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Online shopping up another 19% over the last week

The number of new users and the volume of online shopping continued to increase over the last week as people became even more confined to home due to the Covid-19 crisis.

New data compiled by digital agency Wolfgang Digital found that between March 30 and April 5, internet based sales traffic rose overall by 19% compared to the period prior to the coronavirus pandemic reaching Ireland.

This represents the largest volume of online shopping traffic growth seen over the last nine weeks, and represents an increase of 10% on a week earlier. 

“Over the last decade e-commerce sales have grown share to 14% of overall retail sales,” said Alan Coleman, CEO of Wolfgang Digital. 

“In the last month the volume of those ecommerce sales has trebled,” he added. 

Not surprisingly revenues also increased in the same period, up 14% compared to the pre-crisis average, but down slightly on the previous week. 

Wolfgang Digital said this is a result of supply rather than demand side weakness among online retailers, as some shops stopped selling online for health and safety reasons – a situation which has been resolved in many cases since. 

The activity is not only being drive by existing online shoppers, but also first time visitors to particular websites, with the share of new traffic up 4% last week compared to the previous seven days.

Retail sites were particularly busy, with a 40% increase in traffic volumes compared to the pre Covid-19 period, and up from a 32% increase a week earlier.

Revenue growth was even higher though, as people bought big ticket items, up 196% on average levels before the emergency began.

This compares to an increase of 207% in the previous week.

“The dramatic increase in online demand has created significant logistical challenges for retailers,” Mr Coleman said.

“When you set that increased demand against the backdrop of health and safety restrictions you can see retailers are under massive pressure to service their customers. The pressure is most pronounced on multichannel retailers who are dealing with massive upsurges in online demand from shoppers who would have previously popped into a shop.”

Travel websites, on the other hand, continue to see huge decreases in traffic volumes, down 74% last week compared to the pre-Covid-19 period.

The data is based on an analysis of over 38 million website sessions and more than €127m in online revenue over the past nine weeks.

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