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British retailers spruce up e-commerce platforms to attract international buyers

31 July 2014 - 15:21 by Simon Crisp

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More and more retailers from the UK are investing in their e-commerce sites, to improve the experience for both domestic and overseas shoppers, according to a new report commissioned by the Royal Mail.

The study found that to achieve this, businesses are investing in a broader array of delivery options, with almost a third of the 112 retailers questioned confirming that they now offer express delivery to countries other than the UK.

Four out of five companies said that they have an even broader array of delivery options available to UK consumers who want to carry out safe shopping online, so placing an order to be delivered domestically will still give you the best possible experience, at least for the time being.

The report revealed other emerging trends in the e-commerce market, including the fact that 34 per cent of retailers now make free delivery available to shoppers, as long as they meet a minimum spending requirement with a single order. Back in 2012 when a similar survey was conducted, this conditional free delivery was present on just six per cent of retail sites, so clearly this has become an important selling point of any company wanting to offer safe shopping online.

Ninety one per cent of consumers can now expect to be able to find out about the overseas delivery options that are available on e-commerce sites just by checking the relevant section. By comparison, just 73 per cent of companies had made this information available back in 2012.

Although more is being done to make sites accessible to an international audience, just 37 per cent of online retailers currently enable customers to adjust the currency to their own when shopping. And language options are even more limited, so retailers are still going to have to invest in improvements in the coming months and years.