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Online and Mobile Retailing - Ireland - March 2018

“While the majority of Irish consumers find it easier to shop online via a standard website compared to a dedicated app, difficulties encountered during the checkout phase often lead consumers to abandon an online purchase. This indicates that there remains scope for retailers to further improve website navigation and payment facilities to improve the online shopping experience for consumers and to boost conversion rates.”

– James Wilson, Research Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

This Report examines the online and mobile retailing sector in Ireland, through exploring the issues that are fuelling or affecting its growth. Online and mobile retailing is concerned with consumers ordering and paying for goods and services through online channels, including desktop and laptop computers and internet-connected mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. Online and mobile retail includes physical items bought online, for example clothes, and the purchase of intangible products such as holidays.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Estimated online and mobile retail expenditure, NI and RoI, 2013-18
          • Forecast
            • Figure 2: Indexed estimated online and mobile retail expenditure, NI and RoI, 2013-23
          • Market factors
            • UK the leading e-commerce market in the EU
              • RoI firms receiving the most online orders in the EU
                • Multi-device ownership makes reaching consumers online harder for retailers
                  • Companies, brands and innovations
                    • The consumer
                      • Consumers most likely to shop online at home
                        • Figure 3: Usage of devices to shop online in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2017
                      • Fashion the main items bought online
                        • Figure 4: Types of items/services bought online in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2017
                      • Home deliveries remain the main delivery method
                        • Figure 5: Types of delivery used by consumers when shopping online in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2017
                      • Most consumers do not return items ordered online
                        • Figure 6: Returning goods bought online in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2017
                        • Figure 7: How consumers rate their overall level of satisfaction with the returns process, NI and RoI, November 2017
                      • Free postage remains important to Irish consumers
                        • Figure 8: Agreement with statements related to online and mobile retailing, NI and RoI, November 2017
                      • What we think
                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                        • Sales via online and mobile channels to continue growing in 2018
                          • UK remains the top e-commerce market in Europe
                            • EU consumers buying goods online from RoI firms
                              • Multiple device ownership a challenge for retailers
                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                  • Online sales to grow in 2018
                                    • Figure 9: Estimated online and mobile retail expenditure, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                    • Figure 10: Proportion of total retail sales made online, UK (including NI), 2011-17
                                  • Growth in online retailers’ sales expected to continue
                                    • Figure 11: Indexed estimated online and mobile retail expenditure, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                • Market Drivers

                                  • UK is Europe’s top e-commerce market
                                    • Figure 12: Online purchases in selected European Union markets, 2017
                                  • Rural SMEs most likely to think internet connection is poor
                                    • Figure 13: How SMEs rate Irish broadband speed and reliability, RoI, October 2017
                                    • Figure 14: Improvements SMEs have seen to their internet infrastructure’s speed and reliability in the last 12 months, RoI, October 2017
                                  • National Broadband Plan in RoI delayed further
                                    • RoI has highest proportion of firms receiving online orders in the EU
                                      • Figure 15: Percentage of firms that have received orders via their website or app in selected European Union markets, 2016
                                      • Figure 16: Percentage of firms that have sold goods online to other selected European Union markets, 2016
                                    • Transport costs a barrier to selling goods to other EU markets
                                      • Figure 17: Top five barriers to selling goods online to other EU member states, 2016
                                    • High device ownership provides opportunities for retailers
                                      • Figure 18: Ownership of or access to mobile technology devices, NI and RoI, 2017 and 2018
                                    • Irish consumers continue in-store browsing and online purchasing
                                      • Figure 19: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer to look at a product in-store and then buy it online’, NI and RoI, 2017 and 2018
                                    • New data protection laws will have implications for online retailers
                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                      • Amazon looks to extend its ‘real-world’ consumer interactions
                                        • New stores could help Harvey Norman grow online orders
                                          • eBay dropping PayPal as payments processing partner
                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                            • Touch it, buy it
                                              • The Treasure Truck visits the UK
                                                • Smashbox launches chatbot feature in the UK to encourage product trial
                                                • Competitive Strategies

