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Consumers more likely to continue shopping online for clothes, electronic goods and books after Covid restrictions are lifted

Consumers are more likely to continue shopping online for clothes, toys and electronic goods after Covid restrictions have been lifted according to new national survey conducted by Banking & Payment Federation Ireland (BPFI). The survey, which looks at consumer’s current online shopping habits and how these might change post restrictions also found that Irish adults shopping for groceries, hardware and DIY products as well as newspapers and magazines are less likely to do so online once the restrictions are eased.

On average, the survey found that, Irish adults shop online 44 times a year with over one in three (35%) Irish adults claiming to shop online on at least a weekly basis. The survey shows that men shop online more frequently than women (50 times a year vs. 38 times a year), and Millennials (25-37 year olds) shop online more than any other age group.

Looking at how consumers who have shopped online expect their shopping habits to change after the current Covid restrictions have been lifted, some 31% are more likely to continue to shop online for clothing/sports goods and 26% are more likely to shop online for toys/games or films/music/books after the restrictions are lifted. By contrast, more than one in five of those who have shopped online for groceries, hardware/DIY or newspapers/magazines are less likely to shop online for these products.

The survey highlights that while both men and women claim they are more likely to continue to shop online for clothes, a higher proportion of men than women are more likely to shop online for games and films/books/music post restrictions.

Looking at behaviours across the various age groups, Millennials (25-37 year olds) and Gen X (38-53 year olds) are much more likely to continue to shop online for clothes and electronic goods post restrictions.

By contrast, those over 54 years of age (Baby Boomers) are less likely to shop online in most categories with the exception of clothing/sports goods and films/books/music. However, even in those categories, no more than one in five Baby Boomers are likely to shop more online.

Regional and generational differences

With further analysis from the survey highlighting that 69% of Irish adults shop online at least once a month, in line with salary payments, it also shows that the proportion of those shopping online drops as consumers get older and varies significantly by region – 76% in Dublin vs 64% in Connacht/Ulster.

Speaking about today’s findings BPFI Chief Executive, Brian Hayes said: “Online shopping has seen rapid growth in recent years, with almost €5.8 billion in e-commerce sales on credit and debit cards in Q1 2020 alone according to the Central Bank of Ireland. The scale of this is further demonstrated when you consider that e-commerce accounted for 41.8% of card spend in that quarter, up from 31.3% only five years earlier. Traditional ways of purchasing are changing rapidly, and our findings today emphasize that the shift to online shopping will be further fuelled by the current pandemic which will have a lasting impact in terms of reshaping consumers shopping habits and preferences.”


Editor’s Note: BPFI commissioned Coyne Research to survey a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Irish adults online between the 22nd – 28th April 2020.

Notes: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has some 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, 087 9016880 or