Irish businesses need online help, says Retail Excellence
Retail Excellence has come out in support of government-sponsored assistance to Irish businesses in the face of the ongoing threats presented by growing online sales.
14 February 2017
Earlier this week we saw, through Visa’s Consumer Spending Index, how online shopping is continuing to grow while face-to-face sales slip further and further backwards. It’s a trend that is most certainly here to stay, leading Retail Excellence head Lorraine Higgins to call on the government to step in to support businesses in the online sector.
Visa Europe’s report reveals how over-the-counter spending is down for the fourth month in a row, while eCommerce is on the rise in double digits for the sixth consecutive month. “We welcome that overall spend was up by 4 percent,” said Higgins, “but the decline in buying in-store is something that concerns our members.
“Irish retailers are facing inordinate challenges in 2017 with increased online spend and further currency fluctuations,” Higgins said. “We need to be proactive in counteracting the impact of this.”
According to Retail Excellence, the challenge lies in the fact that 22% of Irish SMEs have no online presence, while 75% of those that do have no way of processing payments on their sites.
“Facilitating retailers to get online with fully functional eCommerce websites is the way forward,” Higgins said, “and we hope the Government would be cogniscant of consumer trends and willing to assist retailers accordingly.”
An initial appropriate measure would be to increase the budget for the Digital Voucher Scheme.