How to Adapt Your E-commerce Shop to the UK Buyers

How to Adapt Your E-commerce Shop to the UK Buyers

Julie Cauville

Julie Cauville

December 16, 2022

Opening your e-commerce shop to British consumers means that you need to adapt your shopfront to connect with them. Localization is the key to winning the trust of your consumers while providing them with an incentive to buy from your website. 40% of global consumers won’t make purchases on sites in other languages!

Several simple and effective ways to adapt your e-commerce shop to UK buyers exist. If you're ready to impress these consumers and get them more interested in what your brand offers, check out the following helpful tips below!

1. Create a UK-friendly version of your website

Start by creating a UK-friendly version of your website. Although English is the primary language spoken throughout the country, the British spell many words differently than those living in the United States. You will also need to list prices for products in their currency.

17% of consumers will abandon their carts if the checkout process becomes frustrating, and they’re unable to determine how much they need to pay for the items. In addition, 33% of international consumers won’t consider making a purchase if they notice their local currency isn’t available as a method of payment. It may seem like extra work, but it's worth it in the long run because it shows these consumers you care enough about them to want to create a version of your website custom-tailored specifically for them.

Here are some steps you can take to easily localize your e-commerce store:

  • For Shopify: One way to localize your store is to duplicate your original shop and make necessary modifications to the content and language to cater to a specific market. To do this, you can follow the steps outlined in Shopify's documentation.
  • For Woocommerce: Another option is to use the Duplicator plugin, which allows you to clone your existing Woocommerce store and make modifications to suit a specific market.
  • For Prestashop: There are also a variety of tutorials available that can guide you through the process of localizing your Prestashop store. One such tutorial can be found at the following link.

In addition to localizing your e-commerce platform, you may also want to consider using a service like Bigblue to automate your logistics internationally. Bigblue allows you to centralize all shipments for multiple shops on the same platform, giving you peace of mind and helping you focus on growing your business.

2. Get to know the British consumer habits

Set realistic expectations when selling to UK consumers by learning a lot more about them and their online shopping habits. 47% of consumers in the UK have made a minimum of six online purchases within the past three months. This proves that the British aren't afraid of ordering online, and will typically do so if they can get what they want and need delivered to them in no time.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, over 60% of British consumers have changed their consumption habits, with a growing number of people preferring to buy online. But, they will only want to buy online if they know they can get the items rather quickly, with many consumers expecting their purchased goods to arrive at their front doors within a single day of ordering. If you can offer the speedy shipping that British consumers love, your e-commerce shop can do exceptionally well within this international market. 

Use this valuable information to target UK consumers, meet their needs, and gain more business for your e-commerce shop.

Discover the likes & dislikes of British consumers to keep them from abandoning their carts

Learning more about what consumers like and dislike when online shopping can help you avoid making potentially costly mistakes that would cause consumers to abandon their carts instead of completing their purchases on your website. Some of the most common reasons British consumers abandon their carts when visiting e-commerce shop websites are lengthy deliveries, costly deliveries, and complex return policies.

Consumers in the UK don't want to wait weeks to receive their items, nor do they want to spend extra money to cover the cost of shipping. In addition, if they think they will have a hard time returning something if it's not a good fit for them, they won't even bother putting in an order.

The good news? If you can reduce shipping fees, offer speedy shipping services, and provide an ideal return policy, you can boost sales and see an increase in the number of UK orders you begin to receive. 

The best way to achieve this goal is to provide local shipping from a warehouse in the UK instead of shipping internationally from your location. Let’s face it – international shipping is costly and time-consuming because items MUST go through customs before customers can receive them.

Offer a return policy that British consumers will appreciate

A shocking 33% of British consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 have stated that they regularly return items. These individuals aren't afraid to return an item if it doesn't meet their needs in one way or another. Whether it's too big, too small, or doesn't look good on them, they will want to return it and get their money back.

Of course, this means adapting to the possibility of receiving more returns than you usually would in your country of origin. But if you're not willing to accept returns, it can negatively impact the number of sales you will make in the UK. No business owner WANTS to deal with returns, but by creating a fair and convenient return policy, you can receive a drastic increase in sales. There is an upside to this situation!

3. Include user-generated content on your website

British customers genuinely care about what others are saying about products and brands, which plays into their final buying decision. A staggering 63% of British shoppers take the time to read customer reviews and opinions before going through with their purchase. While some businesses may consider this a bad thing, it's an incredible opportunity to experience tremendous growth when targeting the UK market. 

You can increase sales by making it easier for UK consumers to find reviews and opinions of your brand and the products you sell. It makes your brand appear even more authentic and gives consumers a good reason to want to buy from you. They will feel like they can trust your brand if they've noticed others say positive things about their experiences ordering from your e-commerce shop.

User-generated content is more influential on British consumers because it feels more open, honest, and authentic. The goal is to get plenty of user-generated content created by UK consumers, so other consumers in the UK will feel like they can relate to the people they see on their screens.

How to get user-generated content to add to your website

If you're wondering how to get user-generated content that you can add to your website, try to look on social media for any consumers who may have created posts talking about your brand or the products you sell. Have a relatively new business? It's still not a problem. The key is to provide the most enjoyable experience possible, encouraging your customers to post about their experiences while using a hashtag you've selected.

Some ways to enhance the experience for your consumers include:

  • Providing an estimated time of arrival, so they know when to experience their items in the mail
  • Offering speedy shipping to ensure they can receive their purchases as quickly as possible
  • Creating a unique unboxing experience by using high-quality, eco-friendly packaging
  • Including a Thank You note in packages sent to your customers
  • Offering an ideal return policy that sits well with the consumers
  • Selling high-quality products that last long or do the job they're intended to do

It’s the small things that can matter most to British consumers, improving their overall experience buying from your business. If consumers have a genuinely good experience, they’re more likely to create user-generated content and post it on social media.

4. Provide UK consumers with the option to pay for goods in their preferred way

You can improve the experience for UK consumers even further by accepting their preferred payment method at checkout. British consumers often prefer paying with digital options, such as ApplePay, compared to those in the United States, who typically prefer paying for merchandise with their credit cards.

Another thing to consider? Offering Buy Now, Pay Later options. There are several to choose from, including Scalapay, Klarna, and Shopify Payments. Giving consumers this option typically encourages them to put in their orders and add more items to their carts. In fact, the average order will increase by up to 45% when customers decide Klarna as their payment method. Many consumers love having the option of getting what they need immediately and having the opportunity to split payments to avoid paying for all their items at once.

Gymshark uses Klarna to offer payments in 3 instalments
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