Internet shopping has opened up the opportunity to buy products from all over the world from the comfort of your home. Yet, could concerns about delivery services hold us back from a European shopping spree?
I’m a huge fan of online shopping, buying everything from bike lights to shoes over the internet. Having had very few problems over the years, I’ve become pretty relaxed about whether the trader is based in the UK or abroad.
It turns out that this makes me a fairly atypical European consumer. According to research by the European Commission, only one in 10 Europeans buy online from sellers based abroad.
Long delivery times, high costs and concerns about parcels not being delivered or getting damaged are the top deterrents to buying online from another European country, according to the research. In a recent Which? survey, we found that more than six in 10 people experienced problems with online deliveries. It’s perhaps not so surprising that shoppers are extra wary about the prospect of having to solve problems with a retailer in a different country.
Solving the delivery problem
In response to these real and perceived problems, the European Commission has launched a consultation to identify how parcel delivery across borders can be improved. The consultation aims to find solutions to problems like unreliable deliveries and high postage costs between European countries. We’ll be keeping an eye on what they come up with.
Do you look for information about where a trader is based before clicking ‘buy’? Do worries about delivery problems keep you from buying goods from traders in other countries?