Growing demand for ‘Buy British’ opens up overseas markets to UK retailers through marketplaces

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Selling overseas is one of the key drivers for retailers of any size to use marketplaces – and if research by Whistl is to be believed, now is the time to tap into the growing love of British products abroad to make that happen.

According to its research, 95% of foreign shoppers said that a ‘Made in Britain’ marque on goods would positively influence their decision to buy and that international communities are 68% more likely to make a purchase if the product was made in the UK.

What sells?

When international communities think of the most recognisable British products, four of the five top ones come from Scotland. Aside from tea (obviously), the other four were: whisky, tartan, kilts and haggis. Funnily enough, this doesn’t reflect the actual main exports from Britain, with haggis way behind the likes of machinery, vehicles, pharmaceuticals and much more.

The survey also found that Burberry, Cadbury’s and Rolls Royce were considered the three most ‘British’ brands.

In analysing the most searched for British brands across the UK and a few international markets, fashion dominated the top results. Interestingly Burberry was down in ninth position for UK searches despite being one of the most associated British brands, though in other countries such as the USA, China and France it made the top five.

Fashion is a top commodity for overseas shoppers, with ASOS top in five of the six countries outside of the UK – only topped by Burberry and Britain’s biggest fashion retailer, Next, in China.

Only eight brands make up the top five searches in the six countries studied, with PrettyLittleThing creeping into the USA and Australian top searches – no doubt thanks to the Kardashian clan’s influence.

PrettyLittleThing has also benefited from the rise of fast fashion, an industry that relies on quick and strong delivery processes to keep their customers happy.

Where does it sell?

The research also looked at eight of the most searched for British brands to see in which countries they were most popular. Unsurprisingly, Ireland and France popped up a lot, but who knew Topshop was so popular in Macedonia? Or Burberry had such a Taiwanese following?

As fashion seemed to be one of the main products and cover most of the top brands associated with Britain, we looked at search trends around the most popular fashion weeks.  We found that London Fashion Week has had about 5% more searches than Paris and double that of Milan Fashion Week over the past 15 years.

The research also uncovered a growing number of Brits Abroad who also are pushing up international ecommerce and marketplace sales for retailers. In fact, two-thirds of Brits are happy to spend extra to have their favourite products shipped from home, rather than buying a local alternative.

On average, they’d spend 10% more for such home comforts, with men the more desperate for their home-grown products and willing to spend on average 20% more to get them shipped over than women.

As Brits abroad grow older they seem to adapt more though, as under 35s are willing to spend double the amount of retirees to get their home comforts shipped over. Still, in total one in three Brits living abroad regularly have their loved ones send over home comforts.

However, when compared to Republic of Ireland expats, Brits don’t appear as desperate for home comforts – 92% of Republic of Ireland citizens living abroad said they’d pay over the odds for products from their homeland, compared to 68% of Brits.

So, in conclusion, ‘Made in Britain’ looks to be a badge that really does influence consumers from the UK and the wider world to make a purchase. This can be encouraging for many British businesses looking to expand overseas, knowing that there are plenty of great opportunities out there (and that sticking such a label on their brand and products can help in certain markets).

One key way to make this happen is to use marketplaces in the countries you are looking to target as they help overcome many of the local barriers to market entry such as language, pricing, currency conversion, shipping and returns.

Test Your Knowledge

Think you are a British brand expert? Take Whistl’s quiz and test your knowledge.

4 Responses

  1. Having quite the opposite argument North of the Border here, when we keep seeing the Saltire taken off of Scottish products, to be replaced by a Union flag.
    Scottish Salmon, Scotch Whisky, Tartan, lets brand all these definitively Scottish things as British.
    4/5 of the top things people want from Britain, they don’t want from Britain, they want from Scotland. So lets work our hardest to kill brand Scotland dead, and force associate Whisky with the Welsh & English.
    Not like we’ve seen this before with our sports stars, celebrities, actors, musicians, just usurp and steal all our best stuff, if its good its British and if its crap it’s Scottish.
    why don’t you take the Cornish out of Cornish pasties, and make them British Pasties? Gloucester Cheese, just British Cheese? Yorkshire pudding, now just British puddings? Cos it’s utter Bull crap, that’s why. Stop trying to steal my culture.

  2. The others halfs from Ireland and it is costing me a fortune with Ryan Air having to book a bag on every few weeks to bring over Square Sausage and Haggis for her family who are nuts for it , and bring back Tayto Crisps, Ballymaloe Relish the other way.
    People have pop at the haggis and turn their noses up at it till they try it and then they cannot get enough…

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