Royal Mail delivers Tracked Returns for Australian online shoppers as a third shop on UK sites

Purchasing from the UK

Australian shoppers are keen on overseas websites with 30 per cent of online shoppers making a purchase from a UK site*, according to a study commissioned by Royal Mail. Of these shoppers, the average spend on UK websites is $70 (£39) per month**. With global reach and the number one facilitator of ecommerce in the UK, Royal Mail is well placed to observe trends across the industry.

The key reasons that Australian shoppers cited for shopping on UK sites were availability, a love of UK brands and price. 76 per cent of Australian shoppers will buy products from the UK if they can’t find them locally. Further to this, 46 per cent of Australian online shoppers seek out items that are only on sale in the UK and 59 per cent do so because they love British brands.

60 per cent of Australian online shoppers purchasing from UK sites find UK items to be much cheaper than buying locally. Just over two fifths (41 per cent) would shop from a UK retailer if it was cheaper. 80 per cent of online shoppers in Australia trust items purchased from UK sites to be genuine brands, reducing the risk of buying fake products.

Shopping habits of Australian consumers

Over eight in ten (81 per cent) Australian shoppers use digital marketplaces, compared to 68 per cent in the UK. EBay is the leading destination, followed by Gumtree and Amazon. Online shoppers in Australia are looking for inspiration as well as value for money but the delivery experience is also of crucial importance. Three quarters (75 per cent) consider delivery ratings influential when shopping on digital marketplaces, compared to 58 per cent in the UK.

The average shopper in Australia spends $160 (£89) per month* shopping (excluding groceries), with $132 (£73) of this spent online. This is 83 per cent of their total shopping bill, up from 71 per cent in 2015. The average Australian online shopper is 48 years old and slightly more likely to be female.

When it comes to products, the top three categories for online purchasing are clothes (39 per cent), books (24 per cent) and holidays/travel (17 per cent). Australian online shoppers are also significantly more likely to purchase accessories compared to the average international shopper.

Tracked Returns to Australia

Over one in ten (12 per cent) Australian online shoppers has returned an item purchased from a UK site. The research also found that 73 per cent of Australian online shoppers would track every item they order if the service was available. Almost three quarters (74 per cent) would be unlikely to shop with a retailer following a difficult return experience, compared to the international average of 66 per cent. 75 per cent of Australian online shoppers consider it important to be able to track a return to a retailer.

Royal Mail International has developed a new tracked returns service in Australia to give customers confidence and provide peace of mind, alongside giving retailers greater visibility of their stock.

How the Tracked Returns service operates

  • Royal Mail sets retailers up on a secure returns portal.
  • The retailer designs a branded returns page and directs customers to its page by providing them with a web link.
  • Customers can access the returns site and once they have inputted their details online they receive a confirmation email.
  • The email contains a link to download the returns label with instructions on how to post the return item.
  • The returns package is delivered using a tracked service provided by the local Postal Operator (Australia Post) to an in-country hub for transport back to the UK.
  • When returned items arrive in the UK, they are delivered to the designated ‘returns’ address via Royal Mail’s tracked domestic network.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said “Australia is an attractive market for exporters. The country has high internet penetration, widespread use of English as a main language and a high potential for international ecommerce sales. For UK businesses wanting to grow internationally, it's important to understand the distinct shopping habits of consumers in different countries. At Royal Mail, we have experience delivering into 230 countries and territories worldwide. Retailers that tune into the different ways in which consumers shop across the globe, are likely to be more successful on an international scale.”

Source: Royal Mail Group

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