How do shoppers’ preferences differ across global markets?

No primary category set

The onus is on sellers to persuade shoppers to purchase. Cross-border merchants will often find that shoppers’ preferences influenced by culture, local trends and solutions differ from domestic buying expectations. This raises a question. How can cross-border sellers deliver a personalised approach for overseas shoppers without sacrificing their business model aimed at home consumers?

The UK – Focused shoppers


Some79% of UK online consumers say that most or all of their online purchases are pre-planned, says a new report ‘Reimagining Commerce: Principles of Standout Digital Shopping Experiences’ by Episerver.

The report surveyed 4,028 global online consumers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway to understand the developing preference of shoppers across different markets.

This means sellers can make an impact with content strategies that direct shoppers toward the information and products they are looking for. Some 49% of UK online consumers have given up on an online purchase because they had too many choices, which again implies an openness to support and guidance.

Price comparison

Price is a top concern for UK shoppers. Although this can pose a challenge when companies like Amazon offer low prices, brands and retailers must embrace the idea that price comparison is the new norm. Some 81% of UK online shoppers always compare what they find on a shopping website to Amazon, demonstrating an interest in knowing they are getting the best deals.

The US – Marketplace shoppers

Amazon-like experiences

Some 44% of US online shoppers who already have a product in mind for purchase start their journey with Amazon. US online shoppers report high expectations for hallmarks of the Amazon experience, such as free shipping (75% and two-day shipping (44%).

As a component of convenient digital commerce experiences, US online shoppers want to quickly find the best deal. This is the main reason why they start their product searches on Amazon — 41% of US online shoppers say that when shopping via Amazon, they most enjoy the marketplace’s price options.


High-profile breaches like Cambridge Analytica have created even more anxiety around US consumers’ privacy. US online shoppers still crave personalised experiences, and 33% say it is more important for brands and retailers to provide personalised experiences in 2019 than in 2018. Interest in individualisation is outpaced by privacy concerns though. Half of US online shoppers (50%) believe it is more important for merchants to respect their anonymity this year compared to last year.

Australia – Discerning shoppers


Australian online shoppers prefer companies that streamline their commerce experiences and are receptive to their country’s uniqueness. Some 73% of Australian online consumers expect free shipping, and 70% expect shipping tracking. Over half of Australian online consumers (55%) also expect information about returns.

Seamless transactions

Efficiency does not mean Amazon to Australian consumers, as it does in many other countries. Just 10% of Australian online shoppers always compare what they find on shopping websites to Amazon. Likewise, when Australian online shoppers have a purchase in mind, 41% initiate their shopping journey on Google, while just 5% begin with Amazon.

Germany – Traditional shoppers

Traditional interactions

Traditional channels such as email perform well with German consumers, while newer outreach strategies have yet to find a permanent home. For example, 94% of German online shoppers can be reached via email, whereas 15% of online consumers in Germany do not use social media.

Privacy and security

Some 38% of German online consumers say it is a greater priority for sellers to respect their anonymity online this year than last year, likely because of the already high privacy standards in this country. In terms of seeking out more information, a third of German online shoppers (31%) say they enjoy sellers storefronts most for their product information.

Benelux – On-the-rise shoppers

Consistent commerce options

Some 57% of Benelux online consumers shop online at least once a month, and 21% at least once per week. As online shopping increases in this market, 71% of Benelux online shoppers report they are satisfied with the current number of online sellers they have to choose from.

Follow-the-leader mentality

An increase in shopping innovations in neighbouring countries is rubbing off on Benelux shoppers. Some areas to watch include conveniences in delivery and fulfilment, as well as new devices that empower streamlined commerce experiences.

Some 28% of Benelux online shoppers expect same-day shipping. Although just 29% of online consumers in Benelux already use voice-activated devices to make purchases at least once a year, shoppers indicate they will be more amenable to using the technology moving forward.

One Response

  1. Very timely article in view of the Brexit and if we are exiting the EU Customs Union.
    Dealing with Customs, tax and duty upfront in the shopping basket or customer may have to pay charges on arrival which add up considerably to the cost and then you get a lot of rejects / returns. Its also important to have a efficient, cost effective and eco friendly returns/rejects by having in country/local program for reselling otherwise you lose the tax and duty plus lost sales revenue and costs of returns handling. Our core function is to integrate Customs and returns processing



Yodel discuss their International Inbound service


Shopify Markets Pro and Shopify Translate & Adapt launched to strengthen international selling


Itembase partners with Hurricane to power cross-border ecommerce


Simplify cross-border payments with Linnworks and Payoneer


Lenton Group announces partnership with Hurricane Commerce

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars