Irish spent €2.13bn online in 2009, survey shows

22 Jun 2010

Irish adults spent €2.13bn on online purchases in 2009, a new survey has shown. The survey, by Visa Europe, revealed that women are the highest spenders online, with 25pc spending more than €1,000 on internet shopping last year.

The average Irish shopper spends €1,450 online per year, with more than half (53pc) the respondents saying they are more inclined to buy things online that cannot be purchased in Irish stores.

Half of the people surveyed also believe they can save up to 30pc by buying goods on the internet compared to the high street.

What people buy online

The research found that flights and holidays are the most popular online purchase, with 83pc of respondents having purchased these in 2009.  Entertainment tickets were also popular, with 67pc of survey participants buying them online during the course of the year.  CDs, DVDs and video games ranked as the third most popular item, with 52pc of online shoppers saying they had purchased these online in 2009.

Worryingly for business owners, online shopping is highly popular among Irish consumers, with the average worker spending 55 hours per year browsing for goods or shopping on the internet between 9am and 5.30pm, which equates to more than one working week per year.

The survey also showed that online security also ranks highly with Irish consumers, with 88pc of online shoppers confident that the internet retailer they are purchasing from is reputable and reliable and 80pc of survey participants knowing what security features to look for on websites.  

“People are turning to the internet for all types of purchases. Whether it’s booking cinema tickets for a simple treat or buying flights for a much-needed escape, consumers are shopping online because it’s convenient and secure,” said Conor Langford, vice-president, Ireland at Visa Europe.

“Apart from the competitive choice offered by internet retailers, we are also seeing consumers shop online because they feel more confident about using their payment card in that environment … but only 62pc of shoppers know what their consumer rights are when buying online, so we would always urge people to do their research if they are unsure.”

Visa Europe’s top security tips for online shoppers include:

  • Verified by Visa protects cards against unauthorised use.  Look out for the Verified by Visa logo on websites
  • Make sure that card details are encrypted securely before being sent across the Internet – look for an unbroken key or lock at the bottom of the browser window or check the website address, which should begin https:// rather than http://
  • Use the latest version of the browser’s software and check to be sure the computer’s operating system software is up to date
  • Keep a record of internet transactions, including the retailer’s website address. Many online stores send customers emails summarising the purchase details – make sure they are saved or printed off
  • Look for a telephone number or email address and write them down

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