The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the managed registry for Ireland’s official internet address .ie, today published its inaugural Domain Name Industry report, marking the Registry’s 10th anniversary. The report provides the first account of its kind in Ireland of the .ie namespace and the Irish domain market. It is set in the context of the global domain name market and Ireland’s Internet ecosystem, and will be published annually as a resource for Internet industry leaders and policy makers.
The key finding from the report is that Irish SMEs remain slow to realise the revenue potential of the Internet. Irish SMEs need to make greater use of Internet technologies to build fully featured e-commerce websites in order to achieve greater competitive advantage online. Only 66% of Irish businesses had any kind of website in 2009, compared with 40% in 2000. Of those 66%, only 21% had e-commerce functionality on their site, a level that has grown by a marginal 3% since 2000.
While slow broadband speeds and a lack of financial support have been identified as inhibitors to SME growth online, the report urges small firms to take action, upgrade their websites and tap into the 24 hour sales channel that is the Internet. To highlight the issue, IEDR has announced it will provide a €100,000 e-commerce fund for ten Irish SMEs to develop or upgrade their web presence, details of which will be announced early next year.