The four largest online retail markets in the world are expected to double in size over the next three years, with e-commerce spending reaching close to $999 billion by 2018, according to a recent report.
The report, co-authored by Google, PayPal and UK-based OC&C Strategy Consultants, predicts that e-commerce spending in the U.S., UK, China and Germany will grow by $495.7 billion to reach a staggering $998.9 billion by 2018.
This growth will obviously present an enormous opportunity for online retailers and their partners. UK retailers are seen as having some advantages in selling over those other three markets. German online shoppers, for example, already buy more from the UK than from any other foreign country – and the UK is the second-most-popular online retail provider among online shoppers in the U.S. and China.
Chinese consumers already match the domestic UK online market in sales, and Chinese and German shoppers spend 2.7 and 1.7 times more per online transaction, respectively, than their UK counterparts.
According to the report, consumers buying from UK-based “e-tailers” do so to purchase items not available elsewhere in 40% of all cases, are motivated by price 33% of the time, and buy online because of trust in 29% of all cases.
Despite the huge opportunity this situation presents to UK-based businesses, the report shows that an even more aggressive approach to international sales could earn UK-based online retailers up to 60% more.
“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,” wrote Anita Balchandani, OC&C Partner and Head of UK Retail. “Those retailers that are going deeper are already reaping the rewards.”
In assessing the biggest barriers and hurdles to more consumers adopting international online purchasing habits, the report highlighted data security, retailer trust and ease/difficulty of returns.
The report also demonstrated that mobile purchases are also growing, though at different rates in different markets and industries. In fashion, the report shows that UK customers currently make a hefty 59% of all online purchases via their smartphones – compared to 45% in the U.S. and just 24% in Germany.
Businesses who can offer their online retail customers solutions to maximize and enhance their data security, trust, mobile responsiveness and local customization stand poised to win valuable retail customers over the next several years.
The report’s analysis of growth in Chinese e-commerce and mobile purchase habits are also in line with a late 2014 report by China-based online payment service provider Alipay. A more recent report on U.S. retailers also showed similar optimism regarding online retail growth – while noting an expected migration of e-commerce hosting to the cloud.
It’s abundantly clear that e-commerce is not only here, but here to stay. As well as there to stay, in top non-U.S. markets like the UK, China and Germany.
To make sure your business is ready to grow and thrive, right alongside your online sales, contact the experienced e-commerce experts at Imagination Media today. We can help you create and implement customized solutions that utilize and maximize brilliant online platforms like Magento and the soon-to-be-unveiled Magento 2.
Don’t miss the boat when it comes to the ever-shifting seas of e-commerce. Jump onboard with Imagination Media, and navigate your way to big-time growth and sales – both here and all around the world.