Irish consumers spend €850,000 per hour online

The majority of the spend is on internet shopping

Irish consumers spend €850,000 per hour online

File photo of someone using a laptop | Image: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A new report on the digital economy shows €12.3 billion is spent every year by Irish internet consumers.

This figure represents 6% of Ireland's GDP and is expected to expand to about €21.4 billion (7.9%) by 2020.

The study carried out by Indecon on behalf of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, also revealed that Irish people spend around €850,000 online every hour of every day, which is a 20% increase since 2012.

Online consumer spending is now the largest single contributor to the digital economy.

The report also revealed that 88% of Irish consumers research products online before buying, compared to 79% across the EU.

Currently, 68,000 jobs are directly linked to digital with 48,000 indirectly supported by it.

The report also found that almost 14% of adults make a supplementary income on the internet.

In a second report published today small businesses have said they see immediate positive results when they trade online.

The Trading Online Enterprise Impacts Report, which is based on survey responses from 600 small businesses that have availed of the Government's Trading Online Voucher Scheme, found that those businesses that used the scheme have seen sales increase by 21%.

84% of businesses also experienced an increase in customer enquiries, while 89% said that trading online will become more important in the next six months.

Speaking about the two reports the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Denis Naughten said they "highlight the critical importance of digital to economic growth and prosperity in Ireland".