In 2020, EU volumes of cross-border buying from Britain exceeded non-EU countries for the first time
Outbound UK e-commerce sales have increased 57% year-on-year, according to new data revealed by Global-e.
The insights, based on data from a sample of more than 270 UK retailers and brands trading abroad, found from April 2020 there was a consistent growth in international sales, with a significant spike from early September up to the festive trading period, with a steady reduction in sales in the run up to Christmas.
Most poignantly, EU volumes of international buying exceeded those outside the EU for the first time, reaching a far more significant peak in the pre-holiday trading period.
These results suggest that during the run up to Brexit, EU customers were quick to stockpile their favourite British brands while a trade deal was yet to be agreed.
However, the outlook is also a positive one for British brands that are continuing to trade with Europe.
“The continued increase that we see in cross-border e-commerce indicates an acceleration in the shift to online retail and emphasises the vital importance of international trading for UK retailers and brands,” said Neil Kuschel, Global-e’s European CEO.
“International e-commerce is critical to balance the retreat in bricks-and-mortar retail and the growing online competition in the domestic market.
“The well-established and growing demand from non-EU shoppers highlights the huge potential for UK retailers and brands in ROW [rest of the world] markets.”
He continued: “Importantly, the increased demand from the EU, which even overtook non-EU demand for the first time in a while, highlights a strong and growing appetite for UK brands.
“Although Brexit has brought some complexity for UK e-commerce retailers selling in the EU, they should not cease trading in the EU as it is a vital channel of growth.
“In order to reap the benefits of the growing cross-border opportunity UK brands and retailers selling online must now treat EU markets in the same way they would any other international market.”