Survey Says Irish Online Shoppers Prefer Non-Irish Websites

The number of Irish consumers shopping at international online stores exceeds the number of domestic online shoppers in Ireland, according to new research from PayPal.

The Global Cross Border Commerce Report, conducted by Ipsos on behalf of PayPal, estimates that a total of 2.2 million Irish consumers made a purchase from an overseas website in the last 12 months, compared to 2.1 million domestic online shoppers.

The report states that Irish online consumers are the biggest international shoppers worldwide, with 84 per cent of us shopping overseas. This is a larger proportion of our population than all of the other 30 countries surveyed.

A number of the insights will make for worrying reading for Irish businesses. Irish online shoppers spent €2.7 billion on overseas products in the past 12 months. Almost half-a-million people or 1 in 5 shoppers bought solely from websites outside of Ireland. Lower prices, more product variety and affordable shipping were some of the main drivers behind Irish shoppers choosing to buy from the top three import markets (UK, USA and China).

Accoding to the report, 34 per cent of Irish online shoppers were deterred from using domestic sites due to delivery fees while 21 percent were unhappy with the same sites’ return shipping costs. Online shopping is a lucrative market in Ireland that only looks set to grow.

The survey revealed that total online spending  is currently growing at around 20 per cent year-on-year in Ireland, giving local businesses the opportunity to gain a larger stake of the expanding e-commerce market. The study forecasts that Irish consumers will spend €7.8bn online this year, and up to €10.1bn by 2020.

Louise Phelan, PayPal’s Vice President for Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “While our new research suggests Irish consumers prefer shopping from overseas websites, it also shows Irish businesses that there’s still so much to play for. Irish businesses have a tremendous opportunity in front of them to attract more customers and increase their online sales.

“It’s all about putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and understanding how to turn a browser into a buyer. For example, the number of Irish consumers making a purchase on their mobile is growing at such a phenomenal rate that having a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional – it is absolutely vital for the future of any business.”

Pictured Above: Louise Phelan, Vice President for Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, PayPal