Pandemic sparks increase in online shopping

Two in five people stay they began shopping online for the first time at the start of the pandemic.

It comes as an initial lockdown in Ireland at the end of March forced all non-essential retailers to temporarily pull down their shutters.

Over half of consumers are increasingly shopping online due to Covid-19, according to a survey of over 1,000 people, carried out by Virgin Media.

The five most popular online purchases are clothing, food for take-out and delivery, footwear, consumer electronics and home entertainment.

Those shopping online spent an average of €245 in the past month. Of those surveyed, 40pc said they had spent amounts of up to €100 online in the past month, while another 40pc said they spent between €100 and €500 on e-commerce.

One in 10 respondents spent over €500 online last month.

Meanwhile, around half of the respondents said they would be interested in using their laptop or smartphone to navigate a ‘virtual supermarket’ for online shopping.

Last month online sales as a share of retail spend dropped as more shops were open longer. Online sales fell from the high of 15.3pc recorded in April to 4.3pc in September, according to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

However, the second lockdown, which came into effect on October 22, may force more consumers back shopping online.

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