Mar 3, 2021
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UK in top three for cross-border e-shopping popularity

Mar 3, 2021

Britain’s size is immaterial when it comes to e-commerce. The UK is the third most shopped market for international online purchases, only behind China and the US, according to a report.

Photo: Cottonbro/Pexels

Some 20% of non-UK consumers have shopped from UK retail sites in the past year, according to 'The Global Voices 2021: Cross-Border Shopper Insights' survey.

The eShopWorld (ESW) survey of over 22,000 consumers across 11 countries shows the top five global markets for cross-border purchases from the UK were Australia (37%), the US (29%), Germany (26%), France (24%) and Singapore (23%).  

Other markets in the survey made fewer purchases from the UK but include Mexico (6%), Russia (8%), Chile (10%), Turkey (16%) and Canada (17%). However, cross-border penetration in those markets “indicates potential for untapped growth for UK retail businesses”, the report noted.

Tommy Kelly, CEO of ESW, said:  The high percentage of cross-border purchasing from Britain reflects the desirability of British brands and products to global consumers.
“Our survey data shows that that people are increasingly embracing international e-commerce as more retailers and brands eliminate friction by offering convenience within the buying journey, and adding capabilities such as click and collect, return to store and guaranteed delivery date. 
Kelly also noted that its research showed that although shoppers in Russia, Mexico and Turkey made fewer UK cross-border purchases, they’re spending far more on average.

“[This makes] a clear business case for UK retailers and brands to look beyond their traditional markets to tap the potential revenue latent in these emerging markets. 

“To reap the benefits of this demand, retailers need to offer localised shopping experiences where e-commerce customers in these markets feel as if they are receiving the same level of service and convenience they would enjoy if shopping locally.”

China and the US topped the list with 59% of consumers surveyed purchasing from online brands or marketplaces in the former, and 51% from the latter. Overall, over two thirds (68%) of shoppers surveyed made e-commerce purchases outside their home country in 2020.

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