IEDR has released a new .IE Tipping Point Report and it has revealed some rather alarming information – most notably that a majority of Irish SMEs surveyed – 6 in 10 according to the report – take no particular steps to protect customer data online or don’t know how to. Despite this, 75% of consumers say they are very or somewhat concerned about the security and privacy of their data.
The Tipping Point report is the third and final report in a series of surveys on Ireland’s post-COVID online economy. In previous reports, IEDR have shown how important online has become to Irish businesses and Irish consumers. The genie is now fully out of the bottle, and there is no going back to the ‘old’ way of doing things (despite the fact you will find some businesses very much trying to!).
Here are the key findings from the final report:
- Digital business-focused .IE Tipping Point report shows 62% of consumers using cashless often since the start of the pandemic—and older generations are among the least cash-friendly
- Majority of consumers will prioritise online shopping in 2022. 45% say they will do most of their shopping in-store this year—but this figure drops to just 29% among Millennials
- 80% say sustainability is ‘very’ or ‘somewhat important’ when buying a product or service online
- Half of SMEs have invested in their online presence since the start of the pandemic—among that figure, 30% say they are busier than they were before
- 54% of SMEs are planning a significant digital investment in the next five years
Despite all this new business happening online, businesses are not preparing for online related disasters, as they would prepare for a real-world disaster. According to the research, just 15% of SMEs said they use a firewall or antivirus software, while only 11% use two-factor authentication. Just 4% said they trained staff in cybersecurity best practices.
The survey was carried out in January and February 2022 and assessed the attitudes of 1,000 Irish consumers and 502 retail and consumer-facing professional services SMEs to e-commerce and digital business during the Covid pandemic. Overall, the results show a clear and sustained adaptation to e-commerce and digital business by both consumers and SMEs.
The IEDR CEO said in the press release, “Consumers in the post-Covid era will be driven by convenience, ease of use, and experience.”
The entire report is available on the IEDR website; I highly recommend taking a look at it. It’s important for all businesses to understand that Ireland’s digital economy has been forever changed by COVID-19, and those who don’t adapt, will be left behind. Obviously, Blacknight can help you adapt!