Ireland in sixth place on EU league table of firms using ecommerce for purchasing
Ireland has risen from fourth to six place in the EU in businesses using ecommerce for purchasing.
The 2012 Information Society Statistics survey on enterprises and households was released by the Central Statistics Office yesterday.
Over half of all businesses in the State (51 per cent) used electronic means to make purchases compared with the EU average of over a third and 49 per cent in 2011.
Ecommerce as a proportion of business purchases increased in the last year, up from two-in-10 to three-in-10.
This put the State on a par with Germany and just behind the UK (53 per cent).
Denmark topped the list at 74 per cent .
The proportion of businesses using ecommerce for sales has remained static in the past year at 23 per cent.
However, the number of ecommerce sales for these businesses (as a percentage of turnover) rose by 4 percentage points to 21 per cent.
Ireland rose one place to sixth in sales via ecommerce, in which Denmark again lead the EU field at 29 per cent.
Businesses with a website or home page increased by three percentage points to 73 per cent in the last year. Nine-in-10 businesses had broadband, the survey found.
The household survey showed a growing market of online consumers in the State.
There was an increase in consumers using the internet to buy clothes and sporting goods (up three percentage points to 20 per cent), books and newspapers (up two percentage points to 16 per cent) and household good (up two percentage points to 10 per cent).
The most popular online purchases remained static; travel arrangements and holiday accommodation (30 and 28 per cent of individuals respectively) followed by tickets (27 per cent).
More than eight in 10 households have access to the internet and a computer at home,the survey found.
Household access to the internet is up by 18 percentage points on 2008 to 81 per cent.
While an internet gap between the youngest and oldest groups remains, it is narrowing.
In 2012, 92 per cent of 16-29 year olds surveyed used the internet within the previous three months compared with 40 per cent of 60-74 year olds (but this was up 16 points since 2008).
Some nine-in-10 students and workers surveyed had used the internet in recent months, with a sharp increase in unemployed people in this category to seven in 10.
By geographical area, the biggest increase in regular internet usage in the past year is in the Border area to 72 per cent.