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15% of UK shoppers buy cross-border every week

Consumers the United Kingdom are increasingly turning to foreign retailers when they are shopping online. Currently, over a third of UK shoppers are buying cross-border regularly, with 15 percent making an online purchase overseas at least once a week.

This is shown by a survey, conducted by Whistl among 2,000 Brits. It’s mostly the price that drives UK shoppers to order their products at foreign online stores; 55 percent of Brits say this is the most important factor when shopping online.

Of course, there are also downsides to ordering from abroad. Extended delivery times (28 percent), lack of brand recognition (21 percent), import costs (20 percent) and paying in foreign currency (11 percent) are the most-called factors that dissuade British consumers from shopping abroad.

Not shopping cross-border

79% of men shopped abroad last year

“We found that men are most likely to buy from a retailer abroad. A huge 79% of the men we asked said they’d purchased something from a different country in the last year, compared with 66 percent of women, and over a third buy products from abroad at least once a month”, Whistl explains.

It’s mostly younger people who don’t stay close to the national ecommerce market, as over half of 25-34 year olds shop with an foreign retailer at least once a month. One in ten do this every day. The top five of international ecommerce websites for British consumers are Aliexpress, Dealextreme, Borderfree, Macy’s and Newegg. So it’s clear that China and the US have the monopoly on UK cross-border shoppers.

1 in 5 UK ecommerce websites miss out on global sales

The study also shows that 81 percent of British online business offer overseas delivery options: 37 percent offer European delivery options and 44 percent offer worldwide delivery. This also means that 19 percent of British online businesses are missing out on global sales opportunities, because they limit themselves to UK-only delivery.

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