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The emergence of the savvy Irish shopper

The recession has brought some benefits – Irish consumers are no longer willing to be complacent, ill-informed or ripped off.

IRISH CONSUMERS HAVE waved goodbye to the old days of being careless with money, according to research carried out by the National Consumer Agency.

The study has revealed that Irish consumers feel more empowered than they did when the last major study into Irish consumer habits and attitudes was carried out five years ago, the Irish Times reports.

In 2005 consumers were largely ripped off, confused about their rights and unwilling to complain.

However, people are now more price conscious and more likely to shop around get the best deal. Consumers are also more willing to complain about service they are unhappy about.

The results show that three-quarters of Irish consumers now actively shop around for better value, and 72 per cent credit the recession for making them think more carefully about what they buy.

The results also showed that price is now ranked as the most important factor for consumers when deciding on a purchase – whereas five years ago consumers lumped quality, value and price together when making a decision.

The study showed that 73 per cent of consumers are now more confident about their rights than they were in 2005, and 80 per cent say that they have complained about poor service – the highest ever level since the National Consumer Agency began monitoring consumer behaviour.

The research also shows how people are more willing to switch service providers to save money.

The new attitude is apparently going to last as well – particularly among the 25 to 34-year-old age group who say that their price-consciousness is for keeps.