If you were to ask a group of UK customers whether they prefer to order in the UK, or from abroad, the answer might not be surprising. People in the UK prefer to order from the UK, for the seemingly obvious reasons: generally faster delivery, easier returns, and more confidence in the order arriving to begin with. However, with many retailers looking to expand cross-border, it’s important to try and sell the reasons why ordering from abroad might actually not be as big of a risk as people may think.
When we asked a group of 1,000 shoppers, whether they would ever consider buying goods from a non-UK website in the next twelve months, the answer was overwhelmingly ‘No’. The majority of respondents have always said that they wouldn’t, with only around 30-40% saying that they would, since 2013. This suggests that customers have a general unease around ordering from abroad, as they might have reservations about elements such as the delivery carrier tracking.
Would you ever consider buying goods from a non UK website in the next 12 months?
Furthering our research, we then asked what people felt were the biggest barriers when ordering from a non-UK retailer. Interestingly, the results show us that delivery concerns have become the most dominant concern, as of 2020, followed closely by returns. When ordering from other countries, customers fear that delivery will be less simple, than if they just ordered from their trusted retailers in the UK. The benefits of ordering from cross-border retailers however, could include a wider range of stock choice, cheaper prices, and more variety. People were least concerned with any language barriers, as most cross-border trade can be translated, or is written in the target-country language. This suggests that the pressure is placed on the shipping carriers, returns software, and ecommerce delivery services.
What do you feel are the biggest barriers to buying goods from a non UK retailer?
We can conclude from our data, that in order to acquire cross-border trade, retailers must ensure that their customers feel confident with their delivery options, and are assured that returns options will be easy too. Many customers are worried that buying from abroad might impact the ease of their ordering, but at nShift, with the right delivery management software system and the world's largest carrier library, retailers will be able to ensure quality delivery, no matter where it is they’re delivering to.