The Strategist

UPS: Europeans shop in foreign online stores increasingly often

02/06/2018 - 11:21

Seven out of ten European online buyers at least once bought goods in a foreign online store.

Elaine Smith
Elaine Smith
The main reasons for buying goods on foreign websites are more favorable prices and the need for a particular brand or product. According to Pulse of the Online Shopper study, commissioned by UPS in European countries in 2017, this indicates new opportunities for retailers operating in different regions of the world. In addition, the results of the study prove that players in the retail sector need to offer a wide range of services, taking into account personal expectations of each particular online buyer.

In the course of the study, it was found that the most important criteria for ordering goods in foreign online stores are the safety of payment (75%), the exact price of the order, including taxes and duties (72%), a transparent return policy (63%), of all prices in the buyer's national currency (63%) and delivery time (62%).

"Thanks to the Internet, suppliers can promote their products and sell them to customers from anywhere in the world. Retail trade has actually transcended national boundaries. According to our research, almost three quarters of European online buyers make purchases on foreign websites, which means that both small and large players have many opportunities to expand their business," says Abhijit Saha, vice president of marketing for UPS Europe. "Our goal is to help them conduct business on an international scale with the same ease as in their hometown."

The study showed that almost all European online buyers (96%) at least once made purchases in multi-brand online stores. Speaking of the reasons, 67% of respondents noted lower prices, and 43% explained their choice with a wider range of products in all categories.

More than half (52%) of European online buyers, when looking for and choosing goods on the Internet, pay special attention to the variety of delivery options, and 75% of respondents pay great attention to the possibility of a free return. In addition, 63% of buyers are interested in the possibility of delivery to the point of issue with an extended work schedule, if it is cheaper than delivery directly to the house.

Representatives of the retail sector should develop mobile applications, as consumers increasingly purchase goods using a smartphone. According to the study, 43% of smartphone users at least once bought something via a mobile device. Buyers use the smartphone to find stores and information about them (78%), order tracking (78%) and price comparison (75%).

The Pulse of the Online Shopper study is conducted to analyze characteristics of buying behavior at all stages of the purchase - from the search for the product to its use after receipt. In 2017, comScore conducted a survey for UPS of more than 6,400 European customers of online stores from six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom).