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Eighty per cent of UK online shoppers would consider buying cross-border

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Eighty per cent of UK online shoppers would consider buying from a retailer beyond the UK – and 44% have already done so, new research suggests.

Bronto Software says shoppers are motivated to look beyond the UK’s borders as they look for unique products (62%), and to buy at better prices (50%). Almost four in 10 (38%) are shopping at least once a month. It cites a Forrester forecast that cross-border online business to consumer orders will double to reach $424 billion (£324bn) in 2021.

Millennials are amongst the keenest shoppers, with more than half of consumers under 35 buying from retailers outside the UK. Those aged between 16 and 24 are nearly twice as likely (60%) to shop cross-border as consumers aged 45 and over (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.

More than half (56%) have already purchased online from the US and over three quarters (78%) have considered buying from a US-based retailer. But while more than half of UK consumers would shop online with retailers based in France (59%) and Germany (58%), most are yet to complete purchases in either market (15% and 20% respectively).

However, 87% still see challenges in cross-border shopping. Of the 2005 online shoppers it questioned via research company Censuswide, 62% cited shipping costs as a barrier, 37% taxes, and 32% distrust of online payment methods.

Saima Alibhai, practice manager – professional services at Bronto Software , said: “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.”

Click to download Bronto’s report, Where we buy: consumer attitudes on global ecommerce.

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