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British e-commerce firms thrive thanks to overseas sales

21 January 2014 - 10:29 by Sarah Collinson

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New stats published by OC&C Strategy Consultants suggest that companies which are based in the UK, but offer both domestic and foreign customers the chance to carry out safe shopping online, are succeeding in a big way, resulting in a trade surplus worth around £720 million, according to the Telegraph.

This assessment is based on analysis of search info from Google, indicating that while British consumers buy a lot through the web, they tend to stick with retailers which operate domestically. Meanwhile, these companies are managing to thrive thanks to overseas sales, helping to pump their coffers full of foreign cash.

Report spokesperson, Anita Balchandani, said that analysts looked at information harvested from Google, as well as data related to the shipping of parcels to people who had made a purchase online.

The UK leads the world in terms of this retail surplus, easily outdoing the US and Germany, as well as other developed nations.

In particular, it is the clothing and fashion outlets which are fuelling British sales overseas, with companies like ASOS and Net-a-porter managing to appeal to an international audience.

It is, doubtlessly, the case that the strength of these brands has something to do with the fact that they can offer consumers the chance to buy online without risking their payment details and personal information.

The reputation of e-commerce sites based in the UK is built around security, safety and trust, so people can buy with confidence rather than taking a gamble every time they commit to a purchase.

The report revealed that by the year 2020, about £79 billion in cross-border online trade will occur between the world's largest nations, creating a significantly bigger market than existed in 2013, when just £15 billion was generated.