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UK shoppers tentative about overseas e-commerce transactions

29 November 2011 - 11:33 by Sarah Collinson

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A study conducted by consumer advice company Which? has found that many people who carry out safe shopping online from within the UK are uncomfortable with the idea of buying a product from a website based elsewhere in the EU.

Almost 1300 people took part in the survey and 50 per cent of them said that they would opt to use an e-commerce site based in Britain before trying out one which would be delivering from outside of our borders.

The respondents would stick with a UK site even if they could buy the same product for less cash with another EU retailer.

Some said that this was as a result of concerns surrounding the completion of orders and the potential for snarl-ups in the delivery phase, while others said that they simply wanted to show their support for the market of safe shopping online within the UK.

The good news is that recent alterations to legislation mean that if you buy products from any business based in the EU then you can expect to receive the same rights as you would if you have made the purchase in the UK.

This may not allay fears about the process for getting refunds or replacements from retailers on the continent, but it is a step in the right direction.

Pricing was found to be one of the most important considerations for anyone who uses e-commerce sites, with 45 per cent of respondents citing cheap costs as a central motivation behind their use of online shopping.

Which? found that almost 90 per cent of UK consumers have used online shopping in the past two years, with 83 per cent buying online within six months of participating in the survey, indicating the strength of the domestic market.