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Irish Online Shoppers Prefer International Brands

According to the leading global online payment platform PayPal, the vast majority of online shoppers from the Republic of Ireland choose to make their purchases from international brands and websites based outside of the country.

The study published by PayPal revealed that up to 88% of all Irish citizens that made a purchase online had bought at least one thing from a website situated outside of Ireland over the past 12 months. It revealed that shoppers were driven to overseas retailers by factors such as price (65%), range of choice (51%), stock availability 46%. Unsurprisingly, the top reasons for shopping local were faster delivery times (48%) and supporting local businesses (44%).

Despite a recent push by Irish authorities to convince people in the country to “shop local” to support businesses that have been adversely affected by difficult business conditions experienced throughout 2020 and even into this year.

PayPal is uniquely situated to research this kind of market behaviour as one of the pre-eminent online payment platforms globally; the company has more expertise and experience in the global online retail market than almost anyone else because it has become the preferred online payment method used by most companies and shoppers. PayPal has become a ubiquitous term with shopping.

Another eye-catching statistic revealed by the study showed the average spend by Irish shoppers outside of the country online was around €385. In contrast, the average spend on local websites was noticeably lower at €357. However, it is not all doom and gloom as four in five people polled also professed to spend money with retailers in the UK during that time.

For example, leading UK retailers like Argos and Very trust the brand with its online checkout and payment options. It is also the preferred online payment solution for food delivery service Just Eat and streaming service Now TV. Due to the safety and security, it provides people on both sides of the transaction. PayPal has been highly adopted in the iGaming industry too, with many PayPal casino sites such as Unibet and Casino Lab offering this payment method to their players.

Interestingly, once the decision has been made to shop with an overseas retailer, Geographical distance appears to play a tiny part in the decision-making process. Of the purchases made on websites outside of Ireland, PayPal’s study found that 43% were with retailers based in Europe, 38% were with sites in China and 38% in America. It was also revealed that shoppers were prepared to make purchases from several different international markets depending on where they could get the best deal.

Even with Ireland’s big push to shop local, the online trend of making purchases on overseas websites is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. While local businesses may be struggling due to challenging market conditions, consumers are working just as much, and if they can find a better deal overseas, most will take it.

“Our research shows that the demand for online shopping has never been greater and that many people are eager to support the local businesses they know and love. It is no longer just important but absolutely necessary that Irish businesses provide a digital offering. Of course, they shouldn’t look at this as a short-term investment because the growing dominance of online shopping won′t ease,” said director of Benelux and Ireland for PayPal Joachim Goyvaerts.

“Irish retailers are known for the quality of their products, and currently there’s a huge opportunity to attract more customers and grow sales – especially as consumers, both at home and abroad, seek out more choice and convenience in a post-Brexit world. However, to take full advantage, it’s essential that businesses fully embrace the digital commerce revolution.”

The study was conducted on behalf of PayPal by Censuswide and involved more than 1000 consumers living in Ireland.