More than half of UK and EU merchants see international expansion as their key route to growth, saying it is the most important element of online trading.
According to data from payment service provider Mollie, half of UK and EU retailers (50%) said managing international expansion was the most important element for trading online – suggesting retailers are looking at careful expansion over the coming months.
The survey finds that already 56% of retailers are selling internationally, with 22% selling across Europe as a whole, 20% selling across selected international borders and 14% selling globally.
However, the 2500 retailers questioned for the report note a number of challenges. 43% say that the high cost of shipping is a drawback, while 48% said that projected delivery dates were the top reason for abandoned carts with consumers being put-off by long dispatch and arrival times.
Conversely, 43% said that unexpected or additional charges like delivery fees was the main reason for abandoned carts. 59% said over-reliance on third parties for shipment was a key factor hindering growth.
“The last year has made operations more difficult for any small-mid sized merchant and post-Brexit challenges are making it even harder,” said Josh Guthrie, Head of UK at Mollie. “However, many are looking to improve their logistical capabilities and evaluating how they’ll expand in this new environment. There will be some bumps in the road, but with a greater focus on e-commerce, small businesses will continue to grow.”