Brexit Not Driving Spending to UK Businesses: Report

Brexit has done little to shift UK consumer spending back home, the latest two chapters of emerchantpay’s New World, One Market Report shows. The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 British consumers, analyzes consumer behavior as some societies begin their emergence from the pandemic.

When choosing where to buy from, 55 percent of respondents selected Western Europe with 45 per cent opting for Northern Europe. Only one in seven overall said buying local mattered, with 19 percent of Baby Boomers and 12 per cent of Generation Z saying it did. A mere three percent said politics mattered when thinking of where to buy from.

Londoners were more likely to buy from elsewhere than at home, with Western Europe (63 percent) being the most popular and North America (56) ranking second. They were also most likely among the surveyed to buy from Russia (21), Eastern Asia (47), Southern Asia (34), South America (26), Africa (28), and the Middle East (27). The Northern Irish were most likely to buy from Northern Europe (53), while folks in the Southeast were most likely to buy from Eastern Europe (35).

Those in the Southwest were the least likely to look elsewhere. Half said they were unlikely to buy from South America if given the option, while 48 percent declined to buy from Eastern Europe; 30 percent wouldn’t buy from North America or Northern Europe, and 24 percent wouldn’t buy from Western Europe. The Welsh were most likely to be neutral in their preferences.

Make shipping free and it’s for thee, apparently, as 55 percent will pay an average of 4.63 percent more if shipping is free. There are variances among generations, however as 76 percent of Generation Z and 62 percent of millennials will spend more while acceptance rates with Generation X, Baby Boomer, and the Silent Generation are far lower.

People also appear to be getting wiser to the ways of the Internet. One in five believe more than half of Internet reviews are fake. Three in 10 see those reviews as an important consideration when mulling a purchase. One in four could be swayed by a product review but friends and relatives, at 75 and 71 percent respectively, are far more influential. Generation Z indicated social media influence to be a key factor.

The effects of brand loyalty decline with age. Less than 10 percent of Generation Z and millennials claimed no loyalty to a brand. This rises to 17 percent of Generation X, 23 percent of Baby Boomers, and 31 percent of the Silent Generation.

Almost half of the surveyed individuals (46 percent) believe the risk of fraud is growing since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. That rises to 60 percent of Baby Boomers. To protect themselves, 47 percent will only shop from trusted businesses, one-third will change their passwords more often, 22 percent will hold off buying from some countries and 18 percent will not purchase some brands. Some 15 percent won’t do anything different.

“The rise of eCommerce has undoubtedly changed the way we buy and it’s interesting to see that UK consumers continue to look beyond geographic boundaries despite Brexit or the pandemic,” emerchantpay Retail SVP Angus Burrell said. “When it comes to the things that influence where we buy or how much we spend, like reviews or delivery charges, there are obvious differences between generational groups and it’s up to retailers to interpret these findings to understand their buyers. One thing is certain: retailers are under even greater pressure to ensure that the customer experience is as smooth and efficient as possible across all channels, wherever and however their customers want to buy.”

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