Improvements in delivery services are encouraging shoppers to buy online, according to the 2014 Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey.
The survey by Hermes included responses from 4,000 consumers across the UK, France and Germany.
Around three quarters of consumers across all markets said that the delivery services being used by retailers are improving all the time. Nearly two thirds of respondents have had to change delivery details for goods ordered online so the ability to do this via a web site was seen to be important.
In the UK, 27 per cent of consumers said they had shopped online in the past three months, while 42 per cent said they planned to shop online even more over the next year.
Some 14 per cent of French consumers had shopped online in the past three months, which 30 per cent said they would do more online shopping over the next year. And in Germany ten per cent of consumers had shopped online in the past three months while 28 per cent said they would do more online shopping over the next year.
Shoppers are also expanding their horizons with 73 per cent of Brits stating they are increasing the number of retailers they shop from, again ahead of the French (64 per cent) and Germans (58 per cent).
Home delivery was the most popular service across all countries although delivery to a parcel shop rated well in Germany. However attitudes towards cost varied with Brits willing to pay substantially more for same day delivery (£4.60) which is around 80 per cent and 40 per cent more than the amount that shoppers in France and Germany were happy to pay respectively.
Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes, said: “The research shows that the online shopping industry continues to grow at a prolific pace and consumer confidence has rocketed and I am pleased to see that investment in good delivery options has played a key role in this. It presents online retailers with a huge opportunity to continue to expand their customer base and increase revenue.”
The survey also found that consumers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to buy goods online – particularly in the UK. Nearly a quarter of Brits said they used these devices compare with 11 per cent of Germans and nine per cent of French people. However, a laptop was still the most popular device in all three countries.
Around 84 per cent of UK and France-based shoppers have ordered from a foreign retailer’s web site compared to just 67 per cent of the German population.
Well over a third of German and French shoppers have bought goods from the UK, with the country beating China and the USA to top the poll. This illustrates the strength of the UK’s retail brands and the investments carriers have made in developing international delivery networks.
However, the survey found that delivery companies and retailers need to do more to drive down the cost of delivery overseas. Across all markets, half of the respondents who had not shopped online overseas said it was down to high delivery charges. The perceived difficulty of returning goods also scored highly.
Hermes pointed out that it recently launched a comprehensive international delivery solution, enabling retailers seamless access to consumers in 20 European countries.