The number of consumers shopping online this Christmas could go up by as much as 50pc, an Irish e-commerce firm has predicted.
Magico.ie says that although traditional high-street retail activity is suffering a downturn, internet sales in Ireland are likely to smash all previous records this year as more and more price-conscious and time-poor consumers do their festive shopping online.
The Ennis-based company cites UK research – the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index – which claims there was a 65pc increase in the numbers shopping online last Christmas compared the 2006 festive season.
It warned, however, that the Irish retail sector had not fully explored the potential of the online shopping market and was losing out on potential business to competitors throughout the world.
“Consumers, as they become more internet-savvy, are using the web to research gift purchases in the lead-up to Christmas. Once they have narrowed down their selection, many shoppers will actually visit numerous stores based on this research,” said Paul McGurran, director of e-commerce, Magico.ie.
“Once a retailer starts trading online they immediately open up their shop to consumers beyond their natural catchment area. We notice that many of Magico’s clients are getting web orders from London, Berlin, Dublin, Cork and from remote parts of Ireland.”
He pointed out that companies which had expanded their business into the online market were also experiencing an increased footfall on their premises.
Set up in 1999, Magico.ie employs 13 people and counts Fujipix.ie, The Bag Shop, Smyths Toys, Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute, Evergreen Healthfood, Munster Rugby Supporters Club, Freshways Sandwiches, Sisk Builders and Fitzpatrick Design Hotels among its clients.
By Sorcha Corcoran