26 May 2022

Connacht based consumers to lead the charge in online spending in 2022

Gardaí issue online shopping warning ahead of Christmas rush

Online shopping

Consumers in Connacht are set to lead the charge in online spending in 2022, according to new Digital Insights research commissioned by Ireland’s leading representative body for the sector, Digital Business Ireland and the custodians of Ireland’s national domain registry, .IE.

The research was carried out by Ireland Thinks and is based on a nationally representative sample, collected from a group of over 30,000 panelists.

As part of the survey, respondents were asked to disclose if they intended to increase or decrease their online spending in 2022, or whether they anticipated any change in the level of their expenditure. The findings were then assessed across a range of demographics, with a focus on regional distribution. Collectively, the research offers a fascinating insight into consumer trends and behaviours across Connacht.

Among its key findings, the Digital Insights research showed that, in 2022:

- 43% of consumers in Connacht plan to either moderately or significantly increase their online spending - compared to just 26% in Dublin
- 41% of consumers in the region do not expect to see a change in their online expenditure
- Just 9% of consumers in Connacht intend to either moderately or significantly decrease their online spending

Overall, the research showcases the growing dominance of e-commerce as the preferred shopping experience for people across the counties of Connacht, and is largely indicative of consumer enthusiasm for the security and flexibility offered by shopping online.

In addition, the findings suggest that online ordering and delivery services offer a level of choice and convenience that proves attractive to those living in more rural settings, when compared to those living in high density cities or urban areas. The results of the Digital Insights research will be encouraging to the many businesses across the region who have invested heavily in enhancing their digital functionality over the course of the last two years.

The findings have come as no surprise to Digital Business Ireland, who through working with its network of 6,000 businesses, has witnessed firsthand, the seismic shift in the Irish consumer landscape, as e-commerce continues on its upward trajectory, with little sign of slowing down. Equally, businesses across Connacht have embraced the numerous opportunities offered by pivoting their operations online.

Speaking today, Secretary General of Digital Business Ireland, Lorraine Higgins said: “Today’s findings mark the first in our Digital Insights series, aimed at gaining valuable information into the prevailing opinions of Irish consumers towards shopping online. Evidently, the exponential growth of e-commerce looks set to continue in 2022, with consumers in Connacht set to increase their online expenditure. The numerous benefits of  online shopping are unparalleled, and our research suggests that consumers across the region have truly embraced the flexibility and security that it provides”.

“Our research shows definitively that people living across the counties in Connacht have a preference for online shopping, compared to those living in Dublin, for example. This is a true testament to the convenient nature of ‘delivery to your doorstep’ shopping, which is proving increasingly popular among consumers living in regional areas, who may not have access to the amenities available in more urban, high-density cities”.

“Overall the findings point to the importance of having digital functionality for businesses and retailers throughout Connacht. At Digital Business Ireland, empowering SMEs to unlock the full potential of e-commerce forms the core of our work, and we are delighted to provide these crucial insights to our members in the region, to help them position their sales development strategies for the year ahead”.

Oonagh McCutcheon, Corporate Communications Manager at .IE, and National Director at .IE Digital Town Programme said: “The pandemic has accelerated many important trends in consumer behaviour, including a shift in retail purchasing preferences from the physical shop to the digital storefront”.

“These findings tell us that it is not wise for business owners or policymakers to divide Irish consumers along stereotypical lines, such as age or geography. Ireland is a small, connected country, and ideas, attitudes, and best practices are learned and quickly adopted. This connectedness means that nearly all Irish consumers are used to spending online. They have a well-formed idea of what a seamless online experience looks and feels like”.

“Furthermore, the demographic diversity of online consumers proves that it is no longer possible for businesses, Irish or international, to build a one-size-fits-all e-commerce experience. Digital consumers are all ages and genders, from all over Ireland, and represent the full spectrum of purchasing power”.

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