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Growth beyond UK signals new opportunities

By Sasha Fedorenko August 29, 2019 - 11:54 am

New international research by Rakuten Marketing finds 58% of global consumers would purchase more international products online if they were made aware of the brands, highlighting the increasing growth opportunities beyond the UK.

The new research looks into the rise of the international shopper, surveying over 3,570 consumers across seven countries including the UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore and the USA.

According to the findings, interest in purchasing internationally is highest amongst coupon users (68%) and 18-34-year-old shoppers (67%) worldwide, as well as those from APAC (65%).

Breaking free of British borders

In Singapore, 99% of consumers have purchased from another country already with 61% of shoppers looking to buy more online next year. By comparison, only 43% of UK shoppers are looking to increase online purchases next year.

To make the most of this international purchasing opportunity, particularly from APAC, brands must overcome key barriers. For example, despite the arrival of freight forwarding, 67% of APAC consumers still perceive shipping costs and wait times to be the largest barrier to purchasing a product internationally.

Moreover, roughly a quarter of both coupon users and the 18-34 demographic report cost as the greatest barrier to their international purchase journey.

“Consumer expectations are radically different across the world. The truth is you can almost guarantee the messages you’ve developed domestically won’t work further afield. When it comes to winning favour, it’s crucial to lean on in-market expertise. It’s about being able to test and optimise across a variety of publishers to find what resonates.”
– Anthony Capano, managing director, International, Rakuten Marketing.

Tactics to winning the loyalty

Given the diversity of consumer expectations, it’s vital marketing efforts are responsive. For instance, enabling consumers in APAC with bespoke discounts can help purchase decisions. 57% of APAC consumers require at least a 25-49% discount from the full price of an item of apparel when considering a purchase. Just over a third are waiting for a discount between 50-74%.

Aligning marketing with the individual consumer need is even more important given 63% of global consumers surveyed state they typically only consider 1-2 brands when purchasing something online. Two-thirds of consumers stress the importance of breadth of selection and simplicity of the shopping experience, with Millennials, in particular, having high expectations.

Simply being online is not sufficient – to succeed, brands have excelled at delivering the expected breadth and removing the largest barriers. It can feel quite alien to suddenly lead your campaigns with an entirely different message for a new market, but it’s important to realise this is the first step in proving to global consumers that you understand their needs and deserve their loyalty.

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