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83% of Chinese shoppers hitting UK sites are mobile, PayPal study shows

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The UK is increasingly becoming the go to country for online shoppers from across the world, with China leading the way – and 83% of these Chinese shoppers are using mobile.

The research found an estimated 86.4 million online shoppers from 29 countries surveyed by PayPal bought from the UK in the last 12 months, attracted by the variety, quality and authenticity of products available on British websites.

In the UK’s top four online export markets – China, USA, France and Germany – desktop computers remain consumers’ preferred device for internet shopping, but smartphones are closing the gap.

Almost half of cross-border shoppers from China (47%) say they access foreign stores by going directly to a website they have used before, underlining the need for businesses to get that first, all-important transaction right.

Taken together, these two things mean that if you want to get your slice of the cross-border boom you have to get your website experience right from the off and you have to make sure that it also works well on mobile.

Shipping and returns are also a concern, with 33% of cross-border shoppers say that delivery shipping costs prevent them from shopping cross-border more often, and 26% of online shoppers who have abandoned a cross-border purchase in the past say they did so because the delivery time was too long and 24% abandoned purchases because they were put off by the high cost of returning items.

Cameron McLean, PayPal UK managing director, says: “There are clear lessons for British businesses that want to boost their online international sales. Your customers expect to shop on websites in their own language and want to pay in their own currencies – and may buy from your rivals if you don’t offer that experience. And if you want to crack the Chinese market, you really need to engage with your customers through hugely popular Chinese social media and messaging channels such as WeChat.“

PayPal has two programmes designed to help British businesses grow their international customer base: PassPort, a website to equip them with country-specific guidance and tools to grow global sales; and China Connect, which gives Chinese consumers direct access to PayPal’s merchant partners worldwide and offers free advice and guidance on building online sales.

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