Virtual Conference hears how selling online is now an urgent strategy to combat Covid market conditions

A major virtual conference organised by leading ecommerce representative body, Digital Business Ireland has today informed attendees that selling online is now an urgent strategy to combat the difficult trading conditions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Digital Business Ireland, supported by permanent tsb, today (September 22nd) hosted a one-day virtual conference, Online Optimisation. Attendees hear cutting-edge digital marketing tactics and strategic insights from an impressive range of top online entities such as Google, Car Trawler, DHL, UN ecommerce consultant, Sarah Carroll of Grow Global, Grouper Technology, IE Domain Registry, Campion Insurance, Olytico, Home Focus at Hickeys, social influencers among many more.

The event was opened by the Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mr. Robert Troy TD.

Director of Digital Business Ireland, David Campbell explained: “Our one-day virtual event, Online Optimisation, was crucial to help SMEs understand and harness their enormous online trade potential. Gaining a greater understanding of the major opportunities that the digital future is now presenting we were passionate about ensuring Irish SMEs are fully equipped with cutting-edge insights in advance of the busiest shopping week, Cyber Week.”

“How SME’s do business in the future is changing dramatically and this virtual conference was very much solution focussed. Continuity of business during and post Covid-19 is uppermost in the minds of business owners. Awareness and implementation of successful digital marketing strategies to help build a strong online presence is vital to enhance businesses, increase their chances of survival, which will ultimately lead to growth.”

Mr. Campbell added: “Research has shown that a business that is active online sees a 21% increase in sales and an 84% increase in customer enquiries, on average. Some 84% of Irish consumers are now buying from online suppliers, so there is a real opportunity there for Irish businesses to exploit this, not forgetting the international markets.” 

Opening the event, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy TD said “Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve seen many Irish businesses pivot to online in response to emerging market needs. Agility, innovation and resilience are essential as we seek to trade successfully in a radically changed world.

“As an integral part of the Irish economy, SMEs need to be supported as we navigate the new landscape; some 35% of Irish SMEs sell online of which over half sell online cross border. These figures are almost double the European average. The Irish government, and indeed my own Department, have developed further initiatives to consolidate this impressive performance in light of the current health crisis. We have expanded the Trading Online Voucher Scheme and last month we launched a new €5.5 million COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme.  These two tailored initiatives, designed to increase Online Optimisation, are part of a suite designed by Government to support businesses impacted by Covid-19.

He continued, “I look forward to working with my colleagues at EU and national levels on major opportunities for enhanced productivity and innovation in our enterprise base. I am committed to ensuring we remain an attractive place for digital businesses to grow and prosper.”