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UK confidence in continental online shopping increases

28 June 2010 - 09:26 by Mike Price

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The latest statistics show that UK consumers are more likely shop online with websites based within the EU mainland than ever before, according to figures gathered by the UK European Consumer Centre (ECC).

The ECC has based its findings on the fact that the growth in the number of complaints related to crossing international borders to buy online from a site that operates outside of the UK has slowed considerably in 2010 compared with previous years.

Complaints recorded by the ECC rose by just three per cent in the first half of the year, which is a positive sign when you consider that the growth rate was 18.5 per cent during the equivalent period in 2009.

The ECC is involved in many aspects of retail, aiding consumers who are attempting to make purchases overseas and providing them with support in the event that they become involved in a conflict with a retailer as a result of an issue with a transaction.

UK consumers take safe shopping online very seriously, according to the ECC's Jed Mayatt, who also praised the enterprising nature of shoppers from the UK and their growing willingness to take advantage of international websites.

E-commerce continues to be one of the fastest growing retail channels in the EU, according to ECC figures. It was already worth nearly £90 billion four years ago, with over half of Europe's retailers now offering an online service.

The ECC still urges caution to UK consumers who are considering making a purchase from a foreign website, as it estimates that nearly two thirds of all transactions cannot be completed due to shipping or payment restrictions.

It is clear that safe shopping online can be carried out with both UK and EU websites, but only when reputable retailers with experience in international deliveries are chosen.