US shoppers buy from UK sites because they trust them - Royal Mail

A large portion of US shoppers buy online from UK retailers because they want products that are exclusive to the UK, expect to receive genuine goods and like British brands, according to a new study commissioned by Royal Mail.


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14% of American online shoppers purchased from a UK site in the last three months, with clothing and books being the most popular orders. As the average American shopper spends $86 (£66) per month shopping on UK websites and $103 (£79) in total, this represents a valuable opportunity for UK brands.

Furthermore, US shoppers tend to discover UK websites by word of mouth and purchases are more likely to be unplanned than specifically chosen beforehand.

So which factors are contributing to the success of UK e-tailers overseas?  According to the survey, 43% of US shoppers think products on UK sites are better quality and 90% trust the items will not be fake. Meanwhile, 74% buy from UK sites when products are not available locally and 71% like to purchase British brands.

American consumers also appreciate the ability to return items for free, track items in full and having a clear returns policy, as well as the option to pay in local currency.

Notably, the average US online shopper is female, in her fifties and living in a suburban setting. In the US, shoppers spend $103 (£79) per month online and are more likely to use their smartphone to visit shopping sites than UK consumers. 80% use a laptop or desktop to make online purchases and 24% use a tablet.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said: “It’s important for retailers to understand the distinct shopping habits of consumers in different countries. Shoppers in the US are regularly purchasing goods online and increasingly using their smartphone to do so.”

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