                                                    • Pureplay retailers
                                                      • Amazon
                                                        • Key facts
                                                          • Green light for Amazon Go?
                                                            • ASOS
                                                              • Key facts
                                                                • ASOS launching ‘try before you buy’ and same-day delivery
                                                                  • eBay
                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                      • eBay dropping PayPal as payment processing partner
                                                                        • eBay completes acquisition of Terapeak
                                                                          • Shop Direct Group (Littlewoods Ireland)
                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                              • Sixth consecutive record-breaking Christmas for Shop Direct
                                                                                • Multichannel retailers
                                                                                  • Arnotts
                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                      • Dunnes
                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                          • Harvey Norman
                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                              • Harvey Norman looking to grow its store network in RoI
                                                                                                • Next
                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                    • Sainsbury’s (NI only)
                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                        • Argos
                                                                                                          • Sainsbury’s trials first 30-minute click-and-collect
                                                                                                            • Tesco
                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                • Tesco speeds up home delivery services
                                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                  • Laptops and desktops remain the devices of choice for shopping online at home
                                                                                                                    • Consumers most likely to buy clothing and travel-related services online
                                                                                                                      • Irish consumers show strong preference for home deliveries
                                                                                                                        • Data security remains a concern for online shoppers
                                                                                                                        • Devices Used to Shop Online

                                                                                                                            • Home remains the preferred online shopping location
                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Usage of devices to shop online in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                            • Late Gen-Xers most likely to buy goods online using a laptop or desktop
                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Usage of desktop/laptop computers to shop online while at home, by age, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                            • Students shopping online via smartphone when out of home
                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Use of smartphones to shop online in the last 12 months, by gender and work status, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                          • Items Purchased Online

                                                                                                                              • Clothing remains the top item bought online
                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Types of items/services bought online in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                              • Women and parents buying clothes online
                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Consumers who have purchased clothing, footwear and accessories online in the last 12 months, by gender and presence of children in the household, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                              • Millennials buying physical and digital media content
                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Consumers who have streamed or downloaded books/music/movies/games downloads (including rentals) online in the last 12 months, by age, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                              • Booking travel services online appeals to affluent consumers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Consumers who have purchased travel services (eg flights, holiday packages, hotels) online in the last 12 months, by age and social class, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                            • Delivery Methods Used

                                                                                                                                • Home deliveries preferred for online purchases
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Types of delivery used by consumers when shopping online in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                • Home deliveries appeal to women, particularly in RoI
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Consumers who have had goods purchased online delivered to home, by gender, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                • Retailer click-and-collect points popular among married NI consumers
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Consumers who have collected goods purchased online in-store from the retailer that they bought from, by marital status, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                              • Returning Goods Bought Online

                                                                                                                                  • Most consumers do not return goods bought online
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Returning goods bought online in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Returning online purchases highest among younger consumers
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Consumers who have returned goods purchased online in the last 12 months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                  • High satisfaction with online returns process
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: How consumers rate their overall level of satisfaction with the returns process, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Rural most satisfied with returns process
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Consumers rating the returns process as ‘very good’, by location, NI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Consumers rating the returns process as ‘very good’, by location, RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Online and Mobile Retailing

                                                                                                                                    • Price of delivery remains important to consumers
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Agreement with statements related to online and mobile retailing, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Free postage has broad appeal
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Agreement with the statement ‘I am willing to wait longer for deliveries if it means cheaper/free postage’, by gender, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to pay an annual/monthly postage fee that ensured next-day delivery (eg Amazon Prime)’, by gender, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Data security remains important to Irish online shoppers
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be less inclined to shop with a company that has experienced a data breach’, by age, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Over-35s prefer shopping on standard websites
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Agreement with the statement ‘I find it easier to shop via a standard website compared to a dedicated app’, by age, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • More Ireland-based retailers online appeal to parents
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Agreement with the statement ‘I would shop online more if there were more NI/ RoI-based online retailers’, by presence of children in the household, NI and RoI, November 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                                                                      • Market size rationale
                                                                                                                                        • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                          Online and Mobile Retailing - Ireland - March 2018

                                                                                                                                          £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)