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Half of UK online consumers shop cross-border

You would expect online consumers in the United Kingdom could buy anything they want at local online stores, but still 48% of have made an online purchase with a retailer based outside the country. And it’s not only because of availability, the price also plays its part.


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This stems from research done by eDigitalResearch and IMRG. Six out of ten respondents who have shopped cross-border said that they choose for this option because of better prices, whilst another 60% said they made the purchase because they couldn’t buy the product they wanted in the UK.

Popular cross-border products
The most popular products Brits purchase at a retailer based outside the country are clothing, footwear and jewelry, followed by music, books and gifts. But there’s also a demand for bigger items like home and consumer electronics.

The majority of British consumers spend up to 63 euros per transaction with cross-border retailers. Two thirds (64%) of these shoppers who have bought clothing, footwear or jewelry have spent up to this amount, whilst a similar number (68%) have spent a similar amount with cross-border retailers when shopping for gifts.

Reasons not to shop cross-border
Of course there are still plenty of people who don’t shop with international retailers. Main reasons for this are delivery charges and timescales. Of the 2,035 online shoppers surveyed all of them feel that costly delivery chargers could prevent them from ordering online with a non-UK retailer, followed by 85% who could be put off by long delivery time scales and 79% who are worrying about their security.

According to Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, cross-border shopping is not only an opportunity for British retailers to expand their customer base across the globa, but at the same time it’s also a threat as more non-UK retailers are entering the market. ” Our results show that purchasing with international brands is mainly driven by price and product availability, and therefore UK retailers need to ensure that they offer an exceptional customer experience to all customers around the world to encourage individuals to spend their hard earned cash with them”.