UK shoppers increasingly buying from US

According to a survey from parcel locker company GoSend, UK shoppers are increasingly buying their goods direct from US e-commerce outlets.

According to a press release from the company, “Brits are shunning UK retailers and choosing to spend their well earned cash on bargains achieved by looking further afield, with US retailers cashing in on a fifth of all purchases made from Britain, international shipping and shopping service.”

E-commerce is increasingly becoming a borderless economy with only customs tariffs and the cost of delivery being an issue in online shopping. GoSend aims to tackle this issue by locating its lockers in states with low VAT, where the customer can have their goods sent before all their parcels can be sent to the UK in one box at a negotiated rate with a carrier.

The chief hurdles identified by GoSend in its research were, “the top bugbear being the total price was too expensive (51%) and if delivery was going to take too long (19%).”

The main items shopped for online were women’s clothes (36%), unique gifts (26%), men’s clothes (25% and American food (16%. The research suggested that 63% of UK shoppers have made purchases from the US at some point, which signals another aspect of the so-called Special Relationship with with the US. It is known that more commercial flights go between the UK and the US than the rest of the EU combined, and the increased e-commerce between the two countries factors into this.

One of the issues that US e-tailers need to tackle is the costs of delivery and the time for goods to be delivered. The survey showed that these are major factors in non-completed sales, as people realise that the price isn’t as great as they initially figured. E-commerce goes both ways and US shoppers also buy from the UK as well, with it being a relatively close country that speaks the same language. Such lessons that US e-tailers can learn can also be learned by their UK rivals.