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UK retailers use e-commerce for overseas expansion

14 May 2014 - 16:12 by Simon Crisp

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A number of high profile British retail chains, including household names like Marks & Spencer, are taking advantage of online shopping to grow their influence in foreign markets, according to Reuters.

In fact, experts believe that the fact that consumers in the UK are so in tune with e-commerce services is helping these businesses to thrive when they tackle overseas expansion.

Figures published by Euromonitor, revealed that 11 per cent of all retail sales made in 2013 in the UK were carried out online, which is ahead of the 7.3 per cent seen in the US. So while Britain may be comparatively small, proportionally it has a larger group of customers willing to commit their cash to web-based platforms than anywhere else on the planet.

Businesses are able to take the lessons they have learned while working with safe shopping online in the UK and apply them to establishing operations overseas. And of course, the process of creating a website that foreign customers can use to buy online is much less risky than creating a bricks and mortar presence elsewhere and hoping that this will translate into long term success.

Because the UK is seen as a testing ground for new e-commerce innovations, customers can also be assured that the market is especially competitive, while also delivering new ways for them to experience a secure, simple approach to digital retail.

The investments that retailers are making in overseas expansion will also mean that our domestic habits have a global influence on the way that e-commerce is organised.

This impact is already being felt, with data from Google indicating that international buyers are seeking out British brands when they search online, as our retailers tend to be well liked and trusted.