Waterford businesses trading online expected to see growth in export markets

To mark the awarding of the 1000th Trading Online Voucher a report has been published on the positive impact the scheme has had so far. It revealed that small business that move online experience a 21% average increase in sales, while over70% of businesses surveyed expect to recruit new staff.

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme was launched by the Government last year. It offers small businesses a grant of up to €2,500 – subject to matching funding – as well as training, mentoring and networking support to help them develop their online trading capability.

Speaking on the report Ciarán Cullen from Waterford Local Enterprise Office said “Small businesses are the backbone of every town and village in Waterford and, with consumers across Ireland now spending almost €700,000 online each hour, trading online is essential to create new jobs, new business, and new exports. The average sales increase of 21% is five times the growth rate in the rest of the economy. This shows that small businesses with limited resources can expect an excellent return if they invest in online trading. It is no wonder that businesses that make the leap into online trading believe their internet business will become more and more important to them.”

Some 225 businesses that had received Trading Online Vouchers responded to a survey, which found that:

  • 85% saw an increase in customer inquiries
  • The businesses surveyed reported an average 21% increase in sales
  • 71% expected to recruit new staff to cope with new business
  • An average of 1.4 jobs per business were expected to be created (in businesses that employ ten staff or less)
  • 40% of businesses had generated customer interest from new markets overseas
  • 60% said that the new business was additional and did not displace existing sales
  • 99% expected their online business to grow in importance
  • 80% said the competitive application process helped them in business strategy planning.

Warren Doyle owner of Glanco and recipient of a Trading Online Voucher noted that “online sales are critical to our business. They are now a significant and growing part of most successful Irish businesses’ sales and marketing strategies. While having a website is an important shop window for every business, it’s not enough if your customers can’t use it to buy goods and services online. Since availing of the Trading Online Vouchers Programme our business has seen a rise in sales both locally and nationally.”

Waterford Local Enterprise Office is delighted to have been at the forefront of this project as a pilot region to the original role out. For further information on Trading Online Vouchers please contact Waterford LEO on (051) 849 905 or email info@leo.waterfordcouncil.ie.