Brands must see past Britain; 58% of global consumers ready to buy

  • International shopping most common among APAC and younger global shoppers
  • Brands must focus on breadth of selection with international shoppers considering 1-2 brands
  • Discounts key to mitigating shipping costs and wait times

LONDON, 27 August 2019 – New international research by Rakuten Marketing finds 58% of global consumers would purchase more international products online if they were made aware of the brands, with the most popular type of products being apparel and accessories (54%).

The new research looks into the rise of the international shopper, surveying over 3,570 consumers across seven countries including the UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore and the USA.

According to the findings, interest in purchasing internationally is highest amongst coupon users (68%) and 18-34-year-old shoppers (67%) worldwide, as well as those from APAC (65%).

Breaking free of British borders

In Singapore, 99% of consumers have purchased from another country already with 61% of shoppers looking to buy more online next year. By comparison, only 43% of UK shoppers are looking to increase online purchases next year.

To make the most of this international purchasing opportunity, particularly from APAC, brands must overcome key barriers. For example, despite the arrival of freight forwarding, 67% of APAC consumers still perceive shipping costs and wait times to be the largest barrier to purchasing a product internationally.

Moreover, roughly a quarter of both coupon users and the 18-34 demographic report cost as the greatest barrier to their international purchase journey.

Anthony Capano, Managing Director, International at Rakuten Marketing comments, “Consumer expectations are different across the world. The truth is you can almost guarantee the messages you’ve developed domestically won’t work further afield. When it comes to winning favour, it’s crucial to lean on in-market expertise. It’s about being able to test and optimise across a variety of publishers to find what resonates.”

Tactics to winning loyalty

Given the diversity of consumer expectations, it’s vital marketing efforts are responsive. For instance, enabling consumers in APAC with bespoke discounts can help purchase decisions. 57% of APAC consumers require at least a 25-49% discount from the full price of an item of apparel when considering a purchase. Just over a third are waiting for a discount between 50-74%.

Aligning marketing with the individual consumer need is even more important given 63% of global consumers surveyed state they typically only consider 1-2 brands when purchasing something online. Two-thirds of consumers stress the importance of breadth of selection and simplicity of the shopping experience, with millennials in particular having high expectations.

Anthony Capano explains, “Simply being online is not sufficient – to succeed, brands have excelled at delivering the expected breadth and removing the largest barriers. It can feel quite alien to suddenly lead your campaigns with an entirely different message for a new market, but it’s important to realise this is the first step in proving to global consumers that you understand their needs and deserve their loyalty.”


Rakuten Marketing conducted research amongst 3,570 consumers in 2019 across the United Kingdom Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore and the United States

About Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing uses innovative, data-driven technology to help brands reach consumers with timely and authentic digital advertising experiences. Pioneering AI and machine learning, paired with unique data and inventory from the Rakuten ecosystem, enable brands to identify new audiences and re-engage existing ones. This predictive technology allows Rakuten Marketing to deliver valuable experiences people love, resulting in cost-effective performance across its integrated marketing solutions: affiliate, display and search.

Rakuten Marketing is a division of Rakuten Inc. (4755: TOKYO), one of the world’s leading Internet service companies. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with offices in Australia, Singapore, Brazil, Japan, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. Follow us on Twitter or learn more at 

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