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Personal Finance

Revolut data reveals a first for consumer spending in Ireland

Revolut data reveals a first for consumer spending in Ireland
Rob Flynn

Rob Flynn

Staff Writer

The ever-growing fintech releases monthly consumer spending analysis using its advanced analytics and data, helping to glean insight into how consumers spend their money each month.

It’s no secret that global fintech and Neobank Revolut is fast becoming one of the most popular online banking options for consumers in Ireland, having announced in May that over 1 million Irish customers signed up to the platform.

Revolut also holds widespread appeal because of users' ability to easily track and monitor their spending using the various analytics tools within the app.

The data that Revolut collects is also endlessly useful for helping them to inform their customers, and society at large, about how consumers are spending their money. And this month has shown just that!

Newly released spending data from the fintech has revealed that Irish consumers have, for the first time ever, been spending more money online than in the shops. And what's more, the trend doesn't seem to be slowing down.

We take a look at the data from Revolut and what it all means below.

A closer look at the trends

The latest spending data from Revolut has revealed that, on November 1st, more people spent money online than in person - a first for consumer spending in Ireland.

The Revolut Report, its monthly analysis of consumer spending trends, revealed that 51% of all spending was carried out online at the beginning of November, and what’s more, it has remained there since, according to the online bank.

The October data released by the fintech shows that from October 21st, spending figures indicated a strong move towards online and e-shopping, which was of course the first day Level 5 restrictions were in place nationwide.

By October 30th the data revealed that half of all consumer spending carried out was done online, with the beginning of November seeing more online shopping than in-person spending at any other time.

October at a glance

It’s hard to look past the fact that on October 21st the government implemented a nationwide lockdown, and this certainly reveals itself in Revolut’s consumer spending data for the month.

Importantly, the first full week of Level 5 restrictions (October 25th - 31st) accounted for a consumer spend that was over 5% lower than in the last full week before restrictions were put in place (11th - 17th).

This figure mirrored Revolut's data from the selective lockdown periods imposed on counties Laois, Offaly, Kildare, and then in Dublin. Spending data and analyses from these counties during lockdown also revealed a reduction in overall consumer spending by around 5%.

In other words, people naturally spent more when they were allowed out and about.

That being said, according to Revolut’s data, overall consumer spending for October this year was still 1% higher than in October 2019.

However, perhaps the most seismic change in the month was the move toward online shopping, with 51% of shoppers choosing to do so online.

Lockdown-beaters

While restaurants and bars, barbers and hairdressers were all adversely impacted by the latest nationwide lockdown in October, the month did see some sectors performing well, before and after restrictions were put in place.

Digital content led the way in consumer spending in October with spending on digital games up 173% year-on-year, while apps (+134%), digital books, movies and music (+89%), and pay TV services/streaming services (+69%) also saw significant increases in the month.

Hardware stores were thriving in October with consumers spending more than double (+106%) in-store than they did at the same time in 2019.

In the first week of Level 5, consumers still spent 42% more on hardware than in the same week the year previous.

Spending on pets also increased massively in October, with figures up 111% year-on-year.

Significant year-on-year increases were also registered by supermarkets (+52%), off-licences (+70%), and even bookshops (+53%).

Interestingly, Revolut's data shows that clothing sales are still performing well, with spending up 5% on what it had been in October 2019. Revolut cited the sector’s apparent ability to adapt to online sales as a significant 'foundation of this increase'.

The lockdown effect - spending impact

As you may have guessed, Revolut points to the lockdown effect as being the driving force behind consumers going online to shop.

Before the first lockdown in March sent shoppers online, only 25% of Irish people’s spending was done on the internet. However, online shopping on May 1st did account for 50% of spend.

Revolut suggests that consumers then went back to brick and mortar shops once society reopened after the first lockdown, with online spending falling back to 30% in that period.

However, once the second lockdown came into effect in October, and the high-street shut up shop, spending moved online far more quickly than it did in March, according to Revolut.

Within only 10 days, online spending had once again matched spending in stores.

What’s even more intriguing from Revolut’s data is the fact that, since the national spend online overtook that of spending in shops on November 1st, it has remained ahead of physical shopping ever since, with the data suggesting that Irish consumers are moving more quickly and easily to online shopping than ever before.

What do you think?

Have you actively been spending online? Would you prefer to shop in the high street this Christmas given the choice? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Don't forget, you can always contact us online with any consumer queries. Catch us over on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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