I know it’s only September, but already business is picking up as people are starting to spread the Christmas expense over a few months. Irish people spend €8.5 million each day shopping online, however 75% of this revenue leaves the country. People are choosing to shop in online shops based abroad. I’m all up for competition, but sometimes I think competitors pitch themselves so that consumers presume they are the best/cheapest without taking a few minutes to shop around.
I thought I’d take a few minutes to compare my online shop to one of the biggest online giants – Amazon. Here’s what I found:
We all want to find the cheapest toys that we can, so that extra money can be spent on other items or maybe we just don’t have a lot of money to spend. Great value can be found when shopping online. It’s worth shopping around. Here’s what I found regarding prices when I compared my website with Amazon for toys.
Even when you use Amazon.ie, it brings you to Amazon.co.uk, so everything is priced in sterling. This is extra work, as you have to calculate what it equates to in euro. After the Brexit vote, the euro became strong against sterling, so it’s always worth checking in case the seller hasn’t adjusted the prices accordingly.
I choose 4 popular products from my website and compared them below.
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(NB. If you can’t see the full table, you can scroll across)
As you can see, the Amazon prices are better, however, when you added next day delivery to Ireland, my Irish website was able to be more competitive. I also didn’t choose to compare any of my discounted range but when I choose from the Amazon options, I choose the cheapest one, which often were discounted. I know we often presume that the larger retailers have the best prices (and often that is the case), but in order for smaller retailers to exist, they need to price products competitively, otherwise people wouldn’t buy from them.
I’m sure if I spent longer, I could find a list of products on my website that were cheaper than Amazon and likewise, if I wanted to prove a point that amazon was cheaper, I could find products with a larger margin, but school pick up is looming and my point is that we’re competitive.
There are many Irish retailers on Amazon, but there are also a lot who aren’t based in Ireland. When you buy from an Irish retailer (online or from a physical shop), they are paying taxes that are put back into the Irish economy – our schools, hospitals, emergency services and much more depend on people buying from Irish retailers. I’ve already said that 75% of online shopping in Ireland is from online shops based abroad. Every single percent we can pull back would result in a €40 million boost to the local economy. And, not only that, it will keep Irish people in employment.
When Googling for a product, add the word ‘Ireland’ after the product name and it gives Irish retailers the opportunity to present their products first. Also, check for websites that end with .ie. There are strict regulations over who can own a .ie domain name.
When you buy from my website. You see the euro price with the product and in the right column you can read ‘Nationwide Delivery only €2 on all orders over €15’. When you shop on Amazon – you see a sterling price with your product and you need to click through 7 pages before you know exactly how much you will be paying for your product! (1. Add to Basket, 2. Proceed to checkout, 3. Sign in, 4. Select a delivery address, 5. Continue, 6. Choose delivery option (without telling you the price for either option) and continue, 7. Select payment method and continue) Even at that point, the price of the product and delivery fee is still in sterling but the total price can be viewed in euro.
Personally, I find this very frustrating. I think I’ve got a bargain, only to discover 7 clicks later that the delivery fee is quite expensive. I like to know upfront what I am paying before I go to the hassle of putting in my address and card details.
So, as you start shopping online, please bear in mind the above points.
Happy Shopping and I hope you manage to find the cheapest toys/the cheapest version of the toy you are looking for!
PS. If you want more reason to buy from my little toy shop, check out the awards I have recently won!
PPS. If online shopping daunts you and you just don’t know where to start, you might enjoy this blog on 3 tips on how to make online shopping easier.