Mar 23, 2022
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UK is the third most shopped market for cross-border consumers - ESW

Mar 23, 2022

The US, China and the UK are the world’s top three markets that global online cross-border shoppers head to, ESW research has shown.

Photo: ESW

It’s the second time they’ve made up the top three, but the US and China swapped places this time with America overtaking China as the most popular digital destination for cross-border purchases in 2021, as the UK held on to its third spot.

Yet while it’s only third, it’s in top place for cross-border ‘Power Shoppers’ from the UAE (30%), China (28%) and India (27%) who make the most purchases there. The UK is also popular with shoppers from South Africa and Australia.

ESW — the global D2C e-commerce specialist — surveyed 14,000+ consumers across 14 countries and found that 21% of non-UK consumers have shopped from UK retail sites in 2021 – an increase of 5% year-on-year (YOY) from 2020.  

By generation, Millennial (24%) and Gen Z (22%) respondents reported making the most cross-border purchases from Britain.

The high percentage of younger demographics and Power Shoppers purchasing from the UK reflects the desirability of British brands with discerning shoppers, according to Martim Avillez Oliveira, Chief Commercial Officer, EMEA at ESW.

“From its cutting-edge trailblazers and digital disruptors to the refined craftsmanship of its heritage tailors and luxury brands, the originality and unique energy of British fashion makes it irresistible to global consumers, and in particular Power Shoppers”, he said.  “This is a crucial audience for British brands to be engaging with globally as our research shows they purchase across all shopping categories at a 50-60% higher rate than other consumers and shop on brand and specific retail sites at over 40% higher rates than average.”

As mentioned, for 2021, those polled reported making more purchases from the US than China year on year, making it the most popular digital destination for cross-border purchases with 53% of consumers surveyed purchasing from online brands or marketplaces in the US versus 39% from sites based in China.

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