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UK online shoppers seek lower prices overseas – but shun Europe for China and US

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Over a third of UK shoppers are looking abroad for their purchases as they seek out the best prices, a survey has found.

According to the research by delivery company Whistl, 34 percent of shoppers regularly secure products from abroad with 15 percent making an online purchase from an overseas retailer once a week or more.

For 25 to 34-year-olds, this figure rose to over half shopping with an overseas retailer at least once a month and 10 percent doing so every day.

Men were more likely than women to shop abroad, with 79 percent making a purchase in the last year as opposed to only 66 percent of women.

The main destinations for consumers outside the UK were China and the US. 58 percent of respondents shopped in the UK, 43 percent in China and 40 percent in the US.

China’s AliExpress and dealextreme and the US’s borderfree, Macy’s and Newegg constituted the top five non-UK online stores on the list.

The most popular European countries to shop in were Germany, named by 11 percent, Italy named by 7 percent and Spain named by 5 percent.

The biggest barriers for overseas retailers looking to attract these shoppers was extended delivery times, cited by 28 percent. Other issues mentioned included a lack of brand recognition, cited by 21 percent, import costs as cited by 20 percent and paying in foreign currency, cited by 11 percent.

Melanie Darvall, Director of Marketing and Communications at Whistl, said: “It’s clear from this research that there is an opportunity for businesses both in the UK and abroad to maximise sales opportunities by offering borderless deliveries. Many are already taking advantage of this however and as online shopping continues to grow even more businesses will be able to tap into this market.

“It’s important that retailers continue to work closely with their consumers to ensure they are meeting their demands when it comes to delivery times and price and doing everything they can to meet the needs of the overseas consumer.”

The research polled 2000 UK shoppers.

Image credit: Fotolia

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