New research from eCommerce platform firm Bronto Software conducted by Censuswide found that nearly half (44 percent) of shoppers in the U.K. have made purchases online from merchants in another country.
The study points to a growing trend and interest among U.K. consumers to expand their shopping journeys across borders.
Approximately 36 percent of consumers surveyed said they are open to the idea of participating in cross-border commerce, with just 20 percent admitting that they would not buy products from overseas.
“If you’re a merchant based outside the U.K., you might see these shoppers as an attractive opportunity for expansion of your brand and sales,” the report noted. “As a British retailer, however, you need to acknowledge that you are now competing on a global, rather than national, stage. In either case, understanding these consumers and the drivers behind their shopping behavior is critical to your success.”
According to Bronto’s data, merchants have either an 80 percent opportunity or threat when it comes to cross-border commerce, but it depends on their geographical location.
For U.K. consumers, the U.S. remains the top shopping destination for cross-border transactions at 56 percent. But the country was closely followed by China (44 percent), Germany (20 percent), France (15 percent) and Japan (14 percent).
The majority of consumers in the U.K. that have participated in online cross-border shopping typically do it every three months (42 percent), while others tend to partake in overseas eCommerce once a week (20 percent) or every two to three months (20 percent).
One of the findings from the survey that was not surprising was that 60 percent of the consumers in the U.K. who have made cross-border purchases fall between the ages of 16 and 24 years old. But just 34 percent of those shoppers were aged 45 and older.
A recent U.K. Delivery Index from IMRG MetaPack also supported the surge in the number of orders placed online with U.K. retailers from overseas consumers.
Of the 98 million orders shipped during July from merchants in the U.K., the index revealed that 26.7 percent, or 26 million, went to international destinations. The figures represent the highest percentage recorded since IMRG began the index back in 2011.
“Understanding what consumers want and finding ways to enhance the benefits of shopping in the home market will put U.K. brands in a stronger position to retain customers,” Saima Alibhai, practice manager of professional services with Bronto Software, told BizReport.
“Whether this is through offering ‘click and collect’ and ‘buy online, return in-store’ options for increased convenience or being transparent about all aspects of the transaction, such as delivery costs and data security, early in the purchase process, retailers that are adapting to the changing retail landscape will be rewarded with loyal customers.”