Cyber Monday: Offers from Ryanair, Littlewoods and Aer Lingus as wallets to take post Black Friday hit
Credit cards could take another walloping as this weekend's shopping frenzy makes its way onto the internet for "Cyber Monday".
Irish shoppers are expected to spend tens of millions online as retailers attempt to lure bargain hunters with considerable discounts.
The spending frenzy, which started on Black Friday, will come to an end tonight - and a host of top Irish retailers and companies, such as Littlewoods Ireland and Aer Lingus, are gearing their online platforms for a last-minute sale splurge.
Visa Europe has predicted that €98m will be spent online with Visa cards - Debit, Credit and Prepaid - over the four-day period, making it the biggest weekend in Irish online shopping history.
That would represent an 18pc increase on the €83 million spent by Irish consumers last year.
The company expects €33m in online purchases to be made today alone.
Online retailer Littlewoods Ireland are promising consumers up to 50pc off electrical goods and 30pc off party wear as they look to capitalise on Cyber Monday, while online fashion site Asos has promised 30pc off all stock to celebrate what they call Cyber Weekend.
Ireland's hoteliers are also getting in on the act, with the Sheraton Athlone promoting its "flash sale" with rooms for less than €40 on offer today, while Aer Lingus and Ryanair are also trying to inspire some last-minute holiday bookings among consumers.
Ryanair's Cyber Monday sale boasts flights from just €14.95, while Aer Lingus are boasting 50pc off flights to selected European destinations.
Lynn Drumgoole of Retail Excellence Ireland told the Herald it is vital that online consumers "shop Irish" and said that the true success of the weekend shopping frenzy wont be known for some time.
"We are hoping that a much higher percentage of shoppers will stay in Ireland than did last year," Ms Drumgoole said.
"If you are shopping online, try and find Irish products and shop Irish - because we would like to see our retailers reaping some reward."
Retail Excellence Ireland also stressed that Cyber Monday poses both a threat and opportunity for Irish retailers, with huge discounts being made available both in-store and online just ahead of the busy Christmas rush.
"It is important that the bricks and mortar retail outlets won't be abandoned and, by all means, shop online - but we would also encourage people not to forget the high street," Ms Drumgoole added.
Cyber Monday comes as research released today by Paypal shows that Irish online shoppers will spend an estimated €1.8bn on products from international websites by the end of 2015.