New research from PayPal suggests online shoppers are holding back from making international purchases due to the potential cost of return shipping and Irish online businesses are paying the price.

The research conducted by Ipsos MORI shows that online shoppers in some of the world’s top online export markets including the US, China and European neighbours like France and Spain would be more likely to buy from international sites if they had the option of free return shipping.

Over a 12-month period, some 20% of Irish online shoppers who made purchases from sites outside Ireland have purchased an item on an international website that, when it arrived, wasn’t as described.

However, just 9% returned a cross-border purchase for not matching the website’s description. Forty five per cent of Irish online shoppers said they would be more likely to buy from a website in another country if it had the option of refunded returns.

The sample of 29 global markets showed that just over a third (35%) of online shoppers said the cost of return shipping deterred them from making more purchases on international websites.

PayPal has today announced that it is launching a new service that will cover return shipping costs for businesses and their customers. From today, PayPal customers in eligible markets can avail of the Refunded Return Service. Customers who pay with PayPal in Ireland now have the option to claim back the cost of returning unwanted goods worldwide up to the value of €30.

It is hoped the service will provide a boost to Irish online retailers who can now increase their focus on international markets without worrying that customers will be put off by the potential costs of returning goods.

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