The number of Irish people buying products online has risen by 20 per cent in the last six months, according to the fourth bi-annual Online Survey of Internet Usage by the Irish Internet Association (IIA).
However, the majority of people are still purchasing low risk items costing less than IRP100 (Euro127). According to the survey of 2,500 users that have either a career or business interest in the Internet, more than 54 per cent of purchases were below the IRP100 mark.
The most popular items purchased online were software (32 per cent), books (31 per cent), travel services (16 per cent), and music (15 per cent). Not all purchases were small though, with 32 per cent between IRP100 to IRP500, eight per cent from IRP500 to IRP1,000, three per cent from IRP1,000 to IRP2,000 and three per cent of purchases exceeding IRP2,000.
In addition, satisfaction with online shopping was high, with more than 80 per cent claiming they would part with their cash online again.
"The acceptance of, and confidence in, online transactions in Ireland as exhibited in the survey is very encouraging for those who are developing Ecommerce solutions for their business," said Frank Cronin, IIA chief executive.
The survey also found that the average income among Irish Internet users is IRP36,750, just short of the US average for Internet users but over IRP1,000 more than the European average. The average Internet user is now 32 while the gender split is still 65/35 in favour of male users.
Irish users access the Web more frequently from work than home but the number of users with Internet access from both work and home rocketed by 71 per cent. The majority of users expect free information on the Internet, with almost 90 per cent still unwilling to pay to view content.
The weekly content they access most frequently is electronic news relating to commercial products/services, or educational/research material. More than 10 per cent of those surveyed use the Internet mainly for accessing financial services information.
With regard to leisure pursuits, the majority of users said their patterns have not been changed by the Internet, but 43 per cent stated that they had decreased the time spent watching TV, 28 per cent spent less time watching videos and 11 per cent had cut back on listening to the radio.
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