Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Ireland’s online retailers missing out on international sales

Online shoppers are holding back from making international purchases due to the potential cost of return shipping – and Irish online businesses are paying the price according to research from PayPal, conducted by Ipsos MORI. It shows that online shoppers in some of the world’s top online export markets – including the US, China and European neighbours like France and Spain – would be more likely to buy from international sites if they had the option of free return shipping.

PayPal’s research shows that from a sample of 29 global markets, just over a third (35%) of online shoppers said the cost of return shipping deterred them from making more purchases on international websites.

To help businesses maximise their international potential, PayPal has today announced that it is launching a new service, available internationally and in Ireland, that will cover return shipping costs for businesses and their customers. From today, PayPal customers in eligible markets can avail of the Refunded Return Service. Customers who pay with PayPal in Ireland now have the option to claim back the cost of returning unwanted goods worldwide up to the value of €30. It’s free to activate, simple to use and each PayPal customer can make up to 12 eligible claims over a 12-month period.

The service will provide a boost to Irish online retailers, who can now increase their focus on international markets without worrying that customers will be put off by the potential costs of returning goods.

PayPal offers its business customers expert advice on cracking international markets at a dedicated portal. PayPal PassPort helps business owners better understand and target international shoppers through country-specific guidance and global sales tools.

Louise Phelan, Vice President of PayPal’s Global Operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “International online markets hold enormous potential for Irish businesses and retailers. However, the cost of return shipping acts as a real deterrent to prospective customers – and because of that, Irish businesses are losing out.

“Millions of people across the world shop on Irish sites every year. We now know that by taking away one of the biggest barriers to international online shopping, we can increase that even further. PayPal has more than 179 million active accounts around the world and can therefore help Irish online businesses reach an increased and lucrative global customer base.”

Irish consumers will also benefit from PayPal’s Refunded Return Service. Over a 12-month period, some 20% of Irish online shoppers who made purchases from sites outside Ireland have purchased an item on an international website that, when it arrived, wasn’t as described. However, just 9% returned a cross-border purchase for not matching the website’s description. 45% of Irish online shoppers said they would be more likely to buy from a website in another country if it had the option of refunded returns.