Online shopping has sky-rocketed in Ireland over the past decade, with a fivefold rise in shopping at the click of a mouse.
Shoppers are purchasing everything from their bread and milk to wedding dresses and suites of furniture from the comfort of their own home and getting the goods delivered to their door.
Time-pressed professionals along with increased broadband coverage have been the driving forces behind website shopping sprees in the last 10 years.
The Euromonitor International figures reveal that Irish shoppers are the fifth biggest internet shoppers on the planet — with €720.10 spent online per capita last year.
US shoppers are at the top of the online shopping table with just under €1,000 per capita spend last year. British shoppers are in second place with the Danes third.
The internet has become the shopping destination of choice for a huge number of Irish customers with a whopping €3.3bn spend by the nation last year.
This is compared to €687m in 2007 at the beginning of the online shopping revolution.
Market analysts, Euromonitor International, predict that online sales could reach just under the €5bn mark by 2022.
Traditional toys and games along with personal accessories and eyewear, consumer electronics and media products were singled out for strong growth in internet sales.
Their report noted that more and more Irish customers are beginning to regard “digital retailing as the norm”.
The report revealed that increasingly busy lifestyles and rising use of technology will continue to fuel the growth of internet shopping.
“The two of the background trends that are expected to support strong growth in internet retailing are rising broadband penetration increases and the increasingly fast-paced lives being lived by consumers in Dublin and other large urban centres,” said the report.
The report said Amazon was the country’s leading internet retailer in 2017, generating a value share of 5%.
“Amazon’s success in Ireland has come despite the fact that it still does not have a country-specific website for the country,” said Euromonitor International.
It is noted that many of the leading players in internet retailing in Ireland operate from websites based in Britain but offer rapid shipping to Ireland at “very reasonable prices”.
The report predicted that leading online grocers like Tesco and Musgraves will continue to thrive as more and more customers do their food shopping online.
“With increasing numbers of urban consumers turning to internet retailing to purchase groceries as their lives become more hectic and their time becomes more valuable, it is likely that both of these retailers will continue to register strong growth in online sales,” said the report.
By Lynne Kelleher – Irish Examiner