Irish shop local: online spending within Ireland increases by 41%, PayPal study finds

Irish consumers spent, on average, €503 with websites based in Ireland in 2021 – rising from the €357 average the previous year

Spend was higher on websites in Ireland versus international sites  (€503 average spend vs €329)

Over half of consumers (56%) say the pandemic has permanently changed their spending habits 

62% plan to shop online more this year and almost three quarters (73%) prefer cashless transactions

Dublin, 18th February 2022: PayPal today announced the findings of its Retail Trends & Spends Study1 which reveals changes in how and where Irish consumers shop.

Meitheal mentality: Irish spend more locally in 2021

The study of over 1,000 Irish consumers revealed the community spirit and Irish love for local, with the average annual spend increasing by 41 per cent on websites based in Ireland, rising to €503 in 2021 from €357 in 20202. The average spend on websites within Ireland was also more than the average spend on international sites, where the average spend was €329.

Female respondents spent considerably more with Irish websites, estimating an annual spend of €534 (compared to €351 spent by male respondents).

Wicklow consumers spent the most with websites in Ireland with an average of €972. Carlow came in second place (€915), with Meath (€819). Monaghan (€773) and Offaly (€634) finishing off the top five counties in this regard.


Áine Waldron (27), full-time gym instructor and part-time physiotherapy student from Mayo, said: “I work full time Monday to Friday and have college classes at the weekend, so online shopping is often my saving grace when I simply don’t have time to go anywhere. Lots of the local shops have rolled out delivery services and online shopping options since the pandemic began, and it’s made everything so much easier. I’m more inclined to shop local now and can see how important it is to give that support. Coming home to deliveries of books, groceries or clothes from local retailers always feels a bit more special – and it’s super convenient.”

When it comes to spending on websites outside of Ireland, over three quarters (79%) of consumers spent online internationally last year, with people from Carlow spending the most with an average of €678. This was followed by Wicklow (€561), Offaly (€508), Longford (€450) and Kildare (€425).

The most popular non-Irish destinations to buy from were found to be the UK (74%), Europe outside of the UK (48%) and China (28%). Meanwhile, some 16% of respondents bought from websites in the US.

Online spending becomes Main-stream

The study showcased the increasing appetite for online shopping, with 62 per cent of Irish people revealing they plan to shop online more this year. In fact, almost half (49%) agreed they would do all their shopping online if they could, equating to 1.7 million adults3. Millennials (aged 25-34) are most keen on this idea (54%) in comparison to the near quarter (24%) of Boomers (over 55s) who said they would do all their shopping online if they could.

Interestingly, over half (56%) of Irish adults say the pandemic has permanently changed the way they pay for products and services, with almost three quarters (73%) preferring cashless transactions. Digital seems to be the preferred route as, 72 per cent of respondents indicated they prefer digital payment methods (such as paying with their smartphone), while 71 per cent like contactless checkouts (such as self-service tills).

Speaking about the findings, Maeve Dorman, Senior Vice President at PayPalcommented: “It’s great to see how Irish people are prioritising their online spending on Irish businesses. Regardless of where we buy from though, it’s clear that online shopping has become a critical convenience for Irish people, not only during the pandemic but as part of our regular, busy lives. 

“There is a real opportunity for online retailers to make a difference,” Maeve Dorman continues, “but businesses need to have an e-commerce platform in place that can meet their customers’ needs, wherever they are – online, on the go, or in-store. With a range of solutions designed to capitalise on the increasing reliance on digital spending and help serve the needs of Irish businesses, whether just getting started with e-commerce or already a thriving business, PayPal is here to help.”


Notes to Editor:

1PayPal's Retail Trends and Spends Study was conducted online by Censuswide, which surveyed 1,001 respondents across Ireland in November 2021. All statistics are taken from this source, unless listed otherwise. For the average spend statistics, these totals relate to the average annual amount spent by respondents on Irish and international websites for the 12-month period leading up to November 2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

2This survey of 1,008 members of the general Irish population was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of PayPal in November 2020. These statistics refer to respondents from this survey who shop online and for the average spend comparison, these totals relate to the average annual amount spent by respondents on Irish websites for the 12-month period leading up to November 2020. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

3Based on figures provided by the Central Statistics Office, there are 3,571,363 people aged over 18 in Ireland. Based on the 49% figure revealed by this survey, this means that over 1.7 million people would do all their shopping online if they could.

Picture caption: Maeve Dorman, Senior Vice President, PayPal

About PayPal

PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 425 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit

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