Irish E-Commerce Survey Report

The results from the survey have been analysed and summarised. The report includes information on results from the first annual 2011 Irish E-Commerce Survey and discusses e-commerce, social media, and marketing spend data from Financial Year 2010 as it pertains to Irish businesses with a company e-commerce website. Click below to download the full report.

Irish E-Commerce Survey Report

Irish E-Commerce Survey Preliminary Report

The Irish E-Commerce Survey was undertaken by StudioForty9 as part of a standalone project to gather current and relevant statistics pertaining to the state of e-commerce in Ireland. There is presently a lack of information available on a market that is becoming increasingly important not only to the Irish market but to the global economy. The survey explored different business outcomes related to operating an e-commerce website including average conversion rate and basket value. It also delved somewhat into marketing costs and social media usage.

While 69 companies started the survey, only 33 companies provided e-commerce figures, and 29 fully completed the survey. Unfortunately, this small sample size limits the amount of statistical significance that can be placed on the data gained through the survey. Using a sample size calculator, with a 90% confidence interval allowing for a 10% margin of error, we would have needed 68 respondents. To decrease the margin of error to 5%, the ideal sample size jumps to 268 companies. These numbers were calculated using a population of 21,000 e-commerce companies determined by the following: 153,419 .ie domains registered at the end of 2010, 66% of which are business with 21% of those having e-commerce sites.

However, despite the small sample, the information gathered is interesting and among the first of its kind in the Irish market. It is the hope that companies will begin to see the importance of operating with this knowledge and take a more active role in future research.

The following are results gained from the Irish E-Commerce Survey:

The full report will be available on April 22nd; below is a sample of the information obtained.

The majority (80% or 51 out of 64) of companies that responded are headquartered in Ireland and have less than 10 employees. That percentage increases to 94% (31 out of 33 respondents) in regards to those questions pertaining to specific e-commerce information

Graph of Company Headquarters InformationGraphy of Company Size Statistics

Average Conversion Rate and Basket Value

While the survey asked respondents to input the company’s average conversion rate, the information needed to manually calculate it was also collected. Based off 33 responses, when comparing the average conversion rate entered by the company (3.47%) to the one calculated by dividing total orders by total website visits (1.92%), it seems companies overestimate the actual percentage.

Similarly, the average basket value, calculated by dividing total website turnover by total orders, was also different, albeit reversed, between input values (€85.78) and calculated values (€107.80).

Channel Rankings of E-Commerce Sales Generation

To further understand companies’ perception of e-commerce sales generation, participants were asked to rank 9 different channels in order from the channel which generated the most sales (1) to the channel that generated the least (9). An average was then taken from the rankings of 22 respondents. While the top two were relatively close in ranking, email newsletter followed at a distant third with most others not far behind. Affiliate was noticeably last with 64% of respondents raking it in the 9th position. The following are the final ranking results with associated means: direct traffic (1.82), search engine traffic (1.95), email newsletter (4.68), referral traffic from other websites (5.00), Facebook (5.09), paid SEO traffic from Google AdWords (5.55), other social media (6.14), paid SEO traffic from other search engines (6.41), and affiliate (8.36).

Reasons for Social Media Usage

AMAS recently conducted a survey which asked marketers why they used social media. We solicited the same information; with the same answer choices in order to understand if those dealing primarily with the e-commerce side of business, in small companies, would feel the same. While we had significantly fewer respondents to the question (30), interestingly, the ranking of reasons to use social media followed a similar pattern: building brand awareness (67%), building relationships (63%), listening and monitoring (37%), commenting (30%), and gathering customer information (17%).

Graphy of How Companies Use Social Media

Future Research

After the release of the full report on April 22nd, the survey will be re-launched and remain open to continue to collect information pertaining to the 2010 Financial Year. Because e-commerce is rapidly changing and has high growth and revenue potential, the Irish E-Commerce Survey will also be conducted annually to monitor and report on the sector.

Brief Preliminary Findings

The Irish E-Commerce Survey will be closing this Friday, April 1st. If you have not done so already, please take a moment to fill out the questionnaire: Go Direct to the E-Commerce Survey.

With only a week left of the Irish E-Commerce Survey, we have gathered some preliminary information. While an average of 55 companies responded to background information, there is only an average of 25 responses to those questions most significant to e-commerce. With more participation, the results will become more robust and relevant to those competing in the e-commerce market in Ireland.

While we believe all the survey questions have potential valuable insights, if you only have a short amount of time, we ask that you still take a moment to participate. Please answer the first few questions on company information and respond to the following questions: total online turnover, total website visits, and total orders placed through the website.


The following involve some of the early findings of the Irish E-Commerce Survey:

Because 93% of businesses who responded (55 out of 59) are headquartered in Ireland and 83% (48 out of 58) are micro with less than 10 employees, the following averages only take into account respondents fitting this criteria (across all industries).

Lifetime of E-commerce Site: 2.75 Years Range: 2 months – 8 years (48 Responses)

Average Total Turnover: €466,683 Range: €2,500 – €5.2M (27 Responses)

Average Online Turnover: € 114,704 Range: €520 – €380,000 (26 Responses)

*As seen from above, online sales are accounting for almost ¼ of total company turnover.

Average Conversion Rate: 1.87% Range: 0.00% – 4.52% (Calculated from 27 Responses)

Average Basket Value: € 102.73 Range: €3.33 – €404.76 (Calculated from 24 Responses)

85% (41 out of 48) of respondents to the question on what type of analytics software is used, have Google Analytics. However, only 60% (29 of 48) of respondents use the e-commerce tracking available in the analytics software.

In regards to what type of conversion rates are tracked through the e-commerce site, 90% (25 responses) look at sales while 21% (6 responses) also track registrations.

