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International Online Shopping on the Rise, Report Reveals

03 July 2019 - 16:15 by Graham Miller

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Figures published by Global-e indicate that more consumers from around the world are choosing to carry out safe shopping online with retail sites that are based in other countries, according to Internet Retailing.

The ever-growing interest in cross-border e-commerce is providing beneficial for companies in the UK, since the weaker value of the pound is making it more viable for overseas shoppers to pick up bargains from British sites.

Furthermore, the report indicated that there has been a rapid boost to the number of purchases made from portable gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. A third of all cross-border sales were generated by mobile devices last year, whereas in the previous 12-month period this had been at just 23 per cent.

Some countries are jumping on the international m-commerce bandwagon with more vigour than others. For example, Germany experienced a 60 per cent uptick in this type of activity during 2018, while Australia saw a similarly impressive 49 per cent boost.

Another interesting aspect of the study is that several countries now shop online predominantly from mobiles as opposed to traditional laptop and desktop computers. In South Korea this is at its highest uptake, with 58 per cent of e-commerce sales being channelled through portable handsets, followed by Ireland, where the penetration rate sits at 54 per cent.

The growing dominance of smartphones as the web access portals of choice has been well known for several years now, although in many cases they are primarily used for retail research rather than to commit to the final purchase. There is clearly an ongoing shift in the balance of power, with PCs losing ground by the month as mobiles get more of a foothold for searching and buying alike, both in the UK and internationally.