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International e-commerce proves popular

18 October 2016 - 12:59 by Sarah Collinson

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Two thirds of consumers from around the world are now regularly making purchases via safe shopping online from retailers based in other countries, according to the latest study from Pitney Bowes.

Ninety four per cent of those questioned said that they had taken advantage of the web to make at least one purchases over the past 12 months, with the majority also admitting to indulging in overseas e-commerce activities in order to find the best deal.

Some countries have embraced international shopping habits more enthusiastically than others, with consumers in Singapore found to be the most likely to have used an overseas site to complete a transaction this year.

Australia came in second place in the survey, with 86 per cent of people using safe shopping online to order items from retailers originating in foreign climes.

Half of people surveyed said that they tend to make the majority of their purchases through e-commerce sites that act as marketplaces through which a variety of companies offer their wares. Meanwhile, the rest take to specific retail sites operated by individual firms, showing an even split in habits.

For consumers in the UK, overseas e-commerce is still an activity preferred by the minority. However, this has a lot to do with the fact that the domestic market is so competitive and vibrant, meaning there is little need for people to look elsewhere for products.

In fact, many British retailers are pushing hard to expand their online presences elsewhere, using the platforms and teams they have developed in the UK to pursue success in other countries.

Trust is another issue that is holding back international shopping, since consumers are concerned about security when they use e-commerce sites that are hosted in nations where privacy protection laws may not be as stringent.