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Irish shoppers splash out over €2bn online

Shoppers have clicked on to €2.13bn-worth of purchases online as they spend the equivalent of one working week browsing for bargains.

The average Irish shopper allocates €1,450 to shopping on the internet every year, but more than half said that they are more inclined to buy things online that cannot be purchased in Irish stores.

And women are the biggest spenders, with a quarter splashing out more than €1,000 shopping on the net last year.

The research, from Visa Europe, found that flights and holidays are the most popular online purchase, with 83pc of respondents having purchased these in 2009.

Other popular purchases included entertainment tickets, and CDs, DVDs and video games ranked as the third most popular item, with 52pc of online shoppers said they had purchased these online in 2009.

Half of the people surveyed believe they can save up to 30pc by buying goods on the internet, compared with the high street.

However, employers have been warned that as online shopping is highly popular among Irish consumers, the average worker spends 55 hours per year browsing for goods or shopping on the internet between 9am and 5.30pm, which equates to more than one working week per year.

Conor Langford, vice-president, Ireland at Visa Europe, said that people are turning to the internet for all types of purchases.

"Apart from the competitive choice offered by internet retailers, we are also seeing consumers shop online because they feel more confident about using their payment card in that environment," he said.