THE pursuit of better value has seen the total spent online by Irish consumers rise by almost 40% in a year to €2.96 billion.
Research by Visa Europe found there was a 39% increase between the amount spent by the Irish adult population online in 2010 compared to a year earlier.
It said the rise could be attributed to people believing online shopping offers good value and that they are also more confident shopping online.
Visa Europe said the average Irish shopper spent €1,550 on internet purchases last year.
While flights and holidays, entertainment tickets and books continued to be the most popular items, clothing and footwear are gaining momentum.
It also found that the public are also more inclined to purchase items online that they cannot find in Irish stores. Men spent more online on average (€1,650) compared to women (€1,470).
“Half the respondents told the survey that they save between 11–30% by shopping online,” the authors of the survey said.
“A quarter of survey participants believed it was more convenient as there was better choice and shoppers could make purchases any time of day.”
Visa Europe said value tended to be more important for 25-44-year-olds, with an average of 59% of participants choosing it as their primary reason for buying consumer goods online compared to 42% of 18-24-year-olds and 45% of 45-54-year-olds.
“There has been a notable increase in people’s confidence in online shopping over the past 12 months, with 96% of respondents indicating they are confident that the online retailer they are purchasing from is reputable and 86% aware of what security features to check for on websites,” Visa Europe said. “In addition, there was an improvement in awareness of online consumer rights.”
Visa Europe has also published security tips for online shoppers:
* Make sure card details are encrypted securely before being sent across the internet — look for an unbroken key or lock at the bottom of the browser window or check the website address, which should begin https:// rather than http://
* Use the latest version of the browser’s software and check to be sure the computer’s operating system software is up to date.
* Keep a record of internet transactions, including the retailer’s website address.
* Look for a telephone number or email address and note them down.
* Verified by Visa protects cards against unauthorised use. Look out for the Verified by Visa logo on websites.
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