Keeping up with online shopper insight is key

Research shows that almost half (48 per cent) of UK online shoppers have made a purchase with a retailer based outside the UK, according to eDigitalResearch and the UK’s industry association for online retail, IMRG.

Mindi Chahal

By analysing consumer behaviour, UK brands could be able to see the appeal of international retailers and amend strategies accordingly so keeping up-to-date on spending habits is vital.  

The study of 2,000 consumers shows that 60 per cent choose to purchase with a retailer outside the UK because prices are better, while 60 per cent suggest it’s because they can’t get the products they want here in the UK and 18 per cent state their purchase decision is driven by better product selection.

IMRG’s chief information officer Tina Spooner highlights the opportunity for UK retailers in overseas shoppers who cite a lack of availability as a key reason for shopping internationally.

Looking at how this can affect each sector the research also reveals that clothing, footwear and jewellery are the most popular items for Brits to purchase from a retailer abroad, followed by music, books and gifts.

Two thirds (64 per cent) of the consumers who purchase clothing, footwear or jewellery spend up to £50, while 68 per cent spend a similar amount with retailers outside the UK when purchasing gifts.

One advantage that UK online retailers can capitalise on is the barriers to shopping internationally online, including delivery and timescales.

All consumers surveyed feel that costly delivery charges could prevent them from making a purchase with a non-UK retailer and 85 per cent could be put off by long delivery times.

What these insights show is that it’s vital to understand how consumers use and shop for products online but they also need to take note of shoppers’ behaviour elsewhere.

Brands need to use research to analyse what customers are doing, and why, to ensure a place and share of the market.

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