Ireland Leading Way In E(U)-Commerce
Nightline Group CEO, John Tuohy, considers new data confirming Ireland's position as Europe's fast-growing e-commerce powerhouse. The impact which online shopping has made on the way that we shop is not necessarily new.
Over several years, the number of individuals in Ireland who buy goods by computer, mobile phone and tablet has grown dramatically. In terms of the sheer amounts spent, consumers in the Republic of Ireland are outranked by their counterparts in the UK. One recent study concluded that annual e-commerce turnover across the Irish Sea (€107.1 billion) was more than 23 times as great as that here.
That dominance becomes less stark when you consider that the UK is the largest and arguably most mature online market anywhere in Europe, a situation cemented by brand new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It has just reported that nearly four-fifths of individuals in the UK bought online in the course of 2014.
Just how critical e-commerce has become to retail over the last decade is underlined by the fact that the proportion of UK e-consumers has almost doubled since 2005. However, the importance of Ireland's emergence as a true force in Internet shopping is made clear by reading a little further into the detail generated by the ONS. Fifty-two per cent of Irish companies' turnover comes from e-commerce, more than any other of the European Union's 28 member states. To put that in context, the figure is more than three times the EU average (15 per cent) and more than twice that of the UK (20%).
Ireland's state of readiness to embrace the potential of e-commerce is reinforced by another statistic relating to the number of businesses which employ IT specialists. Again, we top the EU league table with 28 per cent of firms being IT-ready, once more showing more favourably than in Europe's current e-commerce big three: the UK, France and Germany.
That there is a bigger Irish appetite for online shopping and the fact that it holds potential benefits for both home-grown and overseas businesses is nothing new to Nightline.
The number of orders handled by our dozen depots across the Republic and Northern Ireland has grown steadily in recent years and now amounts to well over one million a month. Many of those are now processed by our Parcel Motel network, whose regular users now number more than 170,000.
Parcel Motel's General Manager Orla Sheils has seen more Irish shoppers count on the brightly-branded terminals both for deliveries and - increasingly - returns.
"If you pardon the pun, Parcel Motel provides an infrastructure which has delivered on its promise to consumers of a faster, cheaper and more convenient means of receiving goods bought online."
Orla Sheils (General Manager, Parcel Motel)
"If you pardon the pun, Parcel Motel provides an infrastructure which has delivered on its promise to consumers of a faster, cheaper and more convenient means of receiving goods bought online. Businesses in Ireland, the UK and even further afield have also recognised the merits of being able to offer their customers such a method as it can be the difference between someone merely expressing interest in making a purchase and converting that interest into a completed sale."
"They have found that our unique 'Virtual Address', using our Belfast depot as a means of avoiding the high cost of shipping directly between the UK and Ireland has been of particular benefit." Whether you're a retailer based in Ireland or the UK, visit our website or contact us to find out more information about how Nightline and Parcel Motel can help boost your sales.