With cross-border online sales expected to more than double in the next five years to reach $424 billion in 2021 according to Forrester, new research from Bronto Software, the commerce marketing automation and a NetSuite company, reveals that 80% of British consumers consider purchasing online from a retailer outside of the UK and 44% have already done so.
The research, undertaken with Censuswide, found that the Millennial generation, in particular, embrace cross-border online retail, with over half of consumers under 35 years buying from retailers outside of the UK. Sixteen-to-twenty-four year olds (60%) are nearly twice as likely to shop cross-border as consumers aged 45 and above (34%). Almost half (47%) of UK men have purchased cross-border previously, in comparison to 41% of women. Of the shoppers already buying from abroad, 38% are doing so at least once a month.
The chance to buy unique merchandise (62%) and/or at better prices (50%) are the main reasons for shopping outside of the UK, with the US market the most appealing. Over half of shoppers (56%) have already purchased online from the US and over three quarters (78%) have considered buying from a US-based retailer. Interestingly, whilst over half of UK consumers would shop online with retailers based in France (59%) and Germany (58%), the majority of consumers are yet to complete purchases in either market (15% and 20% respectively).
Whilst cross-border online sales is increasing globally, the report also reveals that a staggering 87% of UK consumers still see challenges to international purchasing. Almost two thirds (62%) of shoppers say that shipping costs prevent them from purchasing outside of the UK, followed by hidden costs such as taxes (37%) and distrust of online payment methods (32%).
Saima Alibhai, Practice Manager – Professional Services, Bronto Software comments: "With 80% of UK consumers open to cross-border ecommerce, now is the time for British retailers to prepare for the increased competition. 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."