Maeve Dorman, VP Merchant Operations, PayPal EMEA

Meitheal mentality: Irish spend more locally in 2021

The study of over 1,000 Irish consumers revealed the community spirit and Irish love for local, with the average annual spend increasing by 41 per cent on websites based in Ireland, rising to €503 in 2021 from €357 in 20202. The average spend on websites within Ireland was also more than the average spend on international sites, where the average spend was €329.

Female respondents spent considerably more with Irish websites, estimating an annual spend of €534 (compared to €351 spent by male respondents).

Wicklow consumers spent the most with websites in Ireland with an average of €972. Carlow came in second place (€915), with Meath (€819). Monaghan (€773) and Offaly (€634) finishing off the top five counties in this regard.

Áine Waldron (27), full-time gym instructor and part-time physiotherapy student from Mayo, said: “I work full time Monday to Friday and have college classes at the weekend, so online shopping is often my saving grace when I simply don’t have time to go anywhere. Lots of the local shops have rolled out delivery services and online shopping options since the pandemic began, and it’s made everything so much easier. I’m more inclined to shop local now and can see how important it is to give that support. Coming home to deliveries of books, groceries or clothes from local retailers always feels a bit more special – and it’s super convenient.”

When it comes to spending on websites outside of Ireland, over three quarters (79%) of consumers spent online internationally last year, with people from Carlow spending the most with an average of €678. This was followed by Wicklow (€561), Offaly (€508), Longford (€450) and Kildare (€425).

The most popular non-Irish destinations to buy from were found to be the UK (74%), Europe outside of the UK (48%) and China (28%). Meanwhile, some 16% of respondents bought from websites in the US.

Online spending becomes Main-stream

The study showcased the increasing appetite for online shopping, with 62 per cent of Irish people revealing they plan to shop online more this year. In fact, almost half (49%) agreed they would do all their shopping online if they could, equating to 1.7 million adults3. Those aged 25-34 are most keen on this idea (54%), in comparison to the near quarter (24%) of over 55s who said they would do all their shopping online if they could.

Interestingly, over half (56%) of Irish adults say the pandemic has permanently changed the way they pay for products and services, with almost three quarters (73%) preferring cashless transactions. Digital seems to be the preferred route as, 72 per cent of respondents indicated they prefer digital payment methods (such as paying with their smartphone), while 71 per cent like contactless checkouts (such as self-service tills).

Speaking about the findings, Maeve Dorman, Senior Vice President at PayPalcommented: “It’s great to see how Irish people are prioritising their online spending on Irish businesses. Regardless of where we buy from though, it’s clear that online shopping has become a critical convenience for Irish people, not only during the pandemic but as part of our regular, busy lives. 

“There is a real opportunity for online retailers to make a difference,” Maeve Dorman continues, “but businesses need to have an e-commerce platform in place that can meet their customers’ needs, wherever they are – online, on the go, or in-store. With a range of solutions designed to capitalise on the increasing reliance on digital spending and help serve the needs of Irish businesses, whether just getting started with e-commerce or already a thriving business, PayPal is here to help.”

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.