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UK crossborder sales to hit £10bn in 2013: IMRG

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UK retailers will enjoy crossborder sales worth £10bn in 2013, according to the IMRG .

That’s up from £7.4bn spent on UK-based sites by international consumers in 2012. The UK online retail market remains, said IMRG, second only to the US market in overall value.

The etail trade association also predicts that cross-border sales across Europe will hit €36bn in 2013, accounting for 10.6% of total online sales in the region. That compares to €26bn in 2012.

“Cross-border is the future of ecommerce and the opportunity is particularly strong for UK retailers due to the advanced state and sophistication of the market here,” said Andrew McClelland, chief operations and policy officer at IMRG. “Expanding internationally is a complex business, however, and retailers need to carefully identify markets that are appropriate to them rather than just attractive in terms of value and growth.

“Research is everything when it comes to cross-border; there have been several instances of retail brands finding success by selling product ranges that they are not well-known for by consumers in the UK.”

Jean-Marc Noël, managing director at Trusted Shops, said that inspiring confidence among international consumers was a key challenge for retailers selling overseas. “When shopping online for a good deal, being able to consider products from other countries can bring huge savings or greatly increase choice,” he said. “This is clearly driving the growth of cross-border sales. However retailers should remember that most online markets are not as advanced as the UK. This means that a different approach must be taken as foreign shoppers may be more sceptical of shops based abroad.

“With a well-known trustmark in place, users can have the peace-of-mind they need in order to shop with confidence, and retailers can reap the benefits of tapping into a much wider audience.”

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