UK retailers risk international revenue loss due to red tape and high charges, finds The PPRO Group


Research released by The PPRO Group suggests that despite a high proportion of UK businesses having a good awareness of overseas payment culture, they are not necessarily offering the options on their websites, causing many to miss out on a large slice of online overseas traffic.

The study found three quarters of businesses cited in-country regulations (73%) and high charges (77%) as the main barriers to offering additional payment options to international shoppers.

This is made all the more surprising when coupled with the fact that nearly one in 10 (8%) retailers admit that between 31% and 51% of all transactions come from international customers. With familiar overseas payment options including iDEAL, SEPA Direct Debit and SOFORT banking starting to find a home on UK-based sites, adoption levels are still relatively low with 23%, 42% and 46% adoption rates, respectively.

Tobias Schreyer, co-founder of The PPRO Group, said: “Despite international payment options beginning to resonate with UK retailers, red tape and additional charges are putting pay to many retailers offering the payment preferences of international customers, as well as UK-specific payment preferences like credit and debit card. The research also revealed that over one third of respondents (38%) simply don’t see the need to offer additional options, meaning they could be missing out on a vital revenue stream.”

Up to 10% of international customers abandon their basket at the point of payment, according to almost half of those surveyed (43%), with the payment page cited as the reason in 42% of the cases. However, when it comes to online shopping priorities, retailers put more emphasis on security than the loss of revenue caused by shopping cart abandonment with 85% considering customer security to be a high priority, compared to abandonment of shopping carts which tops the list for just over half (54%) of the respondents.

“It is clear from our research that the understanding of payment cultures among overseas shoppers is growing, but barriers still exist to convert these potentially lucrative browsers into buyers. By addressing these issues, future revenues can be enhanced as well as retailers reach and brand awareness across the globe,” said Schreyer.