The future of online sales looks very positive for UK, US, Germany and China

Ian HancockEcommerce


Great news for UK, US, Germany and China, the four biggest online shopping markets in the world: a recent study has revealed that they will expand their online sales by £320bn over the next three years, reaching a turnover of £645bn by 2018.

OC&C Strategy Consultants, PayPal and Google (the companies who undertook this study) found out that British consumers usually allocate £1 in every £5 to their digital shopping and this is just the beginning of a significant online shopping revolution. Apparently, this increase will be underpinned by the power that smartphones and mobile shopping are gaining every day: in UK, 59% of online sales are coming from smartphones or tablets, while US work with a 45 % figure and Germany with 24%.

On this matter, Martijn Bertisen, the sales director at Google UK, mentioned that “the number of people with Internet access is growing fast, with many new consumers skipping the desktop phase entirely and only experiencing the web through a smartphone. Our study shows that this is increasingly translating into mobile transactions and that a mobile-first or even mobile-only strategy is now imperative to international success in retail. UK retailers should be well positioned to lead this growth internationally, as UK consumers are already amongst the most mobile of all.”

Furthermore, the research also showed that online shopping is not only locally beneficial, but it will also significantly boost overseas transactions for the UK leading retailers. British businesses are the top international brands for German shoppers and the second most popular in China and US. In addition, Chinese customers purchase approximately 2.7 times more from UK retailers than British ones, while German shoppers spend 1.7 times more.

Another interesting point raised by this study is that 40% of international shoppers prefer British products because they offer a wider variety than their local retailers, a third of them are really pleased with the pricing and 29% declared that they rely more on the quality of British products.

On this note, the head of retail at OC&C, Anita Balchandani declared that “the study has shown that UK retailers are some of the world’s most popular and are in a strong position to seize more opportunities abroad. But at the moment, the majority are only doing the basics to adequately serve foreign markets, for example, by offering international delivery on their UK website and working with partners to provide local returns addresses.”

The whole study was based on payment transactions through Paypal and search trends on Google and it can be a very useful tool for the future developments of online retailers, especially with this news that online sales are set to soar. Therefore, website owners must ensure that their websites are in the best possible technical shape they can be in, with a quality engaging design to convert potential customers and significant visibility within search engines.