The proportion of online orders made on UK sites that are destined for EU countries has hit its highest rate in four years as European shoppers take advantage of the weak pound.
According to the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index, orders destined for the EU hit 61.8%, the highest rate since IMRG and MetaPack started tracking such orders since August 2013.
It is believed the slump in the value of Sterling since the Brexit vote last June and the relative stability of the Euro has led many EU customers to UK sites where they are, in effect, buying at a discount. The average order value (AOV) for EU customers has also been steadily increasing over the past six-months, while it has been declining for non-EU customers.
Overall retail delivery order volumes were up 13.9% year-on-year in May, after a slow-down in growth in April, which was attributed to uncertainty created by the calling of a snap general election. Overall AOV was up too for May, at 18% year on year.
Andrew Starkey, Head of e-Logistics at IMRG said: “One of the main clichés about Brexit is that it brings uncertainty. While that may be true from a technical and legal perspective, the impact of Brexit so far on retail has been very clear – as the pound tumbled following the vote and has remained at that lower level since.
“A record high for May average order values may sound like good news for retailers on the surface, but it could be masking a wider issue around profit margins – shoppers from EU markets are likely being attracted to UK retailers because their currency is strong, relatively speaking, which means they are actually getting the equivalent of a discount on products purchased from UK sites.”