PayPal UK Managing Director Mark Brant published the following post on the PayPal UK corporate blog:
While 2016 proved to be a year of surprises, both at home and abroad, it was also an extremely successful one for British business, especially if you happen to be one of the UK’s 5.4 million small and medium-sized businesses.
According to PayPal’s latest transaction data, UK SMEs saw their international sales rise by an incredible 34% in the last six months of 2016 – three times the increase in the first half of the year. The amount international shoppers spent with them also rose 13% per transaction.
The trend is clear – more sales, at higher value.
There are several driving forces behind this international sales boom. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is that the spending power of overseas shoppers at UK retailers has increased as a result of the fall in value of the pound.
But there is more to it than simply lower prices. British goods are known around the world for their variety, quality and exclusivity. SMEs have undoubtedly taken advantage of this, offering unique products at competitive prices. Fashion and sports retailers have proven particularly successful, as they saw a 49% year-on-year increase in goods sold online to international shoppers.
Black Leaf, a successful outdoor fashion retailer that uses PayPal to accept payments from its international customers, is one such company. “It’s a really exciting time for us. We feel like we’ve become a global company over the last six to nine months. As a result, we are taking payments through PayPal in more currencies than ever before and the business is opening up to many new countries,” said founder and co-owner Ian Bristow.
The fact there is an international appetite for British goods is extremely positive. Yet to truly make the most of this opportunity, retailers have to put themselves in the shoes of their overseas customer.
That means making simple changes to help turn online browsers into online buyers. Like letting shoppers browse in their local language and pay in their local currency. Offering a simple returns service for customers to ship back unsuitable goods through our refunded returns scheme. And adding the PayPal button at checkout as customers in over 200 markets recognise and trust us to handle their payment securely.
You can find lots more tips and tools to help you target overseas shoppers and successfully navigate the world of international ecommerce on our Passport website.
There’s never been a better time for SMEs to broaden their horizons online. The world may be in an unprecedented state of flux, but UK small businesses have seen the opportunity and grasped it.
Source: PayPal UK Corporate Blog Post