64% of online shoppers look overseas for savings

Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of online shoppers are prepared to purchase from overseas vendors in order to make a cost saving, according to a new report.

A survey of 1,200 consumers in the UK, Republic of Ireland, France, Germany, Australia and the US, by delivery management company Whistl, found that consumers were going online to access products not available locally (60 per cent), then getting access to unique products (51 per cent), as well as low fee or free shipping (39 per cent).

Across all countries, the top concerns of buying online from abroad were delivery times (67 per cent), risk of fraud/low quality (52 per cent), cost and complexity of returns (46 per cent), followed by delivery costs (36 per cent).

On a country specific basis, Ireland and Australia had the highest proportions of online purchasers from abroad, and relative to the other countries, both had significantly higher proportions who mentioned cost savings.

When looking at drivers of international behaviour by age, older shoppers were less bothered by cost savings compared to their younger counterparts, who mention product quality, product availability and access to technology more than older purchasers.

Long delivery time concerns were highest in UK and Australia and lowest in Ireland. Whistl pointed out that where risk of fraud is also perceived as low, this could be due to the fact that a large proportion of Ireland’s international purchases come from the UK.

In France, purchasers were less concerned with delivery costs and lack of trust compared with other countries. Germans are more concerned than other countries with fraud risk, returns and delivery costs.

The US had the highest lack of trust rating among the countries surveyed, with 40 per cent citing distrust with overseas sellers as a negative when making international online purchases.

Melanie Darvall, director of marketing and communications at Whistl, said: “When trading internationally online you have to take a country by country approach and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.

"Our research shows that even though there are some common themes across all markets, there are some significant differences that need to be addressed to maximise the potential in specific countries."

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