New research shows that about nine in every ten SMEs cannot process sales online. That is according to IEDR, the group that manages the dot ie domain registry.
IEDR's chief executive David Curtin said the findings were revealing and concerning. "We did a survey of SMEs to examine their e-commerce capabilities. 91% cannot process sales orders online while 68% cannot process payments online," he said. "Businesses have a long way to go in terms of developing their online potential. Consumers are spending in excess of €4 billion online every year."
Mr Curtin said IEDR was opening a fund for the fifth year to which SMEs can apply for funding to help them develop their e-commerce potential. "The successful SMEs can work with the service providers to deliver something tangible, whether it's a reservation system or an online booking engine, by end of 2015," he explained. "They'll be able to take orders online, process sales orders online and, most importantly, complete sales online," he added.
David Curtin said the process of making websites match-fit for online sales was not as time or capital-intensive as might be imagined, but he said it was a process that was a necessity for SMEs. "It is an urgent need. We're falling behind our UK counterparts. They're the competitors when it comes to online sales. The Local Enterprise Offices are good, but we would ask the government to look at greater resourcing of the LEOs to help SMEs," he concluded.
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