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Online experts McElhinney’s offer advice to Donegal retailers

McElhinney's window

McElhinney’s Christmas window display.

THE advice for Donegal businesses looking to do well this Christmas is to pay as much attention to their online shop as their physical window display.

That was the message this week from Ms Roisin Woods, Marketing and e-Commerce Manager at the award-winning McElhinney’s of Ballybofey.

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She revealed that their online presence is driving their in-store sales, with customers regularly requesting items they have seen on their website.

This is borne out in the Google Consumer Barometer which shows that 61 per cent of Irish people research online before making a purchase.

McElhinney’s Department Store, which has been in business since 1971, revamped its website in 2012.

Earlier this year, it won a prestigious Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) eCommerce Website of the Year Award for www.mcelhinneys.com

The store, and their website, are poised for a bumper Christmas season following participation in a retail incubation programme at Google Ireland.

In association with Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), Google invited applications from Irish retailers to join a programme that would equip them with the skills and tools to accelerate their fledgling online businesses.

Ms Woods, says the programme has helped them in surprising ways.

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“It was a really great opportunity for like-minded retailers to come together and share knowledge and experiences – this sort of opportunity doesn’t come along very often,” she explained.

“Since completing the programme all metrics have increased. Site revenue has increased by 65 per cent this year compared to last year, with sales transacted on mobile and tablet driving that increase.

“Sales transacted via mobile have increased 174 per cent and tablet by 255 per cent over the last 12 months. The incubation course offered great insight into key metrics which, if monitored by online retailers, can really drive revenue or goals.

“The advice for Donegal businesses looking to do well this Christmas is to pay as much attention to their online shop as their physical shop window Christmas display.”

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