Irish consumers second most confident in EU about online shopping

Retailers in Ireland ranked highly for backing legislation to protect online consumers

Irish consumers also ranked in second place for trust in product safety

Irish consumers also ranked in second place for trust in product safety

 

Irish consumers are among the most confident when it comes to online shopping, a new European Commission study shows.

The latest “Consumer Conditions Scoreboard” ranks consumers in Ireland in second place among EU member states for trust in online purchases. Swedish shoppers topped the ranking with Bulgaria at the bottom of the list.

The growth in online shopping here is illustrated by the fact that nearly 60 per cent of people in Ireland bought online in 2016, up from 33.1 per cent in 2007.

Irish consumers are the second least likely to be exposed to unfair commercial practices, according to the study, while they also ranked in second place for trust in product safety.

Retailers in Ireland also score highly in the rankings, coming in second place for trust in environmental claims and in believing that consumer and product safety legislation should be enforced.

The late edition of the scoreboard, which is published every two years, shows that consumers’ trust in online shopping has increased dramatically, especially when it comes to buying from other member states.

The study indicates that the share of Europeans buying online has almost doubled, from 29.7 per cent to 55 per cent over the last 10 years. In addition, consumers’ levels of trust in buying from retailers in their home country have increased by 12 percentage points over the last two years. Trust in purchasing from other EU member states is up 21 percentage points.

Consumer rights

Consumers are also more aware of their rights. On average, 13 per cent of those surveyed said they knew what they were entitled to when it comes to online purchases, up 3.6 percentage points since 2014.

However, on the downside, the study reveals there are still many obstacles preventing ecommerce from developing to its full potential, including a ban on delivering items to some countries.

A key issue identified in the study is a continued reluctance from retailers to expand their online activities to consumers from outside their home countries. This is primarily to fears of a higher risk of fraud and non-payment in cross-border sales, disparate tax regulations, differences in national contract law and in consumer protection rules.