North East Businesses continue to pursue a meaningful online trading presence with fifth ‘must attend’ Annual Conference ‘Retail Is e-Tail’

With 94% of internet users shopping online, the Digital Insights Report forecasts a near doubling in online consumer spending in Ireland to more than €14 billion annually between now and 2021.
Irish consumers are set to double the amount they spend online within the next five years, but only some of it will find its way to Irish rRetail is Etail icon 960x366etailers, according to a new study.  The Virgin Media Digital insights report found Irish consumers will shell out up to €14.1 billion a year by 2020 on commerce sites, but more the half of that spend will go to retailers outside the country.

The report also revealed 94 per cent of internet users here shop online, with growth in spend outpacing general trends in consumer spending, rising 13 per cent in the past two years compared with 9 per cent for overall spending.

The figures show Irish SMEs are still missing out on opportunities presented by the growth of the sector. The digital economy is currently worth about 6 per cent of Ireland’s GDP, but about €4.5 billion of consumer spending goes to ecommerce companies overseas.

CEO  of Virgin Media Ireland, Tony Hanway commenting on the latest report said: “With online spending by Irish consumers set to almost double in value in the next five years, there are opportunities for digitally savvy Irish SMEs and start-ups to capture their share of the fastest-growing sector in the economy, but they have to act fast,”

With this in mind, Monaghan IT Forum in association with the Local Enterprise Office are hosting their fifth annual ‘Retail is eTail’ event in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan on the 27th April starting at 4pm. The conference is aimed at retailers, small business owners and managers, CEOs, CFOs, web managers, Marketing Directors and anyone involved in business who wants to maximise their online potential.

High calibre speakers at the will give their thoughts on how the digital landscape is rapidly changing and evolving, how it might look in five years time and advise on how companies can develop their online presence and maximise this potential.  Ciaran Crean, MD, Mick’s Garage, who spoke at the first conference 5 years ago, will be back to update us on his experience and future plans.  The conference will finish with keynote speaker, Ron Immick.  Ron combines social media, narrative, storytelling, dialogue learning, collective wisdom, peer-to-peer and social learning with innovation, intrapreneurship and strategy. Ultimately helping businesses to succeed.  He is currently writing a book on ‘future proofing’ providing his thoughts on how businesses should be preparing for the changes taking place, including digital advances in the macro environment.

 Paul Bond, Brixworkwear, will also be back with  a number of other panellists who have shared their stories to discuss what they think the business might look like in five years time.

Briege Quinn, Local Enterprise Office, Monaghan said: “With the rapid growth in e-commerce, we are delighted to be part of this initiative to raise awareness among the huge number of SMEs who have already registered because they want to tap into the enormous potential.  In line with the Action Plan for Jobs we are continuing to accept applications for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme which has already helped hundreds develop and enhance their online presence.  The scheme is allowing us to engage with a wider range of companies than ever before. Trading online is not only a big opportunity for small businesses; it is more and more becoming an essential part of business strategy. With a little help and some financial support we can ensure that these businesses benefit as a result."    

Claire Cunningham of Monaghan IT Forum and Director of Aura Internet, also speaking at the April 27th conference commented that, an estimated €8.8bn is spent online by Irish consumers, of which 60% goes overseas and although it is recognised that in a small open economy like Ireland there will naturally be importation it indicated that the internet will continue to be a central part of consumers buying behaviour into the future.  
The conference takes place on Thursday 27th April 2017 in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan, from 4pm to 6.45pm. Places are free and booking up fast.  To register or for more information, contact www.localenterprise/monaghan  or telephone (047) 71818.

Book online at