New research from Digital Business Ireland shows that mobile applications remain one of the most popular channels

More than half of Irish consumers have used Google to make an online purchase so far this year. This is according to new Digital Insights research commissioned by Ireland’s largest representative body for online businesses, Digital Business Ireland (DBI). The research was commissioned by DBI and carried out by leading polling company, Ireland Thinks. It is based on a nationally representative sample, collected from a pool of over 30,000 panellists. 

The research probed the online shopping habits of the Irish public and demonstrated that, above all else, Irish consumers prefer search engines such as Google, over targeted advertisements. The findings were subsequently assessed across a broad range of demographics – gender, income level, age and regional distribution.

Among its key findings, the Digital Insights research found that; 

  • Over two-thirds of the population have made an online purchase so far in 2022 
  • More than half of those surveyed have used Google to buy goods online this year 
  • 30% of all online purchases were made via a mobile application
  • Young people were more likely to purchase goods and products online 
  • Younger generations were more likely to purchase goods via social platforms such as TikTok

The Digital Insights research demonstrates the necessity for businesses of all sizes to invest in and prioritise Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), paid search and Google shopping when marketing their brand and products. SEO helps to maximise the number of visitors to a particular website, by targeting unpaid traffic on Google. The convenience, popularity and trust associated with the search engine, renders it a popular choice for consumers and businesses alike. By advertising products on Google, businesses benefit from the broader exposure, and are likely to experience a greater return on investment. Understanding and leveraging the power of Google advertisement campaigns is therefore a crucial component of a business’s overall strategy. Given that 30% of consumers engage with mobile applications to make purchases, the results further demonstrate the benefits garnered from developing a mobile app storefront that consumers can reliably and readily use, when buying products online. 

Speaking today, Lorraine Higgins, Secretary General of Digital Business Ireland said: “Our Digital Insights series provides a much-needed perspective on the prevailing opinions of Irish consumers towards online shopping. With more than two thirds of our panellists having made an online purchase so far this year, the sheer dominance of the e-commerce market has never been more palpable. 

Google remains the most popular purchasing channel for consumers, who value the convenience and reliability of the search engine. In responding to this trend, businesses must leverage the full power of Google advertisement and marketing campaigns, to ensure that they are driving consistent, quality traffic to their website, and converting this engagement into online sales. In terms of emerging patterns, our research demonstrates that younger generations in particular, are more likely to purchase goods via platforms such as TikTok, as opposed to other cohorts. It is unlikely that we will see a reversal of this trend, so businesses will need a strong social media presence, to access this customer base”. 

CEO of Core Optimisation, and Digital Business Ireland Advisory Council Member, Caroline Dunlea said: “While it’s no surprise online as a channel continues to grow, the challenges to individual brands raised by the current economic uncertainty and changes in the digital dynamic should not be overlooked. Through our close relationships with our Partners Google and Meta we are seeing signs of changing search trends and spending habits already with an increased emphasis on customer need as opposed to customer want underpinning the buying decision. This will drive retailers to further emphasise the USPs alongside the value proposition of their brand. Brands that get this right could see this being reflected in an increase in brand search terms and ultimately market share”. 

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