Sligo has been chosen as the 2019 Digital Town by IE Domain Registry and as part of that several events have been planned throughout September and October. The first event was Breakfast Bytes and we went along to The Glasshouse Hotel find out more about it.
MC for the occasion was radio and television presenter Claire Ronan. The speakers were:
Jean McCabe, of Willow Boutique, Ennis, Co. Clare.
Rebecca Harrison of Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow.
Michael Feehily of Feehily’s Florist, Co. Sligo.
Deirdre McGettrick of Kuldea, London, United Kingdom.
Cleo Devaney, Aurivo, Co. Sligo.
Michael from Feehily’s Florist was the first speaker who told us to remember three words; marketing, marketing, marketing. Michael finds that videos really work for his business. Also having a good online presence as most people will have done their research before they call into his premises.
Cleo was next to speak, she works for Aurivo. They looked at the demographic of their customer and planned accordingly. They offer a nationwide, next day delivery service on most items and also a click and collect service. Claire told us that you can get anything from a mousetrap to furniture on their website, including a plant that stops cats using your garden as a toilet!
Deirdre from Kuldea was the next speaker. Originally from Ballymote by now living in London with an inspirational story. Kuldea is the home for furniture discovery and it came about as Deirdre found it difficult when she was furnishing her own home. Before the website came about Deirdre set up focus groups to really understand her customer. Kuldea is now in the regional final for Pitch@Palace, so best of luck to them in that.
Jean from Willow Boutique explained that 30% of orders are online and 50% of those are from within 30km of her shops. Most of the local customers want to pick up their order in-store and most of them might purchase something else while they are there. Willow Boutique have a brand ambassador programme and work with influencers which ensure that they have unique content on their Instagram feed.
Finally Rebecca from Fishers spoke. Fishers is a family business who started out selling country clothing from the back of a van at local fairs. Now they have a very busy shop including a coffee shop and a website. Rebecca advises people to get the right people to build your website, she found the best way to do this is by recommendations.
All the speakers who have a bricks and mortar premises said that their websites drive people into the shops. There’s still a need for customers to want to physically see and feel the product and also for the likes of Aurivo, people working in agriculture find calling to the shop to be a social outlet.
It was a very interesting morning and if you missed it there are several more free events taking place that you can register for:
Dine & Shine. September 17th at An Chroi, South Sligo Enterprise Centre, Sligo.
Digital Tools to Save You Time & Money in Your Business. September 25th at Sligo Town Hall.
Digital Town Celebration Event. October 14th at The Model, Sligo.
Join in the conversation at #DigitalTown2019