Irish consumers spent €2.96 billion online in 2010 according to research published earlier this week by Visa Europe. This represents an increase of 39% from 2009 figures, where an estimated €2.13 billion worth of purchases took place.
The research, conducted by iReach in April 2011 with 1,000 Irish participants, found that on average Irish consumers spent €1,550 online last year. Males, on average, spent marginal more online (€1,650) than females (€1,470).
Value for money is the primary reason given by 59% of those aged between 25 and 44 for shopping online, while 50% of all those surveyed believe that they can save between 11% to 30% by purchasing online. Convenience and degree of choice persuaded 25% of those surveyed to shop online.
Conor Langford, Irish vice President at Visa Europe stated,
“We are seeing a large growth in the popularity of online shopping for a variety of reasons. Consumers typically shop online because it’s convenient but increasingly we’ve seen budget conscious shoppers turn to the internet in the hunt for value.
“The growth in e-commerce activity also reflects the fact the Irish consumers are increasingly confident in using their debit or credit card online.”
As confirmed by Langford, Irish consumers are confident when shopping online, with 96% of survey respondents indicating their confidence when buying from a reputable online retailer, and 86% were aware of website security features, like encrypted connections using HTTPS, that could help prove a site’s integrity.
The importance of getting Irish businesses online has been emphasised earlier this month with the launch of the Getting Irish Business Online initiative, and the Irish Domain Registry’s newly introduced €100,000 e-commerce development fund.