Irish shoppers are spending more online with local firms

Irish people are spending more money with websites in Ireland versus international sites.

The study of over 1,000 Irish consumers revealed the community spirit and Irish love for local, with the average annual spend increasing by 41% on websites based in Ireland, rising to €503 in 2021 from €357 in 2020

According to new data from PayPal, spend was higher on websites in Ireland versus international sites (€503 average spend vs €329).

“There is a real opportunity for online retailers to make a difference, but businesses need to have an e-commerce platform in place that can meet their customers’ needs, wherever they are – online, on the go, or in-store”

More than half of consumers (56%) say the pandemic has permanently changed their spending habits with 62% planning to shop online more this year and almost three quarters (73%) preferring cashless transactions.

How the Irish are spending it online

Female respondents spent considerably more with Irish websites, estimating an annual spend of €534 (compared to €351 spent by male respondents).

Wicklow consumers spent the most with websites in Ireland with an average of €972. Carlow came in second place (€915), with Meath (€819). Monaghan (€773) and Offaly (€634) finishing off the top five counties in this regard.

When it comes to spending on websites outside of Ireland, over three quarters (79%) of consumers spent online internationally last year, with people from Carlow spending the most with an average of €678. This was followed by Wicklow (€561), Offaly (€508), Longford (€450) and Kildare (€425).

The most popular non-Irish destinations to buy from were found to be the UK (74%), Europe outside of the UK (48%) and China (28%). Meanwhile, some 16% of respondents bought from websites in the US.

The study showcased the increasing appetite for online shopping, with 62 per cent of Irish people revealing they plan to shop online more this year. In fact, almost half (49%) agreed they would do all their shopping online if they could, equating to 1.7 million adults3. Millennials (aged 25-34) are most keen on this idea (54%) in comparison to the near quarter (24%) of Boomers (over 55s) who said they would do all their shopping online if they could.

Interestingly, over half (56%) of Irish adults say the pandemic has permanently changed the way they pay for products and services, with almost three quarters (73%) preferring cashless transactions. Digital seems to be the preferred route as, 72 per cent of respondents indicated they prefer digital payment methods (such as paying with their smartphone), while 71 per cent like contactless checkouts (such as self-service tills).

“It’s great to see how Irish people are prioritising their online spending on Irish businesses,” said Maeve Dorman, senior vice-president at PayPal. “Regardless of where we buy from though, it’s clear that online shopping has become a critical convenience for Irish people, not only during the pandemic but as part of our regular, busy lives. 

“There is a real opportunity for online retailers to make a difference, but businesses need to have an e-commerce platform in place that can meet their customers’ needs, wherever they are – online, on the go, or in-store. With a range of solutions designed to capitalise on the increasing reliance on digital spending and help serve the needs of Irish businesses, whether just getting started with e-commerce or already a thriving business, PayPal is here to help.”

Main image: Maeve Dorman, senior vice-president at PayPal

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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