Irish retailers are losing out on a potential €4.5bn in online consumer spending each year according to new research.
A study carried out on behalf of Virgin Media by Amárach found that Irish consumers currently spend €7.5bn online every year - but Irish retailers’ share of this is just 40% with €4.5bn being spent abroad.
“The picture could actually worsen in the coming years with the Virgin Media Digital Insights Report pointing to a doubling in online consumer spending by 2021,” said Paul Farrell, vice president of Commercial at Virgin Media.
“By that stage the share of Irish consumer spending accounted for by the digital economy is expected to grow from 7.7 % today 2016 to 12.4%.
“If current trends continue this could see €8.5bn in potential business being lost to Irish retailers every year.”
It is believed that 94% of Irish internet users now shop online with an average spend of €80 per month each.
Some 53 % of respondents to the survey said a key reason for shopping online was because the product wasn’t available in local shops, while 72% said they could get the products cheaper online.
Almost six in 10 online shoppers said that they would not buy a product online if they knew they could buy it at the same price in a local shop.