European shoppers still buying British despite Brexit disruption

New research by eShopWorld (ESW) shows that French and German consumers are committed to purchasing from UK brands and retailers, despite Brexit concerns around increased costs and delivery delays.

According to the results, following a survey of 4,000 people in December 2020, more than a third – 36 per cent of French shoppers and 37 per cent of German shoppers, said that Brexit wouldn’t impact their decision to purchase from UK retailers.

This comes as many UK retailers and courier firms are said to be suspending or cutting back deliveries to the EU, as they adjust to new border controls and import taxes.

Nearly half of French (42 per cent) and German (41 per cent) respondents said that if the product they wanted was only available from a UK-based retailer, they’d still make the purchase regardless of any complication.

That’s despite 64 per cent of respondents saying that they believed that Brexit would increase the price of ordering from UK retailers due to additional taxes and customs duties.  Over half (57 per cent) said they are ‘uneasy’ about the length of delivery times. While 59 per cent of French shoppers and 56 per cent of German shoppers expressed concern about returns – namely their ability to return products within a certain time frame.

Tommy Kelly, CEO of ESW, said: “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.”

The UK is the third most popular market for cross-border purchases in Germany (after China and the US) and the fourth most popular in France.  ESW says that more than a quarter (26 per cent) of German shoppers have purchased goods from a UK-based website in the past 12 months compared to 24 per cent of French respondents.

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