The proportion of UK shoppers buying internationally reportedly dropped 14% to just over one in 10 (31%) in 2021.
According to research conducted by Sendcloud, a shipping platform for e-commerce businesses, 56% of EU consumers claimed to shop internationally, a fall of just 5% from 2020.
The group’s annual e-commerce delivery compass report highlighted a relative decline in imports from the EU to the UK following Brexit, with UK shoppers preferring to buy from the US (30%) and China (42%) than Germany (10%), Italy (7%), and Spain (6%).
Further research from the firm showed that imports from the EU to the UK in July 2021 had flatlined, despite global imports rising 19%.
Of the survey’s UK respondents, 62% recognised expensive delivery costs as a main reason not to shop abroad, 49% highlighted the potential payment of customs charges, and 47% the poor returns policies, all representing an increase from the previous 12 months.
Rob van den Heuvel, co-founder and CEO at Sendcloud, said that “there are still plenty of barriers stopping UK consumers from shopping abroad”.
He added: “It’s important for both UK and EU retailers to streamline their international shipping or risk leaving money on the table. Delivery has become a vital aspect for retailers as consumers have come to expect everything from free returns to same-day delivery as standard.
“Being able to partner with international and local shipping providers that can get a parcel from A to B in the quickest and most convenient way possible will be key to realising a successful post-Brexit environment.”