One million people in Ireland will have Internet access by 2005, accounting for more than 25 percent of the total population, according to a report by Amarach Consulting. Further, the introduction of the Euro, the single European currency, will change the nature of the e-commerce market.
The majority (71 percent) of Irish Internet consumers fall into the ABC1 category and have considerable online purchasing power. However, Amarach believes that these consumers are not likely to have strong loyalty to Irish products in the new Euro market, and will switch to a vendor located elsewhere in Europe for a better price. The report cited poor shipping and delivery services as holding back e-commerce in Ireland.
The study also found that home usage in Ireland lags behind the European average, a ratio that should correct itself when the telecommunication industry is deregulated in 1999, and also as PC and software prices fall. In general, Irish men and women use the Internet in equal numbers, which compares favorably with usage patterns in the United States. However, three quarters of those with home access in Ireland are men.
The report expects that e-commerce in Ireland will generate revenue in excess of $610 million by 2001. Eleven percent of the Irish population is currently online.