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Shipping costs still cause basket abandonment as cross border sales rise

One in every five ecommerce transactions is likely to be cross-border in the next four years but shoppers will still abandon purchases if shipping costs are too high, according to new BOXpoll data from Pitney Bowes.

It showed that demand is highest among buyers located in the US and China, with more than one in ten US consumers buying from UK retailers at least once a month.

Buyers in Europe and the UK bought less often, with 8% of shoppers in Germany and 6% in France shopping online with UK brands at least once a month. 28% of German shoppers and 24% of French shoppers said they were buying less as a direct result of Brexit.

The poll also found consumers who shop online with UK retailers will increase the amount that they do so after the threat of the pandemic has decreased.

The data also highlights which products US consumers are buying from UK brands and uncovers buyer preferences by generation. Clothing is the most popular for US shoppers – particularly among Generation Z buyers – followed by jewellery, toys and gifts, for which millennials showed the highest propensity to buy.

When US shoppers were asked for the main reasons they abandon their purchase when shopping online with UK brands, the results revealed that delivery is a huge influencer. 69% of buyers abandon their cart “frequently” or “occasionally” if shipping costs are too high and 62% do so if the delivery time is too long.

46% do so because “The site did not clearly explain whether the retailer shipped to my country” and one in two do so because they think the cost of returns will be too high.

44% said they did not want to risk paying for import duties at package pick-up and the same amount abandoned their purchases because the duties and taxes weren’t calculated or seemed inaccurate/

“After the turbulence of the past two years, this data should bring hope to UK retailers,” said Georges Berzgal, senior vice president, global ecommerce at Pitney Bowes. “Demand for British brands is high among overseas buyers, particularly in the US, but retailers cannot underestimate the importance of a transparent, cost-effective cross-border shipping and returns strategy. They can’t afford to lose almost seventy percent of their buyers at checkout,” he said.

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