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eCommerce Environment

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eCommerce Environment in Ireland

According to the European Commission’s (EC) regular measurement of progress towards the EU’s digital single market, the Republic has an above average adoption of digital technologies and, in some fields, leads the EU.


Internet penetration is good across all areas of the Republic although the southern and eastern counties have a higher level than the rest at 84% vs 77%. Northern Ireland also boasts high levels of superfast broadband internet access at 77% penetration.


Adoption levels are highest amongst family groups of two adults with two dependent children, suggesting not only a willingness to invest in access but also engagement. 64% of adults with internet access used internet banking and 63% undertook online shopping.



It is expected that e-retail in the Republic will be worth €5bn in 2016 while m-commerce was worth €1.4bn in 2015, according to PayPal. The same source also expects m-commerce to more than double by 2017; highlighting the importance of mobile devices in the country.


Mobile devices now account for 56% of traffic to websites but desktop is still a key element of the customer experience and journey. There are also indications that smartphones are becoming increasingly important for the consumer, with traffic from these devices up by 10% in 2015. 39% of Irish online consumers are now using smartphones to inform their purchase decisions. The majority of Irish retail websites are mobile-optimised while less than half are mobile responsive.


All ages of online users are actively engaging with brands but Dubliners are more likely to transact in the channel. Fashion and travel are key sectors and there is a strong desire to shop with international brands; either via their Republic physical presence or an international website.

Online Shopping Destinations

Analysis of the top online shopping destinations shows some interesting insights. All of the brands in the top 20 are international; some with local domain names but most without.


Top 20 shopping websites:


1. 11.
2. 12.
3. 13.
4. 14.
5. 15.
6. 16.
7. 17.
8. 18.
9. 19.
10. 20.

Source: April 2016


Looking at the broader top 50, other international brands are well represented with Marks & Spencer, New Look, River Island and Currys PC World all present. Auction and classified websites haven’t been included although some of these do sell direct from retail.

Further information

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