Irish Users Increase Online Spending

Most Irish Internet users are now e-commerce active, and are spending more money online than they did last year, according to a study by the Irish Internet Association (IIA).

The online survey of 2,260 Irish Internet users who visited the IIA Web site in July and August found that 62 percent of participants made a purchase online in the past year. Consumers are also spending more online compared to this time last year with 40 percent of respondents spending between £100 and £500 in the past 12 months. Nearly 90 percent (88 percent) of online purchasers are happy to repeat the experience while of those who have yet to buy online, 47 percent intend to do so in the next six months.

The survey also found a growing interest in wireless Internet access and devices. Nearly one-third of participants own or intend to buy a WAP phone. Participants were less interested in accessing the Internet through their TV, however, with 67 percent having no interest at all in buying a set-top box.

The survey results also reveal an interesting trend toward online/permission marketing with 61 percent of respondents now subscribing to email magazines or updates. This highlights a real opportunity for Irish companies to send targeted product/service/company messages to consumers through email.

Irish Internet users have mixed attitudes toward banner advertising. While 73 percent of Internet users notice banner advertising at least occasionally, only 16 percent of participants find them useful. Forty-two percent of Irish users find banner advertising to be mostly annoying.

“The Irish Internet user is changing,” said Mark Henry, the IIA’s research spokesman. “As they become comfortable with using the Net, they are happy to spend money online and to access it on the move by mobile phone. While they are open to receiving useful information from companies by email, they are less interested in banner ads, which are of little or no relevance to them.”

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