Irish SME Digital Health Index 2019

In this blog post, we will highlight key information brought to light in Ireland’s Digital Health Assessment, explaining all the important information and key statistics. In today’s increasingly digital world, the internet has changed from a merely professional and recreational tool to something that has become ingrained into our everyday lives. Mass broadband penetration, the rise of social media and widespread use of smartphones has enabled this to happen.

The Irish Digital Health Assessment is an overview and grade of Irish SMEs, based on their online communications, transaction and ability to build their online presence with digital skills and techniques.

key findings 1

Digital health assessment grading system

A – B Cheetahs: SMEs that are fast to adapt to new technology.

C – D Zebras: SMEs with some positive digital assets, but underutilise other technologies.

E – F Ostriches: Little to no interest in building an online presence.

key findings 2

Today’s digital consumers expect more. They expect the same level of customer service and personalisation from a website as they do a physical store. More and more Irish consumers are looking to shop locally, so it is essential Irish SMEs have at least their basic information online.

Cheetah SMEs digital eCommerce attitude: Capitalise on their website by making it a strong point of sale.

Zebra and ostriches digital eCommerce attitude: Claim they don’t have the resources or interest to set up an eCommerce website.

Why do zebras and ostriches behave this way? 9% feel they don’t have the volume of sales to justify a website and 68% stated they simply didn’t see a need to produce online sales.

SMEs that are disconnected from consumer digital demands fail to recognise how they rely on digital connections. For example, 79% of Irish SMEs use online banking and 68% order from suppliers online.

key findings 3

Key takeaways

• 69% of SMEs believe their website is of more or equal importance to their social media profiles.
• 86% use digital tools to stay in touch with their customers
• 73% of SMEs says their websites helps and supports their offline sales.

So, why do so many Irish SMEs think their website is more important than social media? 27% of SMEs believe their website is more customisable, with 26% agreeing that a website is a better sales platform for their product.

These statistics are quite shocking considering how many Irish individuals use social media. For example, 65% use Facebook, nearly 40% use Instagram, and 33% use Twitter, these are key demographics businesses who don’t use social media are missing.

key findings 4

What else is preventing more SMEs from building their digital presence?

• 28% say they have a lack of time to dedicate to digital practices.
• 1 in 12 claims they feel held back by a poor internet connection.
• Over 50% feel they have a lack of confidence in the government to deliver the National Broadband Plan.