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SME focus: Everything you need to know about traditional stores and e-commerce

For November’s in-depth coverage of SMEs, we focused on the business of retail.

EVERY MONTH, TheJournal.ie takes a close look at a certain sector or aspect of life for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Making up about 99% of all Irish businesses and employing nearly 70% of private-sector workers, SMEs are vital to jobs and economic growth in the country.

For November, our focus shifted to the business of retail – from traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, to the e-commerce trade and customer trends in the industry.

#Business Chart of the Month came courtesy of two sources – Google’s Consumer Barometer and a CBRE Ireland consumer survey from this year – both of which came to the same conclusion: most Irish shoppers still prefer traditional retailers, but there’s a lot of product research happening online

CBRE Source: CBRE Ireland Consumer Survey 2014

#What I Learned featured home-grown online success story, MicksGarage, and its founding brothers Ciaran and Michael “Mick” Crean. The pair launched their car-parts website from a bedroom and now ship to over 70 countries around the globe

Crean2 MicksGarage co-founder Ciaran Crean

#How to Guide had a look inside Rock Frocks, a fashion retailer in Athy, Co Kildare. We learned how the store’s success in carving out a niche was attracting shoppers from all over the country after its owners piggy-backed their bricks-and-mortar business on a successful website

IMG_20141127_101437975 Athy's Rock Frocks

#Business Poll this month posed question to shoppers – what is the most-important factor in deciding where you spend your money? And according to the results, the pricetag is easily the number-one factor for most consumers:

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Retail poll Source: TheJournal.ie

#SME Book Club was all about Amazon, via Bloomberg journalist Brad Stone’s award-winning The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of AmazonIn his book, Stone tells the story of how ruthlessly determined company founder Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his Seattle garage and went on to rule the e-commerce world

Amazon Smartphone Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos Source: Ted S. Warren/AP/Press Association Images

#The Big Idea dipped into how one app and website, recently launched in Ireland, could save shoppers time and money. Comparison site PriceSpy Ireland has been here since June and its app has already been downloaded over 42,000 times

D15191-0063 (2) (1) PriceSpy's Lorna Barker Source: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

READ: Everything you need to know about the Budget and essential money matters >

READ: Everything you need to know about education and business >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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