• 44% of British online businesses offer worldwide delivery options
  • Price is the most important factor for Brits when shopping online followed by free delivery
  • 1 in 5 British e-commerce sites are missing out on global sales

British consumers are increasingly turning to overseas retailers for their fashion fix according to research by delivery management company Whistl.

Over a third (34%) of savvy shoppers are regularly shunning UK retailers in order to secure their purchase from abroad with 15% making an online purchase from an overseas retailer at least once a week.

The driving force behind Brits global spending is price with 55% stating it is the most important factor when shopping online. However, there are still issues that dissuade Brits from purchasing from overseas retailers. Extended delivery times (28%), lack of brand recognition (21%), import costs (20%) and paying in foreign currency (11%) are all a factor.

Men are more likely to shop with an overseas retailer, with 79% having made a purchase in the last year as opposed to only 66% of women. For men, purchasing from an overseas retailer is the gateway to securing a product earlier than the UK release as they are more than twice as likely to shop with an overseas retailer for this reason. In contrast however, almost a third of women (31%) are dissuaded from purchasing from overseas retailers due to extended delivery times.

The biggest market for overseas retailers in the UK is the 25-34 age bracket, with over half shopping with an overseas retailer at least once a month and one in 10 doing so every day.

America and China have the monopoly on UK shoppers with the top five international sites for British consumers being: China-based AliExpress and dealextreme and USA-based borderfree, Macy’s and Newegg.

British women are more likely to shop from China than any other overseas country, with 47% reporting they have purchased an item from the country in the last 12 months. British men are more likely to shop from American retailers than any other overseas country, with 47% reporting they have purchased an item from the country in the last 12 months.

UK businesses are also cashing in on international opportunities. 81% of British online business owners are offering overseas delivery options. 37% currently offer European delivery options and 44% worldwide delivery options. Many businesses are missing out on global sales opportunities however with almost 20% of British online businesses limiting themselves to UK only delivery.

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.”

 

Full findings, graphics and methodology can be found here: https://www.whistl.co.uk/news/buying-and-selling-internationally/