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US consumers look to British retailers for the out of the ordinary

From film stars and bands to well-known brands, cracking the US market has historically been a challenge for the UK. Despite the growth of cross-border commerce, global research from Bronto Software, has revealed that whilst 77% of US consumers are open to purchasing outside of the US, only 27% currently purchase from UK-based brands.

The research, which polled 4,005 consumers across UK, US and Australia indicates that for UK-based brands looking to drive revenue growth through cross-border commerce, America provides a host of untapped opportunities, but brands must be willing to understand and offer what consumers want. According to the findings, unique merchandise (55%) at better prices (61%) than the home market are the key drivers that will encourage US consumers to shop outside of their home market.

UK-based retailers must address the obstacles putting US consumers off  

UK retailers should also understand and address the obstacles that prevent customers from making cross-border purchases, in order to compel those in the US market to buy from them. According to the research, 67% of consumers in the US feel that the largest barrier to buying from other countries is shipping costs. Consumers in the UK and Australia also cite this as the main obstacle to cross border shopping, with 62% and 75% stating so respectively. Of all three markets, US-based consumers express higher levels of concern those in UK or Australia on all the issues that would put them off buying from a retailer outside their home market. For 43% of US shoppers, the second biggest barrier to cross border purchasing is concern over lengthy delivery times.

Take note of demographic differences 

The stats also revealed that of those US consumers shopping internationally, over a quarter (27%) are 25 to 34 year olds, which UK-based retailers who are looking to tap into the US markets must be aware of. Across all three countries there are consumers who are not considering cross-border shopping, but this is most significant in the US, with 23% of those questioned sticking to the home brands. It is consumers over 55 who prefer to shop from brands in their home market. In contrast. Only 7% of Australian-based consumers haven’t considered shopping from other markets.

“For many British-based retailers, cracking the American market signifies success, but it has been a challenge, until now,’’ Saima Alibhai, practice manager – professional services, at Bronto Software comments. “Online retail makes it easier to reach consumers globally, but only if retailers understand their concerns and desires. It’s about reducing barriers and creating differentiation. Offering US customers unique, and perhaps even quintessentially British merchandise, at a good price with a superior transaction process positions a company to stand out alongside the growing competition.”

To find out more or download this report, visit here.