Yet less than a quarter of UK businesses see payment options as a barrier

Despite the majority of UK businesses spending up to a fifth of their marketing budget on targeting international customers, more than 40 per cent of potential international revenue is being lost at the payment page. According to research by electronic payment specialists, The PPRO Group, UK businesses are more focused on customer security and the cost of customer transaction fees, than shopping cart abandonment.

UK businesses no longer focus solely on domestic customers; over half of respondents showed interest in attracting international customers. However, only 55 per cent offer different payment options for those overseas, which shows a clear disconnect between the customers they’re hoping to attract, and those they’re facilitating.

Tobias Schreyer, co-founder of The PPRO Group commented: “Online stores need to ensure that any potential barriers to customer satisfaction and revenue are addressed before investing in attracting international customers to their site. So often, the payment stage of the process is overlooked, and when dealing with international customers, this element is key. Through most PSPs, it can be as simple as ticking a box to accept international payments, which would ultimately open them up to a wealth of business from outside the UK.”

Considering that for nearly half of respondents, the average value of a customer transaction is between £51 and £500, the loss of potential revenue can have quite an impact on a business. With an increasing amount of business taking place online, it’s imperative customers are catered for at every step, including the payment stage, of their journey.

“Each country has its own preferred payment methods, much like it has its own language and culture. Online stores need to be aware, not only of the look and feel of their site, but on who they’re targeting and whether they’re offering what’s necessary to turn browsers to buyers,” adds Tobias.

Over three quarters of respondents keep up-to-date with the range of global online payment methods available, however, they continue to offer payment methods that are popular with domestic customers. In the UK, the most popular payment methods are credit card, debit card and eWallet (i.e. PayPal), whereas in Germany, their preferred methods are direct debit, credit card and prepayment. It is clear that for merchants to achieve their international ambitions, they must start thinking globally as well as locally.

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