Irish shoppers to double online spending over next five years

Consumers to spend €2.8bn by 2018 but Ireland lags behind UK in internet shopping


Irish shoppers are set to double their spending online in the next five years, a new survey has revealed.

According to the report on ecommerce in Europe by research firm Mintel, Irish consumers spent €1.4 billion online last year, up from €723 million in 2008. That figure is set to increase to €2.8 billion by 2018, Mintel said.

The report found 35 per cent of people in Ireland had bought goods or services online in a three-month period, a little over half the figure in the UK, where online sales recorded a level of 65 per cent among the population.

Along with Germany and France, the UK is among the top ecommerce markets in Europe. Ireland sits mid-table. Relative to their populations, Norway and Sweden top the tables.

The report, which looked at 19 markets in Europe, indicated that online shopping was still in its infancy, with ecommerce sales not exceeding 10 per cent in any of the markets examined.

The proportion of all sales generated online in Ireland is curently about 4.3 per cent. That is estimated to rise to 4.9 per cent by the end of this year, before reaching 7.6 per cent by 2018. Compared with the UK, where 2018 will see online shopping account for 15.2 per cent of all sales by 2018, Ireland is still lagging.


Most shoppers here go online to buy clothes and sports goods, with books, magazines and elearning materials also popular.

Overall, the report predicted a 13 per cent rise in Europe’s online shopping market to €188 billion this year, with online sales almost doubling from 2012 levels by 2018.

The report discounted purchases of services such as travel or event tickets, and also eliminated digital downloads and streaming, and private sales between consumers such as on eBay.

It noted Amazon was continuing to grow and was on the verge of breaking into a double-digit market share.The report estimated that at the end of 2012, Amazon had a market share of 9.8 per cent. Its nearest competitor was Germany’s Otto, with a 3.3 per cent share of online sales. Also making the top 10 were Tesco, Dell, Sainsbury, Asda and Dixons Retail.