Ireland’s online economy now worth €12.3bn

E-commerce transactions were up by 32 per cent and traffic increased by 14 per cent last year giving Ireland’s online economy a value of €12.3 billion or six per cent of GDP, the annual study by Wolfgang Digital shows. More jobs, improved broadband, browsing experiences and trust, drove a 45 per cent surge in e-commerce revenues for a third year in a row.

Not only are people browsing and buying more often, they are parting with more cash. The average retail shopper now spends €147 in one transaction online. Data from a range of travel and retail websites, generating a total €240 million in online revenue, was analysed for Wolfgang’s report to reveal a number of other interesting findings:

–  Desktop remains the number one buying device at 58 per cent but is slowly losing ground to smartphones, which accounted for 30 per cent of revenues, up from 26 per cent in 2016

–  Smartphones dominated when it came to traffic accounting for 51 per cent of visits to e-commerce websites versus 38 per cent for desktop and 11 per cent for tablet

– Travel continues to boom with revenues for this vertical up an impressive 114 er cent year-on-year, after a 65 per cent increase in transactions

– Retailers saw their online revenues climb 19 per cent as traffic rose by 14 per cent

–  Black Friday sales experienced a 56 per cent uplift compared to 2016, with seven per cent of Q4 revenues generated on this one day alone

–  Despite traffic to e-commerce websites growing 16 per cent in Q4, dubbed the ‘Golden Quarter’, revenues only increased 11 per cent

–  24 per cent of Irish retailers’ revenues came from international visitors

Coleman said the relentless growth of the online economy continues unabated, with six per cent of the Irish economy now online we sit ahead of the Euro average of five per cent. But the chasm between Ireland and the UK’s 12 per cent shows there is still plenty of room to grow. Growth has been driven by Google and Facebook, a trend set to continue.

But Coleman said there are alternatives for savvy marketers this year. Pinterest has recently launched an ad offering, which can beat Facebook on engagement and cost. Retailers anxiously await Amazon’s next move and the Seattle-based giant, which now scores more product searches than Google, is said to be secretly beefing up its advertising platform.







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