Many people presumed that Britain’s aims to cut ties with the E.U. would have caused something of an Amazon Brexit for Irish consumers. However, this has not proved to be the case thus far. If anything, the market dominance of the retail giant has grown exponentially worldwide despite pesky little transnational trade inconveniences like Britain leaving the E.U. single market.
Firstly, there was a fear that Brexit would cause postal delays and customs charges so dramatic that Irish people would never buy anything from England again. Although there have been some delivery delays and unexpected fees, the changes have proved manageable. Secondly, the messaging around shopping local was expected to offer a huge blow to online shopping.
Once again, although there was an uptick in people locally sourcing presents for Christmas and trying to support businesses in their communities, there has still been a dramatic rise in online shopping. Why has this been the case?
Survey shows that 40% of Irish consumers bought on Amazon.co.uk in 2021
Let’s begin with the latest news released by tech consumer news site Goosed.ie. They recently conducted a survey revealing that 40% of Irish consumers bought on Amazon.co.uk in 2021. Only 33% of the Irish market had recently purchased from Amazon the last time they conducted this survey. That’s a 7% rise since the start of the pandemic.
This spike is evidence of a number of things. Firstly we need to make something clear; currently, when Irish consumers buy anything from Amazon, they are in fact buying from Amazon UK with British customs charges in place. Amazon does have a presence in Ireland with a shipping centre in Dublin and a customer service centre in Cork.
However, they don’t currently have a fulfilment centre in this country. This means Irish consumers are still paying UK customs charges. Something we hope will change in the near future—more on that later.
The first thing this rise indicates is that the extra import fees have not been a deterrent. Secondly, it shows that the pandemic has seen significant growth in online shopping. Finally, it indicates that Amazon has dealt with logistics disruptions incredibly well. More importantly, this rise underlines a significant point about the Irish consumer. Despite an upsurge in supporting local, Irish consumers still want variety and value.
Online Shopping in Covid Times
Despite growing fears over the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the Irish economy, online shopping has never been more popular. Additionally, this economic uncertainty has been further compounded by Brexit. However, Ireland and its economy after Brexit are currently not doing so bad. Of course, time will tell long-term impacts will be, hence the uncertain economic forecasting.
So, why have we seen a growth in online retail spending? The answer is simpler than you might think. Reduced social interactions have left a gaping hole in our lives which means we are spending more time online. We’re constantly being exposed to digital ads targeted expressly for us. A lot of us are buying more products online out of boredom.
Although some people might be on reduced hours or have lost work altogether. Some people have been able to save money by not socialising and not spending money on transport and petrol. At the moment, some people actually have more disposable income to spend on consumer goods than they did before.
What does Brexit mean for Irish consumers?
The Brexit impact on Ireland has thus far been fairly minimal. However, it should be noted that we are in unprecedented times, and we still don’t know what the long-term economic impact will be. There has been some fallout in post-Brexit Ireland, especially north of the border, but Irish consumers haven’t been too badly affected.
Something we touched on earlier are customs fees, VAT and general, associated import charges. When buying online after Brexit, you should be aware that the UK VAT rate has to be removed and the Irish VAT rate has to be applied. Some places like Amazon will calculate these charges for you at the checkout, but others may not. You could be shocked by a VAT demand plus associated admin fees on delivery. So watch out for that one.
If your package is less than €22, there are no VAT and customs duties. Packages over €22 but less than €150 may have import VAT but no customs duties. If your package costs over €150, import VAT and customs duties will be due except on certain items like computers, books, printers, phones and some other exempted items. You can find a list here. One more thing about ordering items that cost over €150 from the UK. If the country of origin of the product is the UK, there won’t be any import charges.
Amazon – Brexit & Ireland – What is the impact?
Buying from Amazon post Brexit isn’t noticeably different. The tech giant has certainly had to pivot a little, there’s no denying that. However, as a multinational delivery behemoth, they have absorbed the shockwaves to maintain an excellent service in Ireland. They attempt to calculate most charges at the point of purchase, so you’re unlikely to get hit with unanticipated costs. So, Amazon in Ireland after Brexit is still a go-to retail choice.
Consumers still believe Amazon will offer them a wider choice of products at a better price, even with customs and import duty. Amazon Delivery to Ireland after Brexit Amazon delivery to Ireland after Brexit has certainly been slowed, but it’s still quick. Initially, the delays seemed to be longer. Some Irish consumers on social media were describing wait times of two and three weeks in January. However, as time has gone on things seemed to have evened out slightly. It does very much depend on the product you’re ordering. There could be more issues with third-party sellers and stuff that originates from the U.S. or China and arrives here via Amazon UK.
Is Amazon coming to Ireland?
Amazon Brexit Ireland impacts will be felt. There has been talk of a Dublin fulfilment centre in Baldonnell, although we don’t know when this is happening. An Amazon.ie domain could also be in the works, but Amazon are a mysterious bunch, and we don’t know when these things will materialise. However, the most likely outcomes are that they will happen soon.
When these things do come to fruition, Irish consumers can begin to expect same-day delivery if there is an Amazon Ireland after Brexit. The tech giant is likely to tighten its grip on the Irish retail market with many Irish producers also being forced to use Amazon as their primary marketplace. As it currently stands, Amazon UK is thriving in post-Brexit Ireland.