Ecommerce in Ireland continues to grow swiftly

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According to a report from Wolfgang Digital, ecommerce in Ireland continues to grow strongly and retains a great deal of room for further growth.

In 2017, the total online revenue of the companies surveyed saw an increase of 45% year-on-year. Increased employment and improved broadband penetration are credited as reasons for the expansion. It’s the third consecutive year of growth.

Interestingly, desktops remained the number one buying device in 2017 at 58% but they are slowly losing ground to smartphones, which account for 30% of revenues now, up from 26% in 2016. That’s significantly lower than the mobile percentage in the UK. 24% of Irish online retailers’ revenues came from international shoppers, predominantly from the UK.

The relentless growth of the online economy continues unabated. With 6% of the Irish economy now taking place online we sit ahead of the European average of 5%, however, the chasm between us and the UK’s 12% indicates there is still plenty of room to grow.

The retail industry is also anxiously awaiting Amazon’s next move and the Seattle-based giant, who now enjoys more product searches than Google, is said to be secretly beefing up its advertising platform. Just as there is a ‘Buy now with one click’ button on Amazon for shoppers, an ‘Import your Google AdWords campaign with one click’ button for advertisers would see massive chunks of ad spend migrate to Amazon in an instant.
– Alan Coleman, CEO of Wolfgang Digital

Ireland is a critical business partner for the UK and is Britain’s primary trading partner, so why has ecommerce not developed as strongly there as here? Several reasons spring to mind. Internet access, especially in rural areas, has taken longer to develop in the Republic of Ireland and the postal service, predominantly provided by the state owned An Post, has also suffered from logistical problems. Not least, it’s only in the past few years that Ireland has had an effective post code system.

And looking ahead, Brexit will likely make an impact on ecommerce in Ireland. But until the issue of the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is settled, as well as pan-European concerns such as the free movement of goods and the customs union question, it’s difficult to assess the potential ramifications.

2 Responses

  1. We’ve just opened a second office in Northern Ireland (our main one being in Altrincham, nr Manchester Airport) and here, like in the south, everyone wants to pay – and be paid – by cheque. Yes cheque.

    “.. increase of 45% year on year..” doesn’t tell the full story does it.
    Where’s my flares?

  2. Hi Alan at Wolfgang

    where’s the pie chart showing breakdown of online purchases by marketplace, etc

    I think this is the key dataset.

    Thank you, Bernard

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