UK third most popular market cross-border ecommerce for second year running

The UK is the third most shopped market for international online purchases for a second year, sitting behind only the US and China, and is most popular with the ‘Power Shopper’ markets of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and India, the latest data from ESW, the global DTC ecommerce leader, reveals.

ESW’s ‘Global Voices: 2022’ survey of more than 14,000 consumers across fourteen countries showed 21% of non-UK consumers have shopped from UK retail sites in 2021 – an increase of 5% year-on-year (YOY) from 2020.  By generation, Millennial (24%) and Gen Z (22%) respondents reported making the most cross-border purchases from the UK.

In 2021, those polled reported making more purchases from the United States than China YOY, making it the most popular digital destination for cross-border purchases with 53% of consumers surveyed purchasing from online brands or marketplaces in the US versus 39% from sites based in China.

The top five global markets for cross-border purchases from the UK in 2021 were the UAE (30%), China (28%), South Africa and India (both 27%) and Australia (24%).  Three of these top five markets, the UAE (52%), China (50%) and India (41%), have the highest global number of ‘Power Shoppers’, a cohort of consumers who purchased 11 or more times from another country.

The high percentage of younger demographics and Power Shoppers purchasing from Britain reflects the desirability of British brands with discerning shoppers, commented Martim Avillez Oliveira, Chief Commercial Officer, EMEA at ESW.

“From its cutting-edge trailblazers and digital disruptors to the refined craftsmanship of its heritage tailors and luxury brands, the originality and unique energy of British fashion makes it irresistible to global consumers, and in particular Power Shoppers.  This is a crucial audience for British brands to be engaging with globally as our research shows they purchase across all shopping categories at a 50-60% higher rate than other consumers and shop on brand and specific retail sites at over 40% higher rates than average.”

“To reap the benefits of this demand, Power Shoppers must be given a wholly localised cross-border shopping experience, with appropriate languages, local payment methods, currencies, and items that can’t be found on other sites. To keep these valuable customers coming back, retailers need to provide a positive shopping experience that conveys estimated delivery dates, no surprise charges, easy local returns/return to store, clear refund policies and reviews.”

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