For a second consecutive year, Irish e-commerce sites have seen a 45 per cent growth in online revenue. With Ireland’s GDP growing by five per cent last year, the Irish online economy is progressing nine times faster than the wider Irish economy. The 2016 Online Economy study shows Irish consumers’ appetite to spend money online continues strongly.
The report by Wolfgang Digital shows retailers experienced a 24 per cent rise, while revenues for travel websites were up by as much as 79 per cent. Overall traffic to Irish e-commerce websites was up 17 per cent in 2016. “Irish e-commerce websites again showed extraordinary levels of revenue growth in 2016,” Wolfgang’s CEO Alan Coleman said.
“We can expect this rampant growth to continue. Online spend represents six per cent of the Irish economy. In the advanced UK market, online’s share of spend is as high as 16 per cent,” Coleman added. However, the share of retail revenue coming from shoppers outside of Ireland declined sharply, from 36 per cent in 2015 to 19 per cent last year.
With most overseas shoppers to Irish online retailers coming from the UK, the swing the value of sterling played a big part in the decline. With the details of a post-Brexit EU yet to be ironed out, there are indicators as to how a post-Brexit Irish online economy might look if online retailers switch their focus to the lucrative European market.
As the €153 billion UK market e-commerce market becomes less accessible to Irish e-commerce websites, the €500bn European market has to be a priority. The twin factors currently making the European market increasingly attractive to Irish business are the EU’s drive to enhance the ‘digital single market’ as the UK drifts further away.
Smartphones have taken over as the device of choice when accessing the web, with 45 per cent of website traffic on mobile phones, versus 42 per cent on desktop and 13 per cent on tablet. It is the first year mobile traffic has exceeded desktop traffic. Since launching last year, Google Shopping has become a top performing online revenue driver.
Last week, Wolfgang won two prizes at the European Search Awards in Poland.
The full report is at https://www.wolfgangdigital.com/blog/online-economy-report-2016/