Ireland’s online economy is worth an estimated €12.3 billion according to a study by digital marketing agency, Wolfgang Digital, which shows that Irish people's appetite for buying online continues unabated.

It found e-commerce transactions rising by 32% and traffic to e-commerce websites up 14% on last year.

Not only are people browsing and buying more frequently they are parting with more more money. The average retail shopper will spend €147 in one transaction online.

Alan Coleman, CEO of Wolfgang Digital, said 6% of the Irish economy is taking place online, ahead of the European average of 5%. "However, the chasm between us and the UK’s 12% indicates there is still plenty of room to grow," he said.

Data from a range of travel and retail websites, generating a total €240 million in online revenue, was analysed in the study.

It revealed that desktop remains the number one device to buy online at 58% but is slowly losing ground to smartphones, which accounted for 30% of revenues, up from 26% in 2016.

- Travel continues to boom with revenues up 114% year-on-year. 

- Retailers saw their online revenues climb 19% as traffic rose 14%. 

- Black Friday sales experienced a 56% uplift compared to 2016.

- 24% of Irish retailers’ revenues came from international visitors.
 
Mr Coleman said the growth to date has been driven by digital media duopoly Google and Facebook and this seems set to continue. He said, however, in 2018 there are alternatives for savvy marketers. "Pinterest has recently launched an ad offering which can beat Facebook on engagement and cost. The retail industry is also anxiously awaiting Amazon’s next move and the Seattle-based giant, who now enjoys more product searches than Google, is said to be secretly beefing up its advertising platform. 

"Just as there is a ‘Buy now with one click’ button on Amazon for shoppers,  an ‘Import your Google AdWords campaign with one click’ button for advertisers would see massive chunks of ad spend migrate to Amazon in an instant."