Almost one in five firms provided a click and collect service during the Covid-19 pandemic, new research reveals.
Figures show that one in 10 (10 per cent) businesses set up a website to facilitate online sales while 18 per cent provided a click and collect service.
The figures were published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in its Information Society Statistics – Enterprises 2021.
Almost one in five firms provided a click & collect service during the COVID-19 pandemichttps://t.co/XPPZIRywrU #CSOIreland #Ireland #Internet #InternetUsage #WorkingFromHome #InternetSecurity #InternetPurchase #ICTSkills #enterprises #Business #Connectivity pic.twitter.com/gLaFCGOZfH
— Central Statistics Office Ireland (@CSOIreland) October 18, 2021
It carried out an analysis of e-commerce and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) activities by enterprises in Ireland.
It found that more than four in five (82 per cent) businesses have a website while four in 10 businesses sell online, with more than half (54 per cent) making purchases online.
The most common source of online orders was from customers based in Ireland.
Statistician Colin Hanley said that the pandemic has made enterprises across Ireland change how they do business.
“One in 10 have set up a website to facilitate online sales while 18 per cent provided a click and collect service,” he said.
“Almost one in five (19 per cent) have indicated that they have seen an increase in sales through websites or apps.
“One in 12 have set up a new social media account while 31 per cent have increased their use of social media during the pandemic.”
In 2021, 82 per cent of enterprises in Ireland have a website or a homepage. This compares to 79 per cent of firms in 2020 and 2019.
The most common facility provided by a business on their website or homepage were links to references to their social media profiles followed by a facility to access online ordering or reservations.
Four in 10 enterprises conducted sales electronically, while large enterprises had a higher proportion of firms selling electronically, at 63 per cent compared to 36 per cent of small businesses.
More than half of businesses made purchases electronically while a third said they received orders online from customers based in Ireland while 10 per cent received orders from the EU.
Just over a third of firms made use of interconnected devices or systems that can be monitored or remotely controlled via the internet, more commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT).
The most common use of IoT devices in 2021 was for the security of the enterprise’s premises.
Almost six in 10 firms purchased cloud computing services, an increase from 51 per cent the previous year.
The most common type of cloud computing service in 2021 was e-mail followed by office software, with 47 per cent and 43 per cent of businesses availing of these services respectively.
One in 12 use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their business with machine learning being the most common AI use.
Marketing or sales and business administrative processes were the most common reason for using AI.
Large firms are more likely to use AI in their business, with almost one in three large firms use AI compared to 13 per cent of medium-sized firms and six per cent of small businesses.