Majority of Irish consumers will do most of their Christmas shopping online

Survey reflects growing trend as business is shared between traditional and online retailers

More than half of Irish consumers will do most of their Christmas shopping online this year, reflecting a growing trend whereby business is shared between traditional and online retailers.

Research by Virgin Media Business found that the vast majority of Irish consumers will order online for some goods this year, while just 22.3 per cent won't do any online shopping.

Although there is a growing cohort of shoppers looking online for goods, a significant 56.2 per cent of respondents to this survey said they have never shopped in so-called black Friday or cyber Monday sales. Additionally, 50.2 per cent said they had no plans to shop on those days this year.

Up-to-date websites

While retailers with an online presence are expected to benefit from the trend, those without up-to-date websites will likely see consumers looking elsewhere, said Aidan D’Arcy, head of business at Virgin Media.


“[Retailers] face missing a large share of the Christmas shopping market if their websites are not up to speed with almost 40 per cent of consumers referencing website speed as a factor for giving up on an online purchase.”

Of the respondents to the survey, more than 30 per cent said price was the most important factor in online shopping. A positive previous experience, free delivery and free returns were also cited as being important.

But consumers are happy to give up on an online purchase if product information is lacking (34.5 per cent) and if there are checkout errors (30.1 per cent). A site that isn’t mobile friendly will cause 27.8 per cent of consumers to give up on an online purchase, the survey found.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, consumers expect gifts to be their biggest expense. Almost 20 per cent of respondents suggested groceries would cost them more than other items while 13.5 per cent said pubs would be their biggest expense.

The research, carried out by Wolfgang Digital, surveyed more than 1,000 consumers on their Christmas shopping habits.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business