Author: Rebecca McDonald, eCommerce Worldwide
With IMRG reporting that 27% of orders placed in June and July on UK eRetail sites were from international consumers, post-Brexit Britain is an increasingly alluring destination for international shoppers. Now is a key time for British retailers to attract foreign shoppers looking to make the most of the falling sterling1
Anthony Thompson, who runs UK clothing retailer FatFace, predicts that Brexit will change the sourcing model for fashion retailers, commenting that market the had become even more 'volatile' and 'discount' driven since Brexit2
On the flipside, what number of Brits are seeking goods from elsewhere and what can foreign retailers to do entice British shoppers to order from them, particularly with a weak pound to contend with? Is the UK still an attractive market for foreign retailers, despite the rise and rise of Amazon and a weakend pound?
Well, the significant size of the prize is still something to consider. eMarketer are still predicting that Britain will remain the largest eCommerce market in Western Europe until 2020.3
Additionally, the ONS Retail Sales report for July, found that both online and offline spend rose within the UK to £29.6bn over the 4 week period - with shoppers spending 16.7% more online, compared to July 20154. It seems that consumers are undeterred by post-Brexit uncertainty with August’s figures also showing ‘amount spent online increased by 18.5% compared with August 2015 and increased by 0.4% compared with July 2016.’
So, how does this relate to outbound cross-border purchases from the UK? Recent research from Bronto Software found that 44% of UK shoppers have made a cross-border purchase and 80% would consider it. Shoppers would be motivated to order from abroad by unique products (62%) and better prices (50%). Unsurprisingly, millennials make up the largest demographic of British cross-border shoppers, with almost half of consumers under 35 ordering internationally.5
Whilst we can’t entirely predict the rate at which currency will fluctuate, or which post-Brexit route the government will take, British consumers’ open-minded attitudes to shopping internationally and the size of the eCommerce market still make it a lucrative opportunity for online sellers. Read our UK passport for more insight into UK consumer behaviour.
1 - eCommerce Worldwide - Article on Post-Brexit Volume Orders
2 - Retail Week - Fat Face Retail Article
3 - eMarketer - Mobile in Germany's eCommerce Market
4 - Retail Gazette - Retail Sales Figures Post-Brexit
5 - Internet Retailing - Cross-Border Sales with UK Shoppers