Cross-border buying habits

Cross-border buying habits

When was the last time you ordered from another country, and how did you feel about the experience? Often, customers are more likely to buy from their trusted selection of UK retailers, and need to be convinced to buy elsewhere. We asked 1,000 shoppers about their habits when buying from different countries outside of the UK. We found out about how frequently people do it, and where they order from when they do.

In our first question, we asked if anyone in the respondents’ household has ever bought goods from a non UK website. The majority of people answered ‘yes’, but not by a large margin. Around 50-70% of people have historically said that they have, which suggests that it may not be as popular as we might assumed, given the context that the time frame is ‘ever’—not ‘recently’, or ‘within the past year’. In order to encourage more cross-border buying, retailers could consider using high quality ecommerce shipping solutions to help encourage order fulfilment. Happy customers means they’re more likely to consider the benefits that ordering from abroad can offer—like a wider range of stock, better prices, or the option to buy items which have sold out in the UK.


Have you or anyone in your household ever bought goods from a ‘non UK’ website?


We then probed further into our shoppers’ buying habits, as we asked how often they might order from a non-UK retailer. The most popular answer is ‘1-2 times a year’, which means it’s not very often. Few people actually order from abroad ‘at least once a month’. This suggests that customers might only branch out to order outside of the UK, when there’s a specific reason that means they need to, as opposed to making it a regular occurrence.


How frequently do you and those in your household buy from a non UK website?


When it comes down to whereabouts they’re ordering from, when they do buy from abroad, the USA used to be the most popular answer. However, from 2017 to 2018, it was Europe, before being overtaken by Asia. In 2021, Europe has jumped back to being the most popular continent, although still closely followed by the USA and Asia. Australia and ‘other’ regions have always been rarely used. The benefits of Europe, Asia and the USA include their enormous trade and exports.


When ordering from a non UK website in the past, what continent were the retailers based?


What have we found from these three graphs? We know that customers are reluctant to shop from non-UK retailers, and don’t do it very often. When they do, they tend to buy from countries offering trade and stock benefits, with advanced industries. In order to stay ahead of cross-border competitors, it’s essential to provide premium parcel delivery management, and adding more carrier choices means more ways to give customers what they want without having to worry about issues when shopping online across borders.New call-to-action

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