Responding to concerns that the rise in online shopping is causing a slowdown in retail sales on the high street, eTail Excellence Ireland has praised the effect of events like ‘Cyber Monday’ on trading. According to Sheila Buckley, head of eTail Excellence Ireland, Cyber Monday “can only have a good effect on trading”, as it encourages Irish consumers to begin their Christmas shopping.
Last week, Retail Ireland Stephen Lynam voiced concerns about shoppers buying from online retailers that do not have a presence in Ireland. “At the moment, 75% of the Irish online spend goes to retailers who don't have any Irish presence. That is not sustainable for Irish retail, but as more people start to shop online, and as more Irish-based retailers begin to trade online, their share of online spend will grow,” Lynam commented.
However, Buckley has suggested that it is difficult to quantify how many online sales are outside Ireland because these figures have not been updated for 2013. Buckley noted, “Online sales and trading is growing 20% year on year, and online retail is growing 25% year on year (per the data we’re collecting from retail).
"From talking to our eTailers (EEI Members) sales are definitely up in December. These figures are very positive and reflect the ever-growing trend to purchase goods and services online with customer behaviours driving the demand for businesses to be across multiple channels and devices.”
In order to promote local stores, Buckley explained that stores should concentrate on becoming ‘multichannel’ businesses, and that online presence does not always mean selling online. “It’s not necessarily about selling online and offline – it’s about being visible and available across multiple touch points,” said Buckley.
“70% of Irish consumers will browse or research online and then buy in a bricks and mortar store.” As a result, the availability of a store locator and contact details on mobile devices is vital, as is having a catalogue of products online.
© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones