Consumers have shown a “rapidly increasing” preference to shop from home using digital channels, according to new research carried out by Amárach Research and Virgin Media.
90 per cent of consumers said they spent money online over the past month, as four in 10 people reported that they began shopping online for the first time at the start of the pandemic.
The average online monthly spend across all respondents was €245 in August, as consumers said they would consider a “virtual reality” shopping experience in the future.
“What’s of great interest is that people are also more prepared than ever before to try new ways of shopping from home including virtual reality online. With the march of technology, it’s totally within the bounds of reality that this could happen in the future,” Paul Higgins, Vice-President of Virgin Media Ireland said.
“Reliable broadband and instant connectivity are vitally important to allow people to shop, communicate and unwind. This is in a context where we’ve seen a big increase of over 40 per cent in data usage across our high speed residential network since March and this is continuing,” he added.
The research surveyed over 1,000 people aged 18 and upwards across all regions of the country, with just under half saying they now shop more online than they ever did previously.
44 per cent of people also said they shopped online for groceries for the first time ever since the pandemic began.
Half of people surveyed said they would be interested in using their laptop or smartphone to navigate a “virtual supermarket” for online shopping, as new forms of e-commerce being delivered via virtual reality and augmented reality platforms could make this possible.
Four out of 10 respondents went a step further and said they would be interested in wearing a VR headset at home to allow them “walk around” these virtual stores to select and buy products they would like delivered to their home.