Irish E-Commerce Survey Launched

The survey will accept responses until April 1st, 2011 – after which time it will be closed. So please fill it out early. Preliminary results will be available after the 8th of April and full results after April 22nd.

This survey aims to expand the available knowledge of the e-commerce sector in Ireland, equipping existing and future Irish e-commerce businesses with relevant statistics useful for both benchmarking and predictions.

Direct Link to the Survey: Go Direct to the Irish E-Commerce Survey

Why Participate?

You are involved in E-Commerce in Ireland. At present there’s very little information about Irish E-Commerce, it’s hard to know how well you’re doing vis-a-vis the sector as a whole. One way to learn more is to participate in a survey, the more companies that participate, the more accurate and robust the information collected.

With better information it will be easier for you to:

  1. measure how well your e-commerce business is doing with respect to the sector as a whole
  2. predict how well you should do if you intend to get into a new area of e-commerce or spend more on marketing to increase traffic to your site.

Should you wish for a personalized report with your company information benchmarked against the industry in which you compete and the country as a whole, please enter your email when prompted in the survey.

But is the survey anonymous?

Yes, the survey is completely confidential and anonymous. The data is protected. A general report on the survey, using all information gathered, will be made public. Raw data will only be made available to researchers on valid request. We will not sell your data and we will make no attempts to connect you to the information you provide. You need only answer the questions you are happy answering.

More information on Data Protection and Privacy

Okay, what will I need?

We ask quite a number of questions – and if you have all the data at your fingertips to answer the questions then great!

You will find the full list of questions here: Full List of Survey Questions

I don’t have all that info, what’s the most basic level of participation?

Other than the very general questions about your business, if you can only answer three questions then make them the following:

  1. What was the total turnover through your site for 2010?
  2. What was the total number of orders through your site for 2010?
  3. How many visits did your site have in 2010?

These are the most important questions and if you were able to answer only these it would be good enough for us – almost all other questions are optional. You should be able to find the answers to questions 1 and 2 in the Administration Panel of your website, and the answer to question 3 in Google Analytics (or similar tracking software).

If you have any questions, or need any help, please feel free to contact us:

I’m ready – take me to the survey!

Great – go directly to the survey with this link: Direct Link to the Irish E-Commerce Survey

Support Us and Connect with Us

Follow us on Twitter and please use the #irishecommercesurvey hash tag if you mention the survey.

You may also connect with us on LinkedIn

Survey is Live!

The Irish E-Commerce Survey has been launched and is now live! Click on the link to begin the survey.

Click here to Take the Survey now.


Information Needed for Survey

Since we know that everyone is busy with the day to day running of business, we wanted to provide as much information as possible to help prepare everyone for the survey. Some of the questions will be insight and opinion related. Below is a list of items that relate to questions requesting hard figures. Organizing this data in advance will speed up the survey taking process. All information requested in the survey will pertain to Financial Year 2010, and we ask that responses be in Euro where applicable. As a reminder, the survey is completely anonymous; however, any questions pertaining to sensitive company information will still be optional. We want you to feel comfortable and able to choose the information you would like to share. For further details on data privacy and protection, click here.

Company Corporate Information

Total Turnover

E-Commerce Website Information

Total Visits

Total Orders


Average Conversion Rate

Average Basket Value

Average Bounce Rate

Pages Viewed per Visit

Time Spent on Website per Visit

Cost per Acquisition Information

Information regarding online and offline advertising spend related to the company’s e-commerce website(s) will also be requested (i.e. Google AdWord Spend, Facebook Advertising, TV, Radio, etc) .


Please feel free to contact us with any questions on how to access the information we are requesting or for definitions of specific survey terms.

Latest Version of Survey Questions

The Irish E-Commerce Survey is set to launch tomorrow, March 9th! We have updated the survey again – there are a few minor changes and additions. We have posted the questions so that companies participating in the survey have an idea what to expect and what information will be requested. We welcome suggestions and feedback. Let us know if there are any questions you feel would not be beneficial or if there is any other information you find important and want us to consider including.

Irish E-commerce Survey Questions

Be on the lookout for an update on how to find the information requested!

Realex Payments on E-Commerce

For those who don’t know, Realex is a leading European payment services provider headquartered here in Ireland. With the start of 2011, the company has revealed some incredibly interesting e-commerce information. During 2010, Realex processed more than €9bn, an increase of around €3bn from the previous year. The growth came from both an increased number of companies signing up with Realex as well as an increased amount of volume from existing businesses. Additionally, consumers spent an average of €252 per transaction in November 2010; this was up from €182 in the same month of the previous year.

While the company is focused on international growth – over 50% of what they process is for international clients – the Irish market is still important and growing. Because of their interest in the Irish market, Realex “analysed the numbers for 2010, and of the total €9.6bn, approximately €1.4bn related to Irish based SMEs.” These numbers represented a 38% increase in what had been processed in 2009. 71% of this increase came from existing online retailers increasing their sales, while 29% represented new Irish online businesses.

Many thanks to Realex for providing such enlightening e-commerce information. For further details, please see:

Realex Payments announce profits of €780k as turnover increases to €7 million and

Irish businesses taking advantage of online commerce

Survey Questions Updated 3.3.2011

Another updated version of the survey with a few cost questions and a couple changes to social media questions. Let us know your feedback!

Irish E-commerce Survey Questions

New LinkedIn Group

We now have a LinkedIn group – The Irish E-Commerce Survey! Join the group and begin participating in the discussion on the upcoming survey and e-commerce in Ireland.

We have created the group to facilitate an ongoing discussion between those interested in Irish e-commerce. Updates on the Irish E-Commerce Survey will also be reported through the LinkedIn group.  Join now and get connected with others participating in Ireland’s e-commerce market and stay up-to-date on the latest information!