European shoppers still buying British despite Brexit disruption

  • Consumer research from eShopWorld shows European shoppers will continue to make x-border purchases from UK, despite initial Brexit challenges
  • More than a third of French (37%) and German (36%) shoppers say Brexit will have no impact on decision to purchase from UK retailers

Despite concerns around increased costs and delivery delays as new processes around the movement of goods bed in post-Brexit, European shoppers remain committed to purchasing from UK brands and retailers, original research from the leading cross-border ecommerce technology and services provider, eShopWorld (ESW), has revealed.

Exclusive research of more than 4,000 German and French shoppers1, commissioned by ESW, reveals that while some UK retailers and courier firms are suspending or cutting back deliveries to the EU, as companies adjust to new border controls and import taxes, nearly half of French (42%) and German (41%) respondents say if the product they want is only available from a UK based retailer, they will still purchase regardless of any complication.  Additionally, more than a third (36% of French shoppers and 37% of German respondents) say if they’re already a regular shopper with a UK brand, they will put up with any disruption caused.

Tommy Kelly, CEO of ESW commented: “Six weeks on from the Free Trade Agreement, it’s no surprise that Brexit has introduced some initial complexity into the purchasing journey, from both the point of view of retailers and consumers, as these new processes bed in.  But despite these short-lived hurdles, our research clearly shows ongoing positive purchasing intent from European shoppers, who are prepared to overlook this initial disruption.  This is both an optimistic indicator for the future and a positive reinforcement of the desirability of British brands and products to European consumers.”

“In order to continue capitalising on this established customer loyalty the onus is on UK brands and retailers to work with a partner like ESW that has the necessary expertise and technology needed to solve the challenges of Brexit, guide them through the new reality of selling into the EU, and help remove purchasing friction so they can continue to provide European shoppers with a customer experience that is as seamless and simple as possible at every touch point from pricing and duty and tax calculation, checkout through to delivery and returns.”

ESW research shows that more than a quarter (26%) of German shoppers have purchased goods from a UK based website in past 12 months (with the UK being the 3rd most popular market for cross-border purchases after China, 48%, and the US, 37%) alongside 24% of French respondents (where the UK is the 4th most popular market for international purchases after China, 59%, and the US, 30%, and Germany, 24%).

64% of respondents surveyed believe Brexit will increase the price of ordering from UK retailers due to additional taxes and customs duties with 57% of shoppers are uneasy about the length of time it will take for items to be delivered. 59% of French participants and 56% of Germans respondents expressing concern about their ability to return products within the necessary timeframe because of delays in delivery and return.

1 Research conducted for ESW in December 2020 by Savanta. 22,346 adults were surveyed across eleven markets including the UK, US, France, Germany, Turkey, Mexico, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Russia, and Australia

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