According to March 2016 data from IAB Ireland, digital ad-spend in the country was worth €263m in 2015, up 34% on the previous year. Of increasing importance, the growth of smartphone usage is driving mobile ad-spend, itself up 132% on the previous year and now responsible for a third of total spend in the digital arena. At over €86m this is now a sizeable proportion of the total spend and requiring a different approach to ‘traditional’ digital ad-spend. Size of screen, browsing habits, attention span and functionality all impact how a mobile advertisement engages with an audience.
Display advertising on digital channels has grown by 35% in 2015 and represents 38% of total spend at €99m. The overall performance of display is being driven by the uptake of social media advertising, which lends itself to the format and reflecting users’ increased engagement via social channels. Increasing by 108% in 2015 over its 2014 value, the segment is now worth over €28m.
Social Media is a board and rapidly-changing category covering personal activity, community, communications, text, graphics and video; Irish marketers are looking to make sense of this evolving landscape and planning resources accordingly.
Irish consumers are flocking to social media in numbers that make other connected countries look pale by comparison. Facebook is by-far the largest platform at 60% penetration, nearly treble that of Google+. 65% of adults in Northern Ireland regularly use their Facebook account. Users of Facebook are accessing the platform predominantly via mobile devices, at a rate of 80% versus 20% by desktop according to 2016 research by Amárach.
Of the Facebook users, 79% access daily and a third of these add an update at least once per day. Youtube usage, at 42% reflects previous figures showing the rapid increase in popularity of VOD and viewing of video clips via mobile devices.
A 2015 survey by Eurostat for the EC ranked the Republic as one of the most advanced cross-border economies in Europe. The survey highlighted that not only do a significant number of businesses use online to sell directly to the domestic market, they are also more advanced in the proportion of sales that they make to other EU28 countries; nearly 30% of total revenue is derived via ecommerce and over 15% is made into the EU. Obviously this relates to multichannel businesses.
From the consumer perspective, a Google Consumer Barometer Survey shows that 68% of Republic shoppers make at least one cross-border purchase every year. Separate Ipsos / PayPal research in 2015 puts this figure as high as 86% although it is possible that some of these purchases are from across the border with Northern Ireland.
Irish shoppers spent €1.5bn on overseas websites in 2015 and this is expected to exceed €2bn in 2016, representing over a third of all online spending.
The top international e-retail destinations include the UK (74% of all international retail websites), the US (38%) and China (26%).
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