70% of UK consumers now buy goods from overseas merchants


UK consumers are broadening their horizons when it comes to online shopping and increasingly looking further afield to purchase goods

UK online retailers are facing tough competition as 70% of UK consumers now buy goods from overseas merchants, compared to 53% four years ago, according to research by PPRO Group, e-payment specialists. China (45%), USA (43%) and mainland Europe (34%) were highlighted as the most popular regions for UK consumers when shopping online.

However, there are still hurdles when it comes to purchasing goods from overseas merchants, with 64% stating that the payment process stopped them from completing a transaction. Reasons cited were preferred options not being available (22%), complicated processes to make payments (16%) and lack of trust in the payment methods provided (9%). As a result, overseas retailers are missing out on revenue from potentially loyal consumers, as 75% would be more likely to buy goods if it became easier to use familiar payment methods.

“Payment methods play a huge part in the online customer journey and all it takes is one bad experience in a first transaction with a new retailer and a potentially loyal customer is easily lost to a competitor. The first step to securing consumer confidence and driving sales as well as global business growth, is to understand the culture of payments. Not only must the website be designed with the customer journey in mind to make it easy to navigate, but if the customer reaches the checkout and their preferred payment isn’t available, all that investment to get them to the site in the first place is wasted,” comments Jack Ehlers, Director of Payment Partnerships at PPRO Group.

“By removing the boundaries and complexities of Alternative Payment Methods, consumers can ultimately buy what they want, where they want and how they want, increasing opportunities for retailers. If these barriers aren’t addressed, the future for new online retailers is severely limited,”

adds Ehlers.