Jun 11, 2021
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Fear factors prevent UK shoppers from buying online from EU, says study

Jun 11, 2021

Fakes, delays, customs and foreign languages. These are the biggest fears preventing UK online consumers making cross-border purchases from the EU, according to a new report commissioned by Weglot.


Topping the list is fear of buying from fraudulent websites (72%), damaged or delayed deliveries (72%) and issues with customs (68%).

Meanwhile, 61% said shopping on a foreign language website was a significant turn-off, while 49% said they wouldn’t buy a product online if the website wasn’t in English.

But at least 68% of UK consumers say they still regularly purchase products from international e-commerce stores outside of big-name brands such as Amazon. And clothing, textiles and shoes (52%) were among the most popular items bought from international stores.

The research also highlighted the current relationship UK consumers have with international e-commerce stores. Some 52% of these consumers said they found prices to be more attractive from international sellers. Other reasons included international stores having products not available in the UK (28%), offering faster delivery (27%) and feeling safer to buy directly from a brand’s website (17%).

However, there’s a significant age gap, with 86% of 18-34 year-olds often shopping from international e-commerce stores compared to just 49% of over 50s. Some 23% of over 50s always stick to shopping locally online, compared to just 4% of 18-34 year-olds.

Augustin Prot, CEO at Weglot, said: “Although it is incredibly hard to stop fake websites from popping up online and any delays or accidents in the delivery process, retailers do have control over how they present their stores online. Shopping in their native language will always be a consumers’ preferred choice, and online retailers can open up new revenue streams by localising their offerings.

"Overall, we’re predicting a positive future for online stores that can adapt their offers and open up shop to local consumers while providing international-level services”.

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