A new study from PayPal reveals that one in four Irish consumers used or bought online services for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The study, conducted by Ipsos and involving 2,000 consumers in Ireland, also shows that 76% of people surveyed bought products online during this period. 

PayPal said that 33% of people plan to buy more products or services online in the future with 51% saying they can buy everything online without any issues. 

The most popular services purchased by consumers here were call/video services, followed by video on-demand subscriptions and music subscriptions, while the most popular online product purchased during lockdown was clothing, shoes and accessories. 

The survey discovered that 86% of consumers found benefits to buying online during the Covd-19 crisis.

Home delivery availability was cited as the biggest advantage with almost two thirds (64%) of respondents selecting it. More than half (59%) cited no queues as a main benefit. 

Access to shops and products from home and online being the only option to get the desired products were also among the top benefits, each being cited by 39% of people. 

The survey also found that a 59% of Irish consumers purchased something from abroad since the start of the pandemic. 

Maeve Dorman, VP Merchant Operations at PayPal EMEA, said that there has been a huge shift toward online purchasing in recent months, and its research shows that this will be a permanent change for a lot of people in Ireland.

She said that digital has become the new normal for buying both goods and, increasingly, services as well.

Ms Dorman also said that some people have completely changed their behaviours when it comes to purchasing as a result of the pandemic.

Ms Dorman said that Irish businesses need to step up and ensure that they are able to deliver an online offering equipped with a simple checkout process and secure payment options, otherwise they will fail to capitalise on the opportunity during what is already an extremely challenging time.

"Having a digital platform is more important than ever in order to meet the growing domestic need for online access to products and services, and future-proof businesses by attracting building trust among existing and new customers. It also opens up a huge global opportunity for Irish businesses to grow at this time," she added.