Nov 20, 2017
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Brexit won't stop foreign consumers buying British, but prices are key

Nov 20, 2017

Cross-border shoppers should continue to buy from UK websites post-Brexit a new report shows, despite concerns that potential tariff barriers could deter them. But they’ll only carry on buying if prices don’t rise and are more likely to expect delivery flexibility in the future.

UK goods should keep their appeal post-Brexit but vendors need to keep prices under control and delivery flexible

MetaPack’s annual State of eCommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report shows 58% of EU consumers saying Brexit won’t affect their shopping behaviour. While that suggests that the other 42% will alter their shopper habits, 58% is actually seen as a good number. 

The businesses of specialist fashion e-tailers like Asos and Booho, of omnichannel chains like Ted Baker and of department stores like Selfridges are increasingly focused on cross-border shopping and there has been some nervousness in the UK fashion sector about global growth prospects once Britain leaves the EU.

But while as many as 58% of EU shoppers are planning to continue buying from Britain, the French (67%), Dutch (65%) and Italians (62%) are even more enthusiastic compared to Germans (54%) and the Spanish (48%). Interestingly, 27% of US consumers said they would increase their UK spend.

However, Metapack also found that UK stores will have to invest in pricing to boost sales post-Brexit because 77% of foreign shoppers said higher prices would make them think twice. UK sites have benefited form a price advantage since the EU vote as the exchange rate has made gods cheaper. However, higher input costs have meant some have had to raise prices.

They will also have to be flexible on the delivery front and prepared to absorb costs, with 63% of cross-border shoppers unwilling to pay more for delivery.

And in order to capture those US shoppers planning to spend more, flexibility and adapting to local habits is key. Some 75% of US shoppers prioritise buying from retailers that offer a delivery loyalty programme – compared to only 44% in the UK, while 63% of US shoppers want to be able to choose which carrier delivers their e-orders, compared to just 25% of UK shoppers.

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