I used to think that Irish people were particularly bad at shopping online until I read an article that said that Irish consumers spend €8.5 million euros online each day! The article, however quoted, Colm Griffin from E-commerce Ireland who said, “75% of the revenue spent by Irish consumers online leaves the country. Every single percent we can pull back would result in a €40 million boost to the local economy and ensure that more Irish-based online stores can survive, grow and create employment,” So, I decided to write a quick blog with the hope that it will encourage Irish people to shop online and to look for an Irish provider for the product they are looking for.
So, here’s some tips for shopping online
1. Shop around
I think the statistic is that when people use google to search for a specific product, they look at the top 3 search results and choose from them. I just googled ‘Kid’s knitting kit’ to see what results came up. The first was a paid advert from Amazon (.co.uk). On the search result page that has 10 results, seven of the shops were British retailers. I have nothing against British retailers, but I think it is worth looking to see what is available from Irish shops before looking elsewhere. After all, with the sterling exchange rate the way it is, shopping using sterling is very expensive and when you consider the added expense of shipping from the UK, you might find that it’s a lot cheaper to buy from an Irish online shop – but it may take scrolling onto page two of your google search.
2. Know what you are buying
I know many people who say that they don’t shop online because they like to see and feel the size and quality of the product they are buying. I completely understand this concept and I’ve also been at the receiving end of purchasing a product and when it arrives, feeling disappointed. However, shopping online is so much easier for me than dragging my daughters through Dundrum Shopping Centre so my tip (that I’ve learnt the expensive way) is to try and get to know my product before I purchase it online. Often, I will see my children playing with other children’s toys and then I search for those exact toys as I know exactly what I’ll be getting. If I can’t get to see and touch the item I want to purchase, I always look at the description and if there’s measurements, I’ll take out a measuring tape and get an idea of the size of the item. Photos can be very deceptive when it comes to sizing. I’ll also take an extra few minutes to read any reviews previous customers have made (that’s why it’s so important for customers to return and write reviews on products they have purchased). Obviously the person who owns the site will try and sell it with a great description, but you’ll find a more honest, less wordy description of the products in the reviews. If you take an extra few minutes to do this, I think you’ll find you’re less disappointed with orders when they arrive and you’ll be more inclined to shop online more regularly. One bad experience can put you off for years so build up your good experiences!
3. Provide a suitable delivery address
One thing that appears to put people off from shopping online is that they aren’t going to be home when the delivery man arrives with their goods! Nearly every online shop will have an option to have your order delivered to a different address to the billing address. Take advantage of this and where possible put in an address of a business/neighbour/relative that work from home. This will save you hassle of having to go and collect your delivery from a defo. Just make sure you notify the person so they know to expect an order for you. This can come in very handy at this time of year too, if you’re ordering your Christmas presents online and you don’t want little people discovering them before Christmas. Even if you are home, get your order delivered somewhere else and pop around and get it when your little people are in bed. If you are buying Christmas presents online and they are getting delivered to your home address, you can ask the shop to package them in unmarked boxes so little people won’t know that there are (for example) toys in the order.
I hope this short blog will encourage you to shop online this Christmas and when doing so, to look for an Irish retailer.