Almost two-thirds of European adults shopped online last year, with Munster and Leinster among the highest in the EU for internet-based purchases.
As expected, younger people are far more likely to shop online than older people, findings from the European Commission’s data analysis wing showed.
Eurostat said people aged 25 to 34 were 2.5 times more likely to have made use of the internet to shop (83%) than people aged 65 to 74 (33%).
The Danes and the Dutch are particularly fond of shopping online, the data show.
“The Danish capital region of Hovedstaden recorded the highest propensity to use e-commerce (91%) across all EU regions, followed by the Danish region of Midtjylland and the Dutch region of Utrecht, both 90%,” Eurostat said.
When it comes to the habits of Irish shoppers, people in Leinster are among the highest in Europe, with Munster not far behind.
Growth in shopping online coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, data shows.
Dublin and the midlands went from 68% of people buying online in 2019 to 84% last year, while Munster went from 69% to 77% in the same period.
Surprisingly, the West and North decreased their shopping online from 2019, going from 57% to 53% last year.
On the other end of the scale, four regions in Bulgaria had the lowest share in 2020, hovering around 25% each.
A fifth of people surveyed told Eurostat they never made a purchase online.
There were 11 regions in the EU for which the most common response was to have never made an online purchase, Eurostat said, including every region of Bulgaria and Romania, the south and island regions of Italy, the Portuguese island of Madeira, central Greece, and Cyprus.
Internet banking is also becoming increasingly common, the data show – with the Danes again top of the pile.
Some 58% of the EU adult population used internet banking, with the Danish capital region of Hovedstade having the highest share at 96%, Eurostat said.
Traditional in-store shopping remains the most popular way of purchasing goods, but online is catching up.
“The vast majority of retail sales in the EU continue to take place in shops. However, the ability to shop 24 hours a day, coupled with the ease of making electronic payments, is gradually leading to a digital transformation of the EU’s retail space, disrupting many aspects of shopping behaviour,” Eurostat said.
The data included the placing of orders for goods or services via the internet, but also buying financial investments such as shares, confirming reservations for accommodation and travel, participating in lotteries and betting, paying for information services, and buying via online auctions.
The proliferation in online shopping will see Irish consumers spend €25,000 a minute during Black Friday, including €8,000 on clothes, AIB data revealed earlier this week.