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UK: EU eFashion Capital?

More countries turning to the UK to meet online retail needs

Paris is unofficially known as the fashion capital of the world. In which case, it may be surprising to learn that the French are increasingly looking to UK retailers to satisfy their online shopping fix.

What’s more, the well regarded IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index reported not only a general increase in online deliveries but a fast growing trend of the UK’s online shoppers being international. The Index forecasts that the number of overseas deliveries dispatched from the UK could double within three years. If these current trends we’re seeing continue, the anticipated 161 million orders posted cross-border this year may rise to 384 million in 2017.

But what are the details of this trend?

Unique data from MetaPack shows that shoppers from around the world, including Germany, the US, Australia and Russia, are all jumping on the UK online retail bandwagon. French women in particular are snapping up UK fashion, with data showing that one of the top purchases in France from UK online retailers is womenswear. In the last 12 months, over 300,000 womenswear items shipped to France from the UK – is this evidence of the UK stealing France’s fashion crown?

In contrast, some country stereotypes do seem to be true. We all recognise the image of the sporty Australian surfer-type and data supports this, showing that one of the top shipments to Australia from the UK is sporting goods. Other standout findings include US shoppers’ penchant for gold and silver rings and in Russia, kidswear dominates purchases from UK online retailers.

So what does this mean for overseas online retailers? What is it that they’re not doing quite right to meet their consumers’ needs?

Angela O’Connell, Marketing and Strategy Director, MetaPack comments: “It’s great to see that UK ecommerce is booming. In fact, our unique data is showing that online retail is continuing to grow, which bodes well for the health of the national economy overall. In the UK we’ve also seen an uplift in the quality of service experienced by consumers, with the best ‘on time’ delivery or attempted delivery performance of the year so far. This could be an indicator that other countries, like France and Germany, need to work on improving their quality of service in order to entice lost customers to return.”