A new report reveals that 80 percent of British consumers have considered purchasing online from a retailer outside of the UK, while 44 percent have already done so.

Bronto Software in collaboration with Censuswide found that Millennials, in particular, have embraced cross-border online retailing, with over half of consumers under 35-year-olds buying from retailers outside of the UK.

Shoppers aged between 16 and 24 years old are nearly twice as likely to shop cross-border as consumers aged 45 years old and above (34 percent). While 47 percent of UK men have purchased cross-border previously, in comparison to 41 percent of women.

Of the shoppers already buying from abroad, 38 percent are doing so at least once a month.

The main reason to shop outside of the UK was the chance to buy unique merchandise, according to 62 percent, while 50 percent stated better prices, and the US was seen as the most appealing market to shop.

Over half of shoppers (56 percent) have already purchased online from the US and over three-quarters (78 percent) have considered buying from a US-based retailer. While over half of UK consumers would shop online with retailers based in France (59 percent) and Germany (58 percent), the majority of consumers are yet to complete purchases in either market (15 percent and 20 percent respectively).

With cross-border online sales expected to more than double in the next five years to reach 424 billion dollars in 2021 according to research firm Forrester this is a big retail market and UK retailers need to be prepared for the increased competition.

However, despite the rise, the report also reveals that 87 percent of UK consumers still see challenges with online shopping international. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of shoppers say that shipping costs prevent them from purchasing outside of the UK, followed by hidden costs such as taxes (37 percent) and distrust of online payment methods (32 percent).

Bronto Software practice manager – professional services, Saima Alibhai, said: “Brands need to create an attractive proposition to keep shoppers from looking elsewhere. Understanding what consumers want and finding ways to enhance the benefits of shopping in the home market will put UK brands in a stronger position to retain customers.

“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.”


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