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UK among the most desirable retail markets as more consumers buy internationally

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Shoppers around the world are becoming more likely to buy online from another country – and the UK is one of places they prefer to buy from, a new study suggests.

Almost 40% of global online shoppers have now bought from an ecommerce retailer in another country, the 2014 Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Study found, and the UK is one of the most desirable places from which to buy, along with the US and Germany.

The study, which questioned about 12,000 adults in 12 countries, found the most likely buyers from other countries were Australians: 63% bought online from retailers outside their own country. Canadians and Russians were the next most likely, with 54% saying they had done so.

“Retailers looking to expand their businesses online to international markets should consider the unique mindsets and shopping preferences of consumers in each country,” said Craig Reed, vice president of global ecommerce at technology company Pitney Bowes. “In addition, it’s critical for retailers to provide buyers with clarity and accuracy in the online buying process, certainty and transparency in delivery, and competitive pricing. Once these barriers to consumer confidence are overcome, the opportunities and appetite for buying goods outside their own country can increase dramatically.”

But barriers to international commerce persist, with 68% of global respondents – and 76% of British respondents – citing high shipping costs. Some 58% mentioned extra fees such as duties and taxes applied at delivery, and 42% said delivery took too long. Only 46% of respondents said it was safe to buy a product online from a retailer outside their own country.

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