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UK shoppers now happy to buy cross-border from international retailers, reveals new study

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UK shoppers are turning to online international retailers in search of better prices and product assortment, according to a new study.

Some 61% of UK online shoppers buy internationally and those who do, 69% have purchased from a retailer outside of Europe in comparison to 59% of those who have purchased from a retailer in Europe, according to the 2017 UPS Europe Pulse of the Online Shopper™ study.

The study has revealed that the top considerations of consumers purchasing from a retailer outside their home countries are secure payment methods (75%) and information (72%) that clearly states returns policy (63%) duties and fees as well as shopper’s native currency (63%) and the speed of delivery (62%). In fact, 67% of UK online shoppers consider the free shipping as the most important criteria when checking out online, and 72% report that they look for free return options when selecting an online retailer.

Marketplaces appear to play an important role: almost all (96%) online shoppers in the UK have purchased on a marketplace and 28% plan to do so in the future. This is mainly, suggested the study, because UK shoppers see them as a product research engines. More than a third (38%) make their initial product search on marketplaces. In addition, shoppers revealed that better prices (67%) and a broader selection of products (43%) are also the reasons why they choose to shop at marketplaces instead of retailers. However sellers need to be aware that they will be held to the same standards as traditional retailers, which include an optimal customer experience service with flexible returns policy.

“The internet has made shopping truly global, enabling retailers to market and sell their products to customers worldwide. At UPS, we’ve made it our mission to help them all do business across international borders just as easily as they do business across town,” said Abhijit Saha, vice president of marketing at UPS Europe.

This research demonstrates not only strategic opportunities for retailers to connect with customers in different geographies but that retailers also need to provide a personalized, broad range of services to meet online shoppers’ expectations.

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