However, unlike some other countries with similar populations, the geography of the Republic makes all shoppers highly accessible:
Northern Ireland adds to this with its population of 1.84 million across 11 local government districts covering less than 14,000 sq km.
From a logistics standpoint therefore Ireland, as a whole, presents retailers with no significant obstacles and with the recent introduction of postcodes in the Republic – until now a real barrier to ecommerce – accurately locating consumers has become much easier.
Over 35% of addresses in the Republic share their address with at least one other property, previously making it difficult for those delivering goods and services to accurately identify the location of a specific address.
Introduced in July 2015 a new postcode system, Eircode, has been deployed specifically to overcome this problem. Unlike other countries where postcodes define a cluster or group of addresses, a unique Eircode is assigned to each residential and business address.
The seven-digit code is in two parts:
Retailers seeking to access the Irish market should make use of Eircode to assist in targeting and delivery efficiency (www.eircode.ie).
European consumers have a statutory right to return goods within 14 days which means that as well as it being good practice to provide a transparent and efficient returns solution, there is a legal imperative too.
22% of Irish consumers are put off from shopping cross-border because they assume returns will be difficult or costly so when selecting their delivery partner for Ireland, retailers should find out what arrangements they can make for returns.
Republic consumers will need and expect:
For Ireland cross-border retailers can arrange for returns to be sent back to the country of origin (where it can be delivered back to the originating retailer to be processed) through the postal route or a carrier.
To access the Full Report, follow this link here to register and download.