This month’s Golden Week (1-7 October 2013) saw a 20% increase in card transactions by Chinese shoppers in the UK, according to data from WorldPay, the UK market leader in payment processing.
“We processed a record 70,000 transactions from Chinese cardholders shopping in UK shops during the period compared to 58,000 in the corresponding week in 2012” said Geoff Barraclough, Head of Corporate Propositions at WorldPay. “This builds on a trend that has seen Chinese visitors to the UK rising eight-fold in the last ten years, spending up to four times as much as local customers”.
WorldPay is championing the need to make the UK a more attractive and rewarding destination for Chinese visitors having joined the UK China Visa Alliance – a lobby group dedicated to making it easier for tourists and business people to visit the UK – this week.
Geoff Barraclough, continued, “The fact that payment transactions have increased significantly in 2013 just goes to show how attractive UK retailers are to global shoppers and how important it is to encourage international visitors, especially the Chinese. One positive initiative is the creation of the UK China Visa Alliance, looking at practical ways to increase Chinese visitor numbers to the UK, which we’re proud to now be a part of.”
This dramatic increase in transactions is another demonstration of the importance of overseas shoppers to Britain and WorldPay argues UK retailers have a unique opportunity to profit from this trend so long as they focus on improving the purchasing experience for international customers.
To help, WorldPay has published a new guide – The rules of attraction: How retailers can win more revenue from overseas consumers – which outlines best practices from WorldPay’s retail customers.
Barraclough continued, “The UK is a brand bazaar for global consumers and British product and brands are very popular. Critical to success for retailers is how they manage this valuable source of revenue for both themselves and their customers.”
The Guide, which can be accessed at www.moneytalksnews.co.uk provides insight into the global consumer, advice on managing tax free shopping, introduces myCurrency (WorldPay’s DCC solution), and details staff training and integrated payment options across multiple devices in store.
"We primarily see myCurrency as a way of improving the experience of our customers rather than a source of income. The simple IT implementation and staff training, combined with the customer service benefits makes myCurrency a compelling service for us." An Arcadia spokesperson said.
Facts and Figures
- 30% of Burberry's London store sales are to overseas visitors
- Global shoppers spend around four times more than locals at high street retailers (Global Blue based on transactions since 1980)
- Demand is strong: Retail prices of many luxury goods are 30% higher in China than in Europe (China Daily)
- Global growth of Tax-Free amount spent in 2012
- Increase over 20% Japan Russia USA (Global Blue transactional data)
- Increase over 30% Malaysia Singapore Thailand (Global Blue transactional data)
- Increase over 50% China (Global Blue transactional data)
- The Chinese account for almost 20% of non-EU international spending in the UK, and the average trip lasts about 13 nights. (VisitBritain)
- Every year 150,000 Chinese tourists come to the UK – and at Harrods they now spend five times more than Americans. (The Telegraph)
WorldPay is a leading global provider of payment and risk services, giving businesses the ability to accept credit and debit card payments face to face, by phone or online – regardless of size.
WorldPay handles nearly half of all card transactions in the UK, processing over 8.4 billion transactions every year. Unifying seven leading retail payment solutions, it offers services across the entire payment value chain, including acquiring, gateway, alternative payments, risk management, and mobile payments. Our online payment gateways cater for over 200 payment methods in 115 currencies.
 Golden Week is a national seven day holiday in China implemented in 2000, which follows the National Day of holiday on 1 October.
 WorldPay transactional data, October 2013
 Global Blue transactions since 1980