Despite a concerted effort to encourage Irish shoppers to buy locally online to help save jobs, the vast majority of Irish people bought from overseas sites, PayPal reveals.

A new study from PayPal reveals that 88pc of Irish consumers who shopped online bought from websites outside of Ireland during the last year and that better pricing, more choice and greater availability is driving this international shopping trend.

The study, conducted by Censuswide and involving more than 1,000 consumers in Ireland, found that almost four in five (78pc) of those who bought from websites outside of Ireland spent with UK retailers during this time.

“Irish retailers are known for the quality of their products, and currently there’s a huge opportunity to attract more customers and grow sales”

43pc bought from websites based in Europe, while 38pc spent with websites based in China and more than a fifth (21pc) purchased goods via websites in the US.

On average, those who shop online spent €385 with retailers outside of Ireland in the last year. This amount was higher than the average amount spent by respondents via Irish websites during the same period, which was €357 on average.

Retailers must embrace the digital commerce revolution

Young man in blue shirt.

Joachim Goyvaerts, director of Benelux and Ireland for PayPal

The top three reasons as to why people bought from a website outside of Ireland were cited as better pricing (65pc), more choice (51pc), and greater availability (46pc). Meanwhile, the top drivers for online shopping in Ireland were found to be faster delivery (48pc) and supporting local businesses (44pc).

Moreover, the survey revealed that over half (56pc) of Irish consumers expect to buy more products than before from international retailers over the next year.

“Our research shows that the demand for online shopping has never been greater and that many people are eager to support the local businesses they know and love,” said Joachim Goyvaerts, director of Benelux and Ireland at PayPal.

“As a result of the pandemic and recurring lockdowns, it is no longer just important but absolutely necessary that Irish businesses provide a digital offering. Of course, they shouldn’t look at this as a short-term investment because the growing dominance of online shopping won′t ease – even when restrictions do.

“Irish retailers are known for the quality of their products, and currently there’s a huge opportunity to attract more customers and grow sales – especially as consumers, both at home and abroad, seek out more choice and convenience in a post-Brexit world.

“However, in order to take full advantage, it’s essential that businesses fully embrace the digital commerce revolution,” Goyvaerts said.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 11 February 2021

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