Blacknight pivots to Support Irish Business as Web Sales Surge
Irish domain name registrations on track to break records in May
As Irish shoppers flock online, Ireland's leading web host has launched two new products to help Irish companies: Blacknight shopBuilder and Build-My-Website.
The Carlow company which hosts almost a third of Irish websites has seen unprecedented demand since public health restrictions began in March. Blacknight has registered almost 1600 .IE domain names since the beginning of May. IE Domain Registry reports that domain name registrations for the month to date are up 60% on last year and look set to break the record set when registration rules were relaxed in March 2018.
“The lockdown has been devastating for many Irish companies", says company CEO Michele Neylon. "But those with the ability to trade online have found themselves coping with a surge in turnover, as consumers search for online alternatives”.
And as the government's recovery roadmap enters Phase One, companies have begun to realise that the ‘new normal’ is going to be digital.
“Already we’ve seen the increased preference towards cashless payment, with both retailers and consumers. Nobody wants to handle cash if it’s not necessary”, says Neylon.
"Accepting payment online is the logical next step. Whether it’s a booking deposit, or payment in full, getting paid online cuts down on physical contact, even for a bricks-and-mortar business when they use click-and-collect”.
Blacknight is a member of Guaranteed Irish, and recently took over as sponsor of The Guaranteed Irish Podcast. As the owner of a home-grown Irish business, he believes it’s vital to support local companies.
“We’ve been in business for 17 years and some customers have been with us almost all the way. We’ve built up trust with our customers and suppliers. That social capital is essential when a community faces a crisis.
“Your customers are your neighbours. We’ve been asked to keep each other safe by staying apart but Irish people want to find their local shops online and help them to survive. We’re getting calls from companies whose customers have asked them: where’s your website? How can I buy from you online? Those people don’t want to give their money to the big players. And they shouldn’t have to, because setting up an online store is not difficult”.
Blacknight shopBuilder has been launched as a low-cost eCommerce solution designed to work with any website. And for customers who've never had a website, they've developed a starter package called Build-My-Website.
“The aim is to get you up and trading as quickly as possible. You can add the bells and whistles as you go along, but your customers are online right now - and they are looking for you”.
Based in Carlow, Blacknight provides domain names, hosting, email, broadband and cloud services. They employ almost 50 people, all of whom have worked from home since 13 March.
For further information, or interview:
Conn Ó Muíneacháin
Media & Marketing
Blacknight CEO, Michele Neylon
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Blacknight (http://www.blacknight.com/) are an Irish based, ICANN accredited domain registrar and hosting company. Recipients of several awards for their revolutionary use of social media, Blacknight are one of Europe’s most cutting edge Internet companies. Blacknight constantly seek to lead the way by introducing innovative solutions for its client base and provide dedicated servers and co-location as well as a comprehensive range of Microsoft Windows and Linux based hosting services and domain name registration services to business globally. IP transit services and other solutions for more demanding business and academic customers are offered a la carte. Fibre broadband services for both business and domestic users are also available throughout most of Ireland.