FutureProofing e-commerce to realise your digital strategy

The annual summit, hosted by Digital Business Ireland, discussed the five most pertinent topics for e-businesses and shared their insights

Dara Calleary, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation: ‘Through events like this, the government will meet their digital strategy’

The FutureProof event on September 6 welcomed hundreds of SMEs, 30 exhibitors and 30 speakers to Croke Park, Dublin. The annual e-commerce summit, supported by Permanent TSB, boasted a 50/50 split of female and male speakers, who took to the stage to share insights and discuss the most important challenges faced by Irish e-commerce businesses today.

“Through events like this, the government will meet their digital strategy,” said Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation.

Thought leaders from ubiquitous global brands and local success stories spoke on a range of topics, as the day was divided into five themes: marketing and growth; cybersecurity and accessibility; futurology; talent, leadership and performance; and social media and brand.

Speakers were full of optimism for Ireland’s digital businesses, with Ashley McDonnell, global digital media and e-commerce director at luxury brand Puig, predicted that Ireland may already harbour unique industries with the same draw as French luxury brands: “‘Made in France’ is associated with luxury items. The same may be happening in Ireland in various sectors.”

Stephanie Anderson, public policy manager Ireland, Meta, said: “We see immersive technologies as a digital development of which Ireland should strive to be a front-runner, in line with the government’s goal to be a digital leader at the heart of European and global digital developments.”

Kwanele Nomoyi, senior account manager, Google, soothed people’s anxieties over artificial intelligence (AI). “You’re not competing with AI, you’re competing with marketers using AI,” he said.

Michael Corcoran, head of social, Ryanair, told attendees to trust their instincts when writing for online platforms: “If it takes more than five minutes to come up with a response to a comment, the joke will be overthought and probably flop.”

Digital Business Ireland has now started planning its next event – the annual National Digital Awards. Celebrating innovators and trailblazers in the digital commerce sector, the National Digital Awards span 22 categories, rewarding businesses, organisations and individuals who demonstrate digital excellence.

Submissions for the National Digital Awards open on October 3, with the winners of each category set to be celebrated at a lunch ceremony on February 23, 2024. For details visit: www.digitalbusinessireland.ie