.IE Tipping Point Report 2021

Behavioural changes A sizeable 42% say they will do most of their shopping in physical, bricks-and-mortar stores in 2021, despite the current restrictions, down from 48% in 2020. Greater numbers say they will shop only for necessities in-store but buy most other products online (43% vs 41%) or do most of their shopping online (15% vs 11%). These changes reflect the current state of the pandemic. The longer compulsory online shopping continues, the more entrenched it will become in consumer behaviour. Among those who will do most of their shopping in physical stores this year, 61% say it is more convenient and 39% say they simply want to go outside or have some kind of social interaction. Interestingly, the latter figure has declined from 55% in 2020, again likely in response to rising Covid cases and the severity of the continuing lockdown. However, even among those who shop in physical stores, behaviours have changed. 71% say that the time of day when they have shopped has changed, with almost half saying that they have shopped mostly on weekdays mornings. The prospect of socialising has the exact opposite effect on the 15% of consumers who will do most of their shopping online: 66% say online shopping is safer and requires less interaction. 52% say it is more convenient, while 46% say it saves them time. Ireland vs the world In 2020, 53% of consumers said they had done most of their online shopping with Irish SMEs since the start of the pandemic. That number has now dropped to 49%, with the majority now once again buying from international retailers. While consumers are keen to support local businesses during the pandemic—this number has risen from 67% to 74% among majority SME shoppers—international businesses continue to prove attractive. Cheaper prices, better product ranges and superior online storefronts were key factors driving behaviours among those that have done most of their shopping with international businesses. The Covid consumer [continued] Why consumers prefer to shop mostly in physical stores Base: 418, consumers who will do most of their shopping in-store in 2021 Why consumers prefer to shop mostly online Base: 153, consumers who will do most of their shopping online in 2021 61% More convenient (62%, 2020) 39% Want social interaction/ to go outside (55%, 2020) 20% Cheaper (14%, 2020) 19% Saves time (24%, 2020) 66% Safer/ less social interaction (59%, 2020) 52% More convenient (51%, 2020) 46% Saves time (56%, 2020) 42% Requires less travel (50%, 2020) 30% Cheaper (29%, 2020) 15% Preferred retailers don’t have online store (21%, 2020) .IE Tipping Point 2021: Irish e-commerce and digital business in the Covid vaccine era | 5