European online shoppers turning to cross-border retailers

  • Online shoppers are more mobile, global and marketplace-driven
  • 71 percent bought from retailers outside their home country
  • 96 percent of online shoppers are purchasing on marketplaces
  • 43 percent of smartphone users purchased from their device

BRUSSELS, February 5, 2018 – UPS (NYSE: UPS) – Seven in 10 European online shoppers bought items from retailers outside their home country, mainly because of better prices and the search for a specific brand or product. According to the 2017 UPS Europe Pulse of the Online Shopper™ study[1], this demonstrates not only opportunities for retailers that connect with customers in different geographies, but that retailers also need to provide a personalized, broad range of services to meet online shoppers’ expectations.

The study found that top considerations when purchasing from retailers in another country include: payment security (75 percent); clearly stating the total cost of the order including duties and fees (72 percent); a clear returns policy (63 percent); stating all prices in the shopper’s native currency (63 percent); and the speed of delivery (62 percent).

“The internet has made shopping truly global, enabling retailers to market and sell their products to customers worldwide. Our research shows that nearly three-quarters of European online shoppers buy from countries outside their own, so opportunity is rife for both small and large retailers looking to expand their businesses,” said Abhijit Saha, vice president of Marketing, UPS Europe. “At UPS, we’ve made it our mission to help them all do business across international borders just as easily as they do business across town.”

The UPS study also found that almost all European online shoppers (96 percent) bought on marketplaces, which are online platforms for third-party retailers. Of those, 67 percent cite better prices as a reason for purchasing on a marketplace instead of a retailer, and 43 percent cite a broader selection of products within any given category.

More than half (52 percent) of online shoppers in Europe consider the number of shipping options offered key when searching for and selecting products online, while 75 percent consider free return shipping important. Additionally, 63 percent of shoppers are interested in shipping to an alternative location with extended hours, if fees are less than shipping to their home.

Retailers need to think “mobile first” as the use of smartphones for making purchases proliferates. According to the study, 43 percent of smartphone users purchased from their device. Shoppers use their mobile devices for a variety of other shopping-related tasks, including to locate stores or store-related information (78 percent), track orders (78 percent), and compare prices among retailers (75 percent).

About the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™

The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study evaluates consumer shopping habits from pre-purchase to post-delivery. The 2017 study is based on a comScore survey of more than 6,400 European online shoppers in six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the UK).

About UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, USA, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at   or and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, follow   @UPS_News  on Twitter.

About comScore

comScore is a leading cross-platform measurement company that measures audiences, brands and consumer behavior everywhere. comScore completed its merger with Rentrak Corporation in January 2016, to create the new model for a dynamic, cross-platform world. Built on precision and innovation, comScore’s data footprint combines proprietary digital, TV and movie intelligence with vast demographic details to quantify consumers’ multiscreen behavior at massive scale. This approach helps media companies monetize their complete audiences and allows marketers to reach these audiences more effectively. With more than 3,200 clients and a global footprint in more than 75 countries, comScore is delivering the future of measurement. Shares of comScore stock are currently traded on the OTC Market (OTC:SCOR). For more information on comScore, please visit

About Ecommerce Europe

Ecommerce Europe is the association representing 75,000+ companies selling goods and/or services online to consumers in Europe. Founded by leading national e-commerce associations, Ecommerce Europe is the voice of the e-commerce sector in Europe and its mission is to stimulate cross-border e-commerce.

[1] Based on a survey of more than 6,400 online shoppers in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the UK.

Further inquiry note:

Giovanni Mastrobuono

T +32 (0)2 776 95 39 | E

This article is provided by UPS, Business Partner of Ecommerce Europe. Ecommerce Europe’s Business Partners are entitled to have one article per quarter in the newsletter and on the website of  Ecommerce Europe about their organization and/or a specific topic. For more information, contact