Litriocht.com, the world’s largest Irish language bookshop, is celebrating its 10th year providing the world with instant online access to thousands of Irish language books.
Litriocht’s roots date back to 1999 when it started off with just 100 books on a makeshift website. 10 years on and Litriocht is the world’s largest online Irish language bookshop named recently as the best ebusiness in Ireland.
Tom Fitzgerald, Litriocht’s owner, has spent 10 years challenging the status quo of the Irish language business. Back in 1999, ecommerce websites were unknown in most of Ireland, let alone in the Irish language business. Even Amazon.com was in its infancy with only 4 years in business. Tom saw ecommerce as a long term opportunity. “I knew the market was there. I had been trying to buy Irish books in California as far back as 1980 and it wasn’t easy. I also knew that the market was in the Diaspora, and when I spoke to Bord na Gaeilge in 1999, they were totally unaware either the diaspora market or ecommerce as a route to get there.” As Amazon became a big story in the following five years, Litriocht.com became known as “Amazon.com na Gaeilge”. Litriocht, however, was a much friendlier business, in the person of Litriocht manager, Kathleen Fitzgerald in Cill Chúile, in Corca Dhuibhne.
With very poor broadband in Ireland, the US remained Litriocht’s top market for several years. Perhaps more interesting was the fact that Finland held the #2 position for quite a long period of time. Very loyal customers like Panu Hoglund in Finland were delighted with the choices at Litriocht. It took Ireland several years to become the main buyer of Irish language books from Litriocht.com.
Litriocht now has customers in more than 60 countries including China, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. Litriocht caters to everyone including, Government departments, the EU, international universities, primary and secondary schools around the world and the odd celebrity! Litriocht even has a letter of gratitude from the US Library of Congress for the work it has done in cataloguing the books as Gaeilge.
Litriocht has enjoyed many successes and recognition in the past few years, but the most important was the recent Golden Spider award for the best e-business in Ireland. Its customers rave about the book choice and quality of service on a daily basis, so it is no surprise that Litriocht’s greatest marketing tool is word of mouth.