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How payments are key to international growth for UK ecommerce companies

Image: Fotolia

Image: Fotolia

With international expansion a top strategic priority for 90% of UK merchants, data reveals the crucial importance of offering diverse, local payment methods in order to meet customer expectations, reduce cart abandonment and increase customer loyalty.

According to the European Ecommerce Report from payments company Mollie, quick and efficient payment methods are critical in attracting ecommerce customers.

UK SMEs have driven impressive ecommerce growth over the past year, and have an exciting ambition to grow further both domestically and abroad. Previous Mollie research indicates that amongst UK merchants, international expansion is their top strategic priority. 

In fact, nine in ten confirmed that growing revenue internationally is critical. Yet British SMEs trail their European counterparts in one major area – the ability to offer a breadth of payment options. For UK ecommerce businesses to look seriously towards the EU for expansion, the game needs to be upped when it comes to payment capabilities. 

While the UK is one of the most advanced European ecommerce markets, the payment methods used aren’t as wide ranging as its neighbours. Mollie’s newest research showed that across Europe, offering a quick and efficient payment method is the main factor in convincing consumers to buy from a retailer. In total, 78% of consumers say that a quick and efficient payment method is important to them when shopping online. This is most important in Austria (84%) and less so in Belgium (72%). 

And not only do consumers expect quick and efficient payment methods, but also 87% of consumers say it’s also important that retailers offer the payment method they prefer to use when shopping online. 47% cite it as ‘very important’. The research also found that the third biggest cart abandonment trigger (for 45% of European consumers) is a retailer not offering their preferred payment method. 

It’s clear a range of payment methods is something that every UK merchant must offer. So, what are the most popular payment methods used for online consumers outside of their domestic markets that UK merchants need to offer? Mollie’s research shows:

  • Austria uses PayPal at 71%
  • Belgium uses Bancontact at 74%
  • France uses Cartes Bancaires at 63%
  • Germany uses PayPal at 54%
  • Netherlands uses iDEAL at 68%

“It’s clear that UK retailers prioritise international growth but in order to achieve that, they need to provide a seamless payment experience for customers,” says Josh Guthrie, UK Country Manager at Mollie. “This is the most crucial capability you can offer consumers both within the UK and growing your customer base outside of the UK. Working with the right payment partner can make this an effortless process. And merchants can increase conversions by displaying badges early in the customer journey to let them know you offer their favourite payment methods. Not only can this refine your checkout flow to reduce clicks, it will also maximise sales”.

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