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Overseas shoppers driving UK etail expansion

UK retailers are seeing a 20% year-on-year increase in the number of orders from shoppers overseas, new research reveals.

Figures from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index, based on data compiled from over 80 ecommerce companies, show a steady increase in the proportion of UK retailers’ orders coming from abroad.

If this trend continues at the same rate the number of cross-border packages from the UK would more than double from 161 million completed this year to 384 million in 2017 as the overall number of orders dispatched by UK retailers – including to domestic customers – reaches 1.3 billion. This figure is expected to hit 1 billion next year.

Angela O’Connell, marketing and strategy director for MetaPack, said: “Our unique data is showing that online retail continues to grow in line with last month’s forecast and again provides a great indicator of improving national economic health overall.

“This is happening as the industry absorbs the changes in online consumer rights and bodes well for how retailers will continue to want to improve customer experience through offering a wider range of better delivery choices.”

MetaPack’s ecommerce delivery software is used by a number of major UK retailers, including ASOS, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, to coordinate their online orders with carriers. It works with IMRG, the industry body for the e-tail sector, to compile the data for the annual index.

The research revealed that, of all overseas shoppers, those outside the EU spend slightly more on average than their European counterparts (£61 compared to £55).

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