index 2018 – Dublin Factsheet
SME Digital Health Index 2018 Regional factsheet - Dublin Download Now
SME Digital Health Index 2018 – Connacht Factsheet
SME Digital Health Index 2018 Regional factsheet – Connacht Download Now
SME Digital Health Index 2018 – Leinster Factsheet
SME Digital Health Index 2018 Regional factsheet – Leinster (excluding Dublin) Download Now
SME Digital Health Index 2018 – Munster Factsheet
SME Digital Health Index 2018 Regional factsheet – Munster Download Now
SME Digital Health Index 2018 – Ulster (ROI) Factsheet
SME Digital Health Index 2018 Regional factsheet – Ulster (ROI) Download Now

Previous Digital Health Index reports

Q4 2017
Digital Health Index Q4 2017 Download Now
Q1 2017
Digital Health Index Q1 2017 Download Now
Q4 2016
Digital Health Index Q4 2016 Download Now
Q1 2016
Digital Health Index Q1 2016 Download Now
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