ALMOST THREE IN five consumers have signed up to an online discount site, according to research published by the National Consumer Agency.
The study, conducted by Amárach Research, found that 57 per cent of consumers have signed up to a website that offers online-only deals, such as BoardsDeals.ie, Groupon.ie or DealRush.ie. Of those who said they have signed up, 56 per cent have purchased a product or service from an online discount site – which accounts for 32 per cent of the adult population.
Although women were more likely to be signed up to a discount site, men were found to be more likely to have purchased from such a site.
Over one person in every four (28 per cent) of those who purchased from an online discount site said they had reason to be dissatisfied with their purchase, the NCA reports. The main reasons cited for the dissatisfaction were:
- Product or service not as described (19 per cent)
- Poor product quality (15 per cent)
- Issues with the terms and conditions (11 per cent)
Most of those who felt dissatisfied with a purchase were among the 16-24 year old age group. Almost half (49 per cent) of consumers who were dissatisfied with an online deal complained, with 59 per cent lodging a complaint with the site’s company and 32 per cent complaining to the actual provider of the product or service.
The study found that just over half of those who complained (52 per cent) felt they had their complaint resolved.
Consumers’ attitude to online deals was overwhelmingly positive overall, with just under 9 in 10 (87 per cent) of customers who had previously purchased from a discount site saying that they would buy from the same site again.
The two age groups found to be most likely to repeat purchases were 16-24 years old and those aged above 55.
The National Consumer Agency conducted the study via an online omnibus involving a nationally representative sample of 1,005 adults aged 16+. Fieldwork was conducted between 21st – 30th November 2011.