An Post puts on extra vans to cope with surge in online orders
AN Post is putting out extra delivery trucks to deal with a massive increase in the volume of goods that have been ordered online in the lead up to Christmas.
Irish consumers have increasingly turned to shopping via the internet and delivery services were put under further pressure with last week's 'Cyber Monday' initiative – when retailers offered discounts to entice people into shopping online.
While the popularity of online shopping is likely to impact negatively on high street shops over the Christmas period, many home-grown Irish retailers have embraced it.
Sporting retail giant Elverys was established in 1847 and made the move into online retailing 159 years later in 2006.
Sandra Finnerty, online manager for Elverys, said that there was "definite spike" in online orders during 'Cyber Monday'.
The initiative has spread from America where it was designed to increase online sales following Thanksgiving and the 'Black Friday' shopping rush.
"We didn't have any specific offers for the day, but we have a lot of online-only exclusive offers. That stated, last month there was definite spike," Ms Finnerty said.
It's not just retailing giants that have benefited from the online shopping revolution.
Sean Shanahan, owner of traditional toy shop The Toy Box, said that online shopping has been a massive boost to his business.
The Toy Box, which sells traditional toys, just opened last year. "We have seen a big swell in the number of people ordering online in the last few weeks.
"There's certainly people who are enamoured with the idea of ordering something online and getting a parcel in the post," he told the Irish Independent.
The shop's online presence has also proved popular with Irish emigrants across the world.
"We have seen a lot of traffic from places like Australia with large ex-pat communities who still want to support Irish businesses," Mr Shanahan added.
Elverys and The Toy Box have both experienced the benefits of iloveshopping.ie – a website run by An Post.
The site allows retailers to offer special discounts to online shoppers.
Statistics from online retail experts Comscore also confirm the increased interest in online shopping among the Irish public.
According to its research the number of Irish people who visited online retail sites was up 142,000 to just under 2.4 million in October 2012 compared to October 2011.