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Poll: Clicks or bricks, how do you decide where you're going to shop?

What can local retailers do to win back all the Irish online shoppers spending their cash overseas?

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THIS WEEKEND, THEJOURNAL.IE trawled through the survey figures to work out how Irish consumers preferred to shop – online stores, or the bricks-and-mortar variety.

But those numbers, which showed locals preferred to research products online but still buy in-store, only tell part of the story.

Since the Central Statistics Office doesn’t distinguish between online and traditional outlets in its retail figures, there is no official data on how much money has migrated from stores to the web.

A UPC report on “Ireland’s digital future” out earlier this year put the share of all consumer spending that was being done online at 7% this year.

That percentage was worth some €5.9 billion and the report forecast the proportion would rise to 12.5% by 2020, at which stage it would be worth more than double the current figure – €12.7 billion in total.

Retail sales make up about half of all consumers, but UPC noted a “concerning” trend for local retailers in its survey – that only 40% of online shopping was being done through Irish websites with the remaining 60% going offshore.

Shopping survey Frequency of shopping online Source: UPC report on Ireland's digital future

So with all that money predicted to flow overseas, we want to know what Irish retailers can do to get more cash flowing into their own registers.

Here’s the question: When making a major purchase, like electrical goods or an expensive clothing item, what is the most-important factor that you usually take into consideration when deciding whether to buy through a website or in a store:

Poll Results:

Best price (2006)
Convenience/time (466)
Biggest range (283)
After-purchase support (211)
Best sales advice (100)

All this month, as part of our ongoing focus on the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, we are looking at the business of retail so if you know an SME or startup doing innovative things in retail let us know by sending a tip below.

READ: Thinking of doing your grocery shopping online? Here’s how to get started >

READ: Irish people shop online less than average EU internet users >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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