IRISH PEOPLE ARE shopping online less than the average internet user in the European Union and considerably less than our neighbours in the UK, according to recently released figures.
The latest Eurostat figures show that nearly 60 per cent of EU internet users now shop online. In 2012, 75 per cent of individuals aged 16 to 74 had used the internet in the previous 12 months.
Among the member states, the highest shares of online shoppers were registered in the United Kingdom (82 per cent of internet users), Denmark and Sweden (both 79 per cent), Germany (77 per cent), and the lowest in Romania (11 per cent), Bulgaria (17 per cent), Estonia and Italy (both 29 per cent).
In Ireland 57 per cent of internet users shopped online over the 12 month period.
Clothes and sports goods and travel and holiday accommodation are the most common online purchases among internet users. Most online shoppers in Ireland are buying travel and accommodation with 26 per cent shopping to clothes and sports good and 21 per cent buying books, magazines and e-learning material.
Almost one quarter of internet users in the 28 EU countries reported that they bought books, magazines or e-learning material from the internet (23 per cent in 2012 compared with 19 per cent in 2008), while fewer than one internet user in ten ordered food and groceries. Irish users followed this trend with only 6 per cent shopping for food online.
While our numbers are much lower than countries like the UK and Germany, the level of internet shopping has seen a steady increase in Ireland since 2008.