One in four Irish people purchased online services for the first time during the Covid 19 pandemic
- 76% of consumers bought products online during this period
- A third of people planning to buy more online going forward
- Top benefits of online shopping cited as home delivery availability and no queues, while 21% said payment security was a main advantage
- 59% of Irish people bought from international sellers during lockdown

Dublin, 21 October 2020 – A new study[1] from PayPal reveals that one in four Irish consumers used or bought online services for the first time during the pandemic. Furthermore, some 76% of consumers bought products online during the lockdown period.

The study, conducted by Ipsos and involving 2,000 consumers in Ireland, found that a third (33%) of people plan to buy more products or services online going forward, compared to before COVID-19. Over half (51%) said they can buy everything online without any issues.

In terms of the most popular services purchased by Irish consumers, call/video call services took the top spot, followed by video on-demand subscriptions and music subscriptions. The most popular online product purchased during lockdown was clothing/shoes/accessories.

Some 86% of Irish consumers found benefits to buying online during the COVID-19 crisis. Home delivery availability was cited as the biggest advantage with almost two thirds (64%) of respondents selecting it. More than half (59%) cited no queues as a main benefit.

Access to shops and products from home and online being the only option to get the desired products were also among the top benefits, each being cited by 39% of people. Meanwhile, 21% of respondents said payment security was a main advantage.

Moreover, the survey found that a 59% of Irish consumers purchased something from abroad since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Maeve Dorman, Vice President Global Merchant Operations at PayPal, said: “Understandably, there has been a huge shift toward online purchasing in recent months, and our research shows that this will be a permanent change for a lot of people in Ireland. Digital has become the new normal for buying both goods and, increasingly, services– as well as many consumers buying online for the first time, there are those who have completely changed their behaviours when it comes to purchasing as a result of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has clearly accelerated the evolution of commerce in Ireland, with people turning to online shopping and digital payments rather than the traditional cash and in-store experience. As a result of this growing preference for the convenience associated with online purchasing, many are also buying from international sellers.

“Irish businesses need to step up and ensure that they are able to deliver an online offering equipped with a simple checkout process and secure payment options, otherwise they will fail to capitalise on the opportunity during what is already an extremely challenging time. Having a digital platform is more important than ever in order to meet the growing domestic need for online access to products and services, and future-proof businesses by attracting building trust among existing and new customers. It also opens up a huge global opportunity for Irish businesses to grow at this time.”


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 300 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy.


[1] Statistics are drawn from a nationally representative survey of 2,000 members of the general Irish population, conducted by IPSOS on behalf of PayPal between 8th to 15th May 2020. All statistics are taken from this source, unless listed otherwise.


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