Three top tips for exporting to Ireland

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Almost half of shoppers in Ireland make purchases via their smartphone, compared to 33% of shoppers in the UK, according to a study commissioned by Royal Mail. In Ireland, mobile data is cheaper than anywhere else in Europe which could explain why consumers use their smartphone to shop online more than those in the UK. Mobile optimisation is important for UK retailers looking to attract online shoppers in Ireland.

The study, part of Royal Mail’s Delivery Matters series, is the first time Ireland has had its own dedicated report. It asked over 1,500 online shoppers in Ireland about their shopping habits and preferences. On average, Irish online shoppers spend £75 (€85) per month with 51% of purchases consisting of clothes, compared to 45% in the UK. Buying holidays and travel is more popular for online shoppers in Ireland than other markets with 25% of those living in Ireland doing so, compared to 19% in the UK.

Eight in ten shoppers in Ireland purchased from a UK website in a three month period. The average shopper in Ireland purchasing from a UK website spends £51 (€58) a month and buys from UK brands at least once a month.

Ireland’s online shoppers are driven to purchase from UK websites by price (45%), availability (42%) and quality (16%). Almost half (49%) are likely to choose a UK online retailer while they shop generally, compared to 34% who seek out a specific website.

Delivery satisfaction is a strong driver of repeat purchases for Ireland’s online shoppers. 94% agree that they are more likely to shop with an online retailer again if they’re satisfied with the delivery, higher than the international average of 91%. Clear, upfront delivery information is key to satisfying online shoppers in Ireland. If retailers get it right, they set themselves up for repeat business.

Online marketplaces in Ireland are thriving with shoppers using them more frequently than those in the UK. 78% of online shoppers use marketplaces compared to 69% in the UK. Delivery ratings are important to Ireland’s shoppers when it comes to marketplaces. Eight in ten (79%) are heavily influenced by marketplace delivery ratings and take these into account when making purchases. This is a lot higher than the UK (54%) and international average (76%). Similar to the UK, Ireland’s shoppers have a clear preference when it comes to online marketplaces with eBay (77%) and Amazon (72%) the most popular.

Three top tips for targeting Irish consumers

  • Go mobile

    Make mobile optimisation a top priority if you want to target online shoppers in Ireland. They use their smartphones far more than any other device and more than any other countries in Europe.

  • Value is vital

    Matching shoppers’ expectations of value for money is a top priority. Affordability and good value are pillars of the purchase decision. Crucially, as cart abandonment levels show, this extends to delivery charges.

  • Focus on delivery

    UK online retailers should offer Ireland’s shoppers free delivery and returns wherever possible, along with tracking. These are pivotal in building shopper confidence and encouraging repeat business.

According to Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, exports to Great Britain increased by 8% in 2017, when compared to 2016. Imports from Great Britain to Ireland also increased by 10%.

“Ireland is an ideal first-step export market for UK businesses looking to dip their toes into overseas markets. They are in the same time zone, speak English, have a strong transport infrastructure and consumers have a positive perception of British quality. For retailers looking to export to Ireland, mobile optimisation should be a top priority to target the high proportion of smartphone shoppers. Ireland’s shoppers use their smartphones far more than any other device and more than any other countries in Europe.”
– Royal Mail Spokesperson

2 Responses

  1. Yes mobile data tends to be much better value than it is in the UK. My partners family have never even had HBB installed as there is no point, and they do use their phones for just about everything (problem being they have forgot basic computer skills). Anyway Ireland and I love it (is taxed to high heavens). The cost of living is so high, wages may be high compared to the UK but not close enough to keep up. Only last year we looked at setting up over there (cost of housing was issue, and far to many constraints and protectionism on business), you try taking a car over the border and getting an Irish plate on it and they give you a right good spanking in the wallet.
    We are even having the overpriced wedding in Scotland as it still better priced than the overpriced Irish version. Ireland is just expensive for everything, so yes people look overseas and you could not blame them.

    PRICE is the biggest factor (whatever RMG try and tell you)…..we are as cheap as chips in the UK (we are in a scrap to the bottom)….RMG pass on to An Post who are pretty good, we have had like one INR in years selling to Ireland.

    eBay.ie is not that popular however, people prefer to sell on Adverts.ie. Shopping a lot use Amazon now, or have a parcel motel account and would use eBay.co.uk.

  2. So expensive to ship to the Republic of Ireland even though their neighbour Northern Ireland gets UK shipping rates.

    Doesn’t make sense

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