Irish consumers currently spend €7.5 billion online every year but Irish retailers’ share of this is just 40% with €4.5 billion being allowed to go abroad as a result.
According to the survey, 94% of Irish Internet users now shop online with an average spend of €80 per month each.
Despite the vast majority of spend going abroad the survey found a willingness to buy Irish. Nearly 60% of online shoppers said they would not buy a product elsewhere online if they knew they could buy it at the same price through a local shop.
A fruther 53% of respondents 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.
“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. 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 €8.5 billion in potential business being lost to Irish retailers every year”, said Paul Farrell, vice president of commercial at Virgin Media.
This latest report backs up figures released Friday by the IEDR which found that a third of Irish SMEs did not have an e-commerce capability.