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Irish people spent a whopping €3bn online in 2010

Visa Europe says online purchases are up by 39 per cent on last year, as more people begin to trust online shopping.

The increasing prominence of sites like eBay - and payment methods like PayPal - have helped to contribute to a surge in online shopping.
The increasing prominence of sites like eBay - and payment methods like PayPal - have helped to contribute to a surge in online shopping.
Image: Wong Maye-E/AP

IRISH PEOPLE SPENT almost €3 billion on online purchases in 2010, according to estimates published today by Visa Europe.

The credit card operator said that the adult population had forked out €2.96 billion on online transactions in 2010, an increase of 39 per cent on the same figures in 2009, based on a survey of 1,000 respondents.

Visa’s research indicated that the increase could be attributed to consumers becoming more confident in the value for money being offered by online shopping, while others were also overcoming earlier fears about the security of online transactions.

Half of the respondents to Visa’s survey said they had saved between 11 and 30 per cent on some transactions by buying online, while others said they preferred online shopping because of increased choices and the luxury of being able to shop at any time of the day.

Value was more important for shoppers between the ages of 25 and 44, with almost 60 per cent of respondents between those ages saying online shopping was there preference simply based on price.

The average Irish shopper spent €1,550 online last year, with travel, entertainment and books being the most regularly-purchased items – though clothing and footwear were becoming more prominent purchases.

Perhaps surprisingly, men spent more on average on their online transactions – with the average male shopper spending €1,650 online compared to €1,470 spent by female shoppers.

96 per cent of respondents said they were confident that online retailers to whom they gave money were reputable, while consumer confidence was further buoyed by an increased awareness of online consumer rights with two-thirds of shoppers saying they knew their entitlements.

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Gavan Reilly

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