New research by Champion Green, Ireland’s support local campaign, has revealed that 4 in 10 online shoppers (40%) anticipate their Christmas gifts and non-food shopping will be completed over the Black Friday sales this weekend.
Launching their Green Friday awareness drive, campaign organisers are asking people to stay loyal to local shops and service providers, this festive season, either online or in-person, to boost Ireland’s local economy.
Online shopping continues to grow in popularity, with 7 in 10 (70%) adults now doing some, or all, of their shopping for non-food items online.
Evelyn Moynihan of Green Friday says Irish consumers are expected to spend around €26 million online, alone, this Black Friday, 24 November.
“On top of that, in the run up to Christmas, consumers here spend about €5-billion-euro, Retail Ireland figures show. If a higher percentage of this was spent with local businesses, it would be potentially game changing for local businesses, Irish jobs, and the ability to fund our public services,” Moynihan said.
The Green Friday survey has shown that the two most important factors consumers want when shopping online are ‘value for money’ (31%) and ‘high quality products’ (15%).
Shoppers tended to have fewer issues shopping online with domestic retailers, than with their international counterparts.
Local e-commerce retailers in Ireland outperformed international retailers for having prompt delivery (44%) and being a good choice environmentally (39%).
However, international retailers outperformed Irish retailers on the perception of offering good value for money (37%) which is an ongoing area of focus for Irish retailers.
30% of Irish festive shoppers only shop in person, the survey showed. This was mainly due to practical access to online retail, and the fact of enjoying the personal shopping experience.
46% enjoy shopping in-person, or ‘retail therapy’, as a day-out, while 56% say it is important to try-on clothes and touch and feel the gifts or homewares.
The fact that local shopping is eco-friendly and helps reduce waste, emissions and air-miles was also highlighted.
Do have a big shopping day out, but try to match spending with the global brands and bigger outlets by also supporting small local businesses and services, is the message from Moynihan.
“If everyone supported and shopped with one additional local business in the coming week, it would make a huge difference to having viable well-served local communities. With increased labour and energy costs, small businesses need our support now.
“Use it or lose it is the simple proposition. When it comes to local fashion, home or food stores, just like the local post-office, pub or café, they may not be here in the spring if the big Christmas spend moves out of town.”
Small businesses employ about 1.2 million people in Ireland, 70% of jobs in the ‘non-financial’ business economy, according to Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment figures.