UK retailers are missing out on billions in Chinese tourism spend as 80 per cent of non-luxury retailers fail to accept Alipay or WeChat.
Ninety per cent of Chinese city dwellers use either Alipay or WeChat as their main payment method, according to new research from payments specialist JGOO.
Despite this less than a quarter of non-luxury stores in the UK accept these payment methods, meaning they’re counting themselves out of the £1 billion Chinese tourists are set to spend in the UK this year.
According to the study, which sent mystery shoppers to 107 major retailers across London’s key West End shopping district, only luxury stores were meeting their needs.
Fourty one per cent of luxury retailers on Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and New Bond Street, accept both Alipay and WeChat payments, while 21 per cent accept Alipay alone.
A further 56 per cent of luxury stores employed at least one Mandarin speaker, compared to just 29 per cent of stores in the area on average.
Only 13 of the 107 retailers accepted both payment methods and had Mandarin speaking staff, including department stores Harrods and Selfridges.
“The number one pastime of Chinese tourists when visiting the UK is shopping,” JGOO’s co-founder Richard Morecroft said.
“Our research shows that even some of the UK’s leading retailers who are in the prime locations visited by Chinese tourists are not geared up to engage with them properly and could be costing them millions of pounds a year in lost sales.”