Online retail in the UK, US, China and Germany, will double in size by 2018 and add 320bn to the ecommerce economy.
As highlighted by the report, Britain is the most popular online overseas destination for German shoppers. However, theChinese purchase products online from British retailers as frequently as domestic shoppers do.
This benefits the UK, the report suggested, as “Chinese and German shoppers are more valuable than their British counterparts”. Theyspend on average 2.7 and 1.7 times more in each transaction.
International shoppers cited choice of product (40 per cent), pricing and the quality of British goods (29 per cent) as reasons for choosing “Made in Britain”.
Anita Balchandani, head of retail at OC&C, said: The study has shown that UK retailers are some of the worlds most popular and are in a strong position to seize more opportunities abroad. But at the moment, the majority are only doing the basics to adequately serve foreign markets.
She noted that retailers that are going deeper are already reaping the rewards. For example, ASOS has adopted zonal pricing and invested in local warehouses to support returns in foreign markets. As a result, searches for ASOS from overseas have grown faster than other UK retailers.
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British clothing retailer Boden has a warehouse in the US as well as accepts Paypal to support US growth, while in Germany it is open invoicing “a feature that German consumers prize,” according toBalchandani.
Martijn Bertisen, sales director at Google UK, claimed that manyconsumers only experience the web through a smartphone. This is increasingly translating into mobile transactions and that a mobile-first or even mobile-only strategy is crucial in achieving international success in retail, he said.
A UK Mobile “Path-to-Purchase Study” conducted by Nielsen found that UK consumers are amongst the most mobile. PayPal data has suggested that in fashion, for example, 59 per cent of online transactions are already being made via mobile in the UK, compared with 45 per cent and 24 per cent in the US and Germany respectively.
The research highlighted that British companies could be earning up to 60 per cent more by “going deeper” this includesbuilding trust with local consumers, responding to local payment preferences and putting in place the infrastructure to match local competitors on speed.