In its inaugural Domain Name Industry Report, the Irish registry IEDR says Irish small to medium enterprises (SMEs) remain slow to realise the revenue potential of the internet. The registry believes 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.
The report found that only two-thirds (66%) of Irish businesses had any kind of website in 2009, compared with 40 per cent in 2000. Of those, two-thirds, only one in five (21%) had e-commerce functionality on their site, a level that has grown by a marginal 3 per cent since 2000.
While slow broadband speeds and a lack of financial support were 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 â¬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.
But while Irish business has been slow to take advantage of the internet, the registry is keen to report that new registrations have grown by an average of 37 per cent per annum over the previous five years, albeit from a low base.
The report shows there were a total of 145,653 registrations, which works out at 31 domain names per 1,000 people. This is quite a low rate of registrations when compared to many other European countries such as the Netherlands with the highest rate of domain names per person in the world at 237 domains per 1,000 people.
Compared to other ccTLDs in Europe, it is behind Germany (.DE), the worldâs largest ccTLD with 167 registrations per 1,000 people, United Kingdom (.UK – 138), Belgium (.BE â 101), France (.FR â 27), Sweden (.SE â 107), Portugal (.PT â 33) and Italy (.IT â 33).
Within Ireland though, .IE domain names accounted for an estimated two in five (41%) of all domain names registered while .COM names accounted for 29.5 per cent. In total, other gTLDs accounted for 44.7 per cent of registrations and .EU for 14.3 per cent of registrations.
Unsurprisingly, the report found that the county of Dublin had the highest number of .IE domain name registrations with 44 per cent, or 64,788, of all registrations.
To download the inaugural .IE Domain Name Industry report, click here.
To register your .IE domain name, check out Europe Registry here.