UK shoppers in 2022 are keener than ever to purchase products from overseas. The variety that online stores and marketplaces offer has supplied consumers with a taste for the range and quality of goods found internationally. As more businesses facilitate international payments and cross-border shipping options, UK shoppers are becoming increasingly comfortable buying from brands further afield, with over two-thirds of UK consumers purchasing internationally. It seems that now could be an exciting time to extend your business’s ecommerce reach and sell into the UK, here’s a few reasons why:
1 – UK consumers are big fans of global ecommerce
Fast becoming known for our prevailing ecommerce market, despite the pandemic’s effects, UK shoppers have not ceased buying online, with 87% of households making ecommerce purchases in 2020. Data from 2021 also shows that particularly in January, online shopping accounted for 35.2% of all UK retail sales.
2 – The ecommerce market is set to grow in the UK
Ecommerce in the UK is set to increase at an annual rate of 12.98% between 2021 and 2025. Those reporting on these growth statistics believe the UK’s ecommerce industry will only strengthen in the coming years, reaching a projected £113 billion in market value with average revenue per user reaching £1,372 by 2025.
3 – UK B2B ecommerce has been on the rise
The COVID-19 pandemic has had some negative effects for all businesses globally, but in the UK, B2B purchasing has risen. As 46% of these transactions occur online, this has created an increase of 24%. However, there is room for improvement in this sector as 43% of B2B shoppers say that processes are complicated and could be made easier.
4 – Shoppers in the UK love scrolling on shopping apps
Statistics show that in the UK the daily average screen time is 3 hours and 23 minutes, just shy of the U.S. average. Collectively, UK consumers spend 82 billion hours (about 9,400,000 years) on shopping apps which is contributed to by the increasing amount of business being present on apps like Instagram and TikTok. This figure is also 30% higher than the previous year!
5 – UK consumers are increasingly purchasing through their mobiles
Brits have been increasingly buying through their phones in recent years, but in 2021 mobile ecommerce statistics have shown that over a third of all online shopping was completed on a mobile device.
Consumers shopping on their phones has been pivotal to international businesses gaining footing with the UK ecommerce market. Additionally, the predicted value of UK mobile transactions is set to reach £100 billion by 2025, that figure displaying consumers’ desire to access brands further afield with a wider range of products and offerings.
6 – Amazon is a fan favourite in the UK
Amazon is the UK’s largest online marketplace, with approximately 90% of all UK shoppers using Amazon monthly. Common goods bought from Amazon are digital books, video games and surprisingly, DVDs. If you’re an international business looking to sell to UK customers, Amazon may be just the ticket to access this lucrative market.
7 – UK shoppers are regularly buying from international brands
Research into online consumer habits showed that 55% of UK shoppers are open to purchasing goods from overseas. This report stated that the uniqueness of the product and online promotions mitigated the adverse elements that could result from buying internationally. With an increasing number of ecommerce businesses offering international shipping services, UK consumers are more comfortable buying from brands cross-border.
8 – UK customer conversion rates remain high
The UK has an average conversion rate of 1.88%, sitting just behind the U.S at 1.96% and Germany at 2.22%. This is high when viewed in a global context, surpassing most of the other European markets. This bodes well for international businesses looking to penetrate the UK ecommerce market as shoppers are most certainly looking to buy!
9 – Popular goods purchased online by UK consumers are varied
Statistics from December 2021 in the UK show that fashion and toys/hobbies/DIY were the two favourite categories to purchase from with a collective total of 61 million buyers. Evidently, lockdowns and working from home not only sparked UK consumers to get crafting, but also spurred many to buy good online rather than hit the shops on foot.
10 – Shoppers in the UK value customer experience
As consumers become increasingly connected via the ecommerce market, opinions on brands can spread very quickly. For any business looking to set up or sell to UK customers, acquiring positive reviews should be made a priority and is crucial to success. This encapsulates processes that may affect them like Customs duties and VAT.
When sending goods cross-border to UK customers you may trigger a VAT obligation that will require you to be registered where your customer is based. But don’t let this deter you – the UK is a boom economy for your business to thrive within and with our team of VAT experts by your side, we can take on the task of VAT compliance so you can focus on breaking the UK ecommerce market, hassle-free.
At SimplyVAT.com our international experts are always happy to help you navigate international VAT and are always at hand to answer your questions. If you’re unsure of your international VAT obligations, or would like to get VAT registered, fill out the form below and a member of the team will be in touch.
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