Irish consumers are expected to spend almost €130m online and in-store on Black Friday bargains today.
Visa Europe has predicted that €98m will be spent online with Visa cards — debit, credit, and prepaid — between today and Cyber Monday, making it the biggest weekend for Irish online shopping in history.
This represents an 18% increase on the €83m spent by Irish consumers last year.
Today — Black Friday — will start the spike in spending with €31m expected to be spent online today, before peaking on Cyber Monday, when €33m in internet purchases will be made.
Last year, Visa Europe said a total of €88m was spent in-store with a further €26m spent online. The credit card giant said €1 in every €3 in Ireland is spent on a Visa card, making this data the most reliable up-to-date indicator of trends in Irish consumer spending.
While Cyber Monday will be the busiest online shopping day of the year, in-store spending is not expected to peak until just prior to Christmas day.
Ireland country manager with Visa Europe Conor Langford said this weekend would be a huge weekend for the retail sector.
“We’re looking at a potential combined €128m being spent on Black Friday alone as retailers discount across all their channels,” he said. “We expect that this positive momentum for the retail sector will continue in December in the countdown to Christmas.”
“Online shopping continues to explode in popularity in Ireland, with Irish Visa cardholders expected to spend 22,916 online every minute during the course of Cyber Monday. The spike in spending will be driven by Irish consumers placing online orders in a bid to ensure their gifts arrive before Christmas.”
Mr Langford the €33m expected to be spent on Monday online represented “a new record” by Irish consumers as internet shopping continues to rise in popularity.
“The rising popularity of online shopping can be attributed to consumers making more purchases on the go with devices like smartphones, as well as increased confidence due to the security features and protection associated with Visa cards,” said Mr Langford. “We are also helping more Irish companies to take advantage of the possibilities that eCommerce presents by making sure that online spending is safe and convenient.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association expect shoppers to spend around €4m an hour today, but revealed that only 35% of Irish SMEs with a website can process payments online and only 42% can take sales orders online.
Dublin is expecting a massive increase of 600,000 in footfall as people flock to the capital in the hunt for deals.
Black Friday is the third busiest day in the retail calendar for the city. Last year saw the single biggest week-on-week increase, with 32% more visitors in the city to avail of the bargains.
CEO of Dublin Town Richard Guiney said that, by the time Christmas lights come down at the beginning of January, more than 25m pedestrian movements will have passed through the city streets as Dublin City.
“Nowhere can match the city centre as a destination for Black Friday shopping; while approaches to out of town centres are clogged with traffic, the city has the country’s best public transport links as well as 10,000 car parking spaces,” he said.
However, retailers have questioned the value of Black Friday.
Retail Excellence Ireland said many of its members have reported significant lulls in spending in recent weeks as people save up in order to splurge on items which are massively reduced for the event.