24 September 2021
By Tom Collins
Shopinireland.ie is a rapidly growing e-commerce business, starting out as a Facebook page set up last October. Within a week huge traffic to the page confirmed a website was urgently required. Today it has almost 1,000 Irish independent businesses registered to sell online with over 30,000 products listed to purchase, ranging from home and garden, arts, crafts, fashion, jewellery, pets, books, music, health and beauty, baby gifts and so on.
The owners of the Cork based business (with an address at Rubicon Centre, near MTU, Bishopstown) are now encouraging consumers to start thinking about shopping for Christmas gifts and where possible to shop local. As consumers continue to be cautious, many still prefer Christmas shopping online from the safety of their homes as it is convenient, less stressful, saves time and money.
Founded by sisters Aoife Conway and Teresa Venables who combine a passion for supporting small businesses and web designer and digital marketeer Craig Murray, the company reached the €1 million sales figure in July. Now approaching their first year in business, Teresa remarked, “More and more, customers now appreciate the convenience of online shopping. While the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 may have made online shopping even more appealing, we see this as a long-term trend that’s likely to continue well into the future. This is borne out by recent findings from the Banking and Payments Federation who say Irish consumers use of online and mobile payments methods has continued to increase with payments hitting a new record in July”.
“Our focus now is on Christmas, we can see from our website analytics that shopping has already started. Consumers are planning well ahead and hoping to avoid delays with delivery and postage, particularly those buying for family and friends overseas. We believe our Facebook page is playing a strategic role in growing brand awareness and has opened up a new customer base for many of our clients over the past year. Updates posted daily from our registered sellers provide inspiration for gift ideas. When purchasing through the website you know exactly who you are buying from”.
Aoife is delighted to announce details of new Shop in Ireland hampers available to pre order with a choice of delivery dates from 25th October. “These hampers contain a selection of delicious products from our small Irish businesses which would make a very thoughtful gift for Christmas. The first one, The Foodie One is available to pre-order now. The second hamper to be announced shortly will include a mix of crafts, beauty and food all handmade in Ireland.
Teresa Keegan, owner of The Stamping Block in Mayo subscribes to the website, “I make customised pendants, keyrings, fridge magnets and pet tags including bridle or headcollar id tags for horses and each character is individually hand stamped onto the metal. Before Covid most of my business was to the US. While the lockdown increased online shopping, the huge delays in international shipping times meant that either people in the US weren’t ordering from international sellers or I would end up having to refund orders that were not arriving in a reasonable time. Along came Shop in Ireland and suddenly I have a huge Irish fan base! In the run up to Christmas last year I sold more orders to Ireland than I had in the whole of the previous 5 years since I started The Stamping Block. I have had only a handful of orders from outside Ireland since last year so without this site I probably wouldn’t still be going”.
If any Irish business is interested in selling personalised Christmas gifts on shopinireland.ie, they should contact the team before 1 October to be signed up as a vendor on the website.