There has been a near 50% increase in the space of 12 months in the number of people using their mobile phones to browse for purchases online.
Retail Excellence, together with StudioForty9, monitor online sales trends and associated patterns in Ireland and found that 46% more people were using their handset to look for purchases than a year earlier.
Their latest eCommerce report shows that average online orders on mobile phones increased by around 11% last month, compared to January 2017.
There was also a 6% year-on-year rise in mobile conversion rates — that’s where a consumer switches from browsing to buying.
Retail Excellence deputy chief executive, Lorraine Higgins, believed more people were shopping online because they were time poor.
Ms Higgins said there was a need for the State to provide support and funding, so more retailers were able to trade online.
Currently, Irish consumers are spending €850,000 every single hour online.
“It’s a real challenge for Irish retailers because two-thirds of the online retail business is conducted outside of Ireland,” she said.
The eCommerce Dashboard Report, a monthly publication, is an invaluable tool for all retailers trading online.
It provides a measurement that allows retailers to benchmark their online performance within their individual sector.
The report shows that the pharmacy sector continues to perform strongly.
The sector recorded the highest desktop computer conversion rate of over 3% and an increase of almost 2% across mobile devices.
Retail Excellence’s eCommerce manager, David Campbell, said the report showed the current state of play in the Irish online marketplace.
“We are seeing strong performances within pharmacy that have continually highlighted strong growth online over the past 24 months,” said Mr Campbell.
“It is clear from our research that Irish consumers’ buying habits are evolving and it is important for retailers to recognise this.”
Most consumers did their research online before purchasing, and this was corroborated by the figures on mobile browsing activity.
Mr Campbell said more online measures and supports targeted at retailers should be included in next year’s budget.
“With the proliferation of cheap imports from outside the EU such supports are critical to Irish retail,” he said.
Over €600bn is expected to be spent by European consumers online this year.
“It is clear that retail is now boundaryless and there is a huge global opportunity for Irish retailers to capitalise on,” said Mr Campbell.
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