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British consumers embrace online shopping with overseas outlets

25 October 2017 - 11:10 by David Aiken

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A pair of studies published this month show that consumers from the UK are increasingly confident in their ability to carry out shopping online using sites which are based in other countries, according to Internet Retailing.

Analysts at Forrester project that half of all people across Europe will carry out cross-border e-commerce purchases on a regular basis within the next half decade.

In most cases, the purchases being made by people in the UK via retailers based overseas are shipped from another EU member state.

Interestingly, British buyers are also far more likely than any of their counterparts from mainland Europe to make a purchase from sites that offer safe shopping online that operate out of North America.

A similar study from Pitney Bowes revealed that almost three quarters of respondents had taken advantage of cross-border e-commerce sites at least once in the past year. Sixty seven per cent said that they did this by using mainstream online marketplaces like those offered by Amazon and eBay, with a smaller proportion visiting distinct retail sites.

The rise of digital marketplaces which factor in goods from a multitude of different brands and retailers is especially prominent in Asia, although Germany is also leading the way with this trend in Europe.

Report spokesperson, Lila Snyder, said that modern consumers were now intimately familiar with the ins and outs of online shopping, empowering them with the confidence to shop with overseas outlets in greater numbers and with increased frequency. This also brings with it higher expectations of the quality of service that will be available, meaning retailers have to work harder to please an international audience.

Brits buying from overseas outlets is reflected by retailers based in the UK having to accommodate online orders from customers in other countries.