Irish businesses are displaying a high level of optimism when it comes to expanding their international trade, with a staggering 74% of them planning to venture into other countries within the next two years. This encouraging data comes from a new report released by payments firm Stripe. The report, which draws on transaction data from the Stripe platform, as well as surveys conducted with 1,700 business leaders and 11,500 consumers across nine global markets, including Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, the UK, and the US, reveals that consumers are becoming increasingly open to purchasing goods and services from other countries through digital channels.
In Ireland specifically, the report highlights that up to 83% of consumers are now open to buying physical goods from other countries, while 72% are open to purchasing digital services. As for Irish businesses, their plans for expansion are focused on Europe (40%), South Asia (20%), and North America (20%). Stripe, which was founded by the Collison brothers from Limerick, notes that 83% of sole proprietor businesses in Ireland are currently selling internationally, indicating the rise of single-person multinationals. Moreover, even large traditional enterprises with thousands of employees are embracing cross-border expansion. In fact, there has been a 28% growth in Irish enterprises selling internationally via digital channels from 2021 to 2022. Globally, 50% of enterprises have expressed their intention to further expand internationally in the next two years.
The report also sheds light on the transformation of traditionally offline industries, such as education, in the digitized global economy. Today, 83% of education businesses worldwide sell their products or services internationally, and 70% of them have plans to expand further internationally within the next two years.
While the purchase of physical goods continues to be popular, the report reveals that software and apps are the top industries selling internationally on the Stripe platform in Ireland. Companies like Glofox and Trustap, based in Cork, have successfully capitalized on growth opportunities abroad in this sector.
Interestingly, while many of the fastest-growing digital export routes are between neighboring countries, there are some notable exceptions. Ireland, for instance, is the fastest-growing digital export destination for both Australia and the UK. On the other hand, Germany holds this position for both the US and France.
This report from Stripe serves as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Irish businesses, as they not only navigate the challenges brought about by the global pandemic but also seize opportunities for growth and expansion on the international stage. With a strong focus on digital channels and an increasingly open consumer base, Irish businesses are well-positioned to thrive in the global marketplace.