Greater numbers of consumers living in Dublin and the West of Ireland are likely to shop online than other parts of the country, according an e-commerce survey by Amas.
In 2011, half of Dubliners had bought something online within the previous 12 months, compared with 48pc for the west, according to the analysis and info graphic published by online consultancy AMAS in the quarterly State of the Net bulletin.
Lowest online shopping adoption levels were recorded for the border counties (31pc) and the southeast (35pc). Nationally, 43pc of Irish consumers bought online in 2011, compared with 36pc the previous year. This puts Ireland on a par with the EU27 average but some distance behind the UK, where the comparative figure is 71pc.
“Online shopping in Ireland is now reaching critical mass," says Aileen O’Toole, managing director, Amas.
“Bargain-conscious Irish consumers are buying online in greater numbers and are using the internet as a powerful research tool before making a decision to buy in a conventional store.
Irish businesses are investing in new or upgraded e-commerce sites, as sales through traditional channels at best remain flat and at worst show progressive, quarter-on-quarter declines."
While e-commerce and internet use generally is highest among younger people, particularly 16 to 29-year-olds, there is evidence of growing adoption levels among so-called silver surfers. In 2011, 21pc of those aged between 60 and 74 said they used the internet every day, compared with 14pc a year before.
Among other internet trends, State of the Net notes that:
• 51pc of Irish consumers write about products online
• 57pc of Irish people have registered on an online deals site
• 47pc of the Irish adult population say they have a Facebook account, compared with 11pc for Twitter and 7pc for Google+