Google searches for ‘shop local Ireland’ rise 540pc

Trading online is crucial for Irish SMEs as consumers commit to shopping local in the lead up to Christmas.

As Ireland entered into level-5 lockdown at midnight on Wednesday, it meant a number of businesses across the country were forced to close their doors for the next six weeks.

With the Christmas period fast approaching, the new lockdown will mean many Irish businesses will be closed for what would normally be the busiest time of the year, particularly those is the retail sector.

Providing the number of Covid-19 cases falls over the next six weeks, businesses should be allowed to reopen on December 1st.

“Our Google search data shows that Irish people are actively searching for ways to support Irish small businesses”

Staggering increases in Google search terms this week relating to shopping online show a wave of consumer support for Irish businesses that have closed their doors. 

Google searches for ‘just buy Irish’ peaked with an increase of a massive 3,495 per cent (pc), the Google search term ‘shop local Ireland’ increased by 540pc in the past week, and ‘buy Irish gifts’ searches increased by 200pc, reinforcing Irish consumers’ intention to support local businesses, creators and retailers as we enter the most crucial time of the year.

“Our Google search data shows that Irish people are actively searching for ways to support Irish small businesses,” said Alice Mansergh, director of small business at Google Ireland.

“The numbers speak for themselves; there is a very clear commitment by Irish consumers to shop local where they can, and it’s very encouraging to see that more consumers are specifically looking for Irish gifts at this time of year that is crucial to local businesses.”

As businesses prepare to face their first weekend in the lead up to Christmas with their doors closed, it’s important that they are ready and willing to meet consumer demand, and most importantly, that they don’t lose hope. 

“It has never been more important for Irish SMEs to have an online presence, but even if you don’t have a website, there are quick and easy steps you can take to increase your visibility online and make sure customers can find you,” she continued. 

Some of the simple steps that can be taken to start trading online are: 

“It has never been more important for Irish SMEs to have an online presence”

Consumers are already showing their support for businesses by taking simple steps when online shopping, like including the terms ‘Ireland’ and ‘Irish’ when searching for products and gifts online. But Google is also encouraging consumers to consider additional steps they can take to help their local businesses. 

“Consumers can narrow their searches when shopping online to ensure they are supporting local retailers and suppliers in their area.

“Many local businesses don’t have the resources for quick delivery services, so look out for click and collect options in your vicinity. And of course, the all-important customer review that can be added to any business with a Google profile, will help showcase local businesses to a wider customer base,” she concluded. 

To learn more about Google’s plan to support 60,000 Irish SME, visit g.co/GrowIreland.

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 23 October, 2020