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Online Sales for Irish Retailers Continue to Grow Significantly According to New Survey

Alan Coleman, CEO of Wolfgang Digital

With more and more consumers turning to online channels for their purchases, a survey of e-commerce activity in Ireland has found that revenues attributable to e-commerce websites rose by 45% in 2017.

The annual study, which is carried out by Wolfgang Digital found that e-commerce transactions also rose by 32% while traffic increased by 14%, making Ireland’s online economy worth an estimated €12.3bn in 2017.

The survey is based on data from a range of travel and retail websites, generating a total €240m in revenues which were analysed for Wolfgang Digital.

The survey also noted that despite mobile’s prevalence, desktop remains the number one buying device at 58% but is slowly losing ground to smartphones, which accounted for 30% of revenues, up from 26% in 2016.

However, smartphones dominated when it came to traffic accounting for 51% of visits to e-commerce websites versus 38% for desktop and 11% for tablet.

The survey also found that travel continues to boom with revenues for this vertical up an impressive 114% year-on-year, after a 65% increase in transactions.

In addition, black Friday sales – one of the highlights of the online retail calendar-  experienced a 56% uplift compared to 2016, with 7% of Q4 revenues generated on this one day alone. Despite traffic to e-commerce websites growing by 16% in Q4, revenues only increased 11%, the survey noted.

According to Alan Coleman, CEO of Wolfgang Digital: “The relentless growth of the online economy continues unabated. With 6% of the Irish economy now taking place online we sit ahead of the European average of 5%. However. the chasm between us and the UK’s 12% indicates there is still plenty of room to grow.”

Looking to the future for online sales Coleman says that “the growth to date has been driven by digital media duopoly Google and Facebook and this seems set to continue. However, in 2018 there are alternatives for savvy marketers. Pinterest has recently launched an ad offering which can beat Facebook on engagement and cost. The retail industry is also anxiously awaiting Amazon’s next move and the Seattle-based giant, who now enjoys more product searches than Google, is said to be secretly beefing up its advertising platform. Just as there is a ‘Buy now with one click’ button on Amazon for shoppers, an ‘Import your Google AdWords campaign with one click’ button for advertisers would see massive chunks of ad spend migrate to Amazon in an instant.”

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