Consumer behaviour in the UK – what are the British looking for?

There are many opportunities to build your brand in the UK. Consumer behaviour in the UK – what are the British looking for is a hot topic. Here are some ideas for making British customers happy.

Consumer behaviour in the UK


In the shadow of Brexit, consumer confidence in the UK has certainly taken a hit. Although there are troubling headlines about British business, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic, particularly for companies who want to reach British consumers.

For example, 86% of the UK population uses the internet every day, spending almost six hours online. Eighty-six percent of the UK’s internet users searched for a product online last month, and eighty-one percent purchased it. Consumer brands have a huge potential customer base with such a high conversion rate.

While online shopping trends are positive, all is not lost for brick and mortar retail either. Consumers still consider it when making high value purchases – especially when it comes to comparing prices. In-person payment and financing are popular among British shoppers.

For the opportunity to be maximized, the UK consumer behavior must be taken into account. Consumer behaviour in the UK – what are the British looking for? Consumers’ expectations are high, so too are their brand loyalties. While low prices are desirable, they shouldn’t come at the expense of ethics. You must balance these conflicting demands in order to succeed. Read these tips to engage the British consumer.


Digital behaviour


Choose the right price point

Price is a key deciding factor for 59% of British shoppers. So it’s not surprising price comparison is widespread – 35% of UK shoppers use comparison sites for that purpose.

It also explains why 38% of British online shoppers start their purchasing journey on Amazon. 51% of Brits believe Amazon offers the cheapest prices – and 75% price-check in-store products on Amazon.

This means three things for brands looking to grow in the UK:

Be competitive on price

Your pricing should be as low as possible, and you should be able to prove the value of your product.

Amazon is unavoidable

86% of Brits shop on the site. Your competitors almost certainly sell their products there if you don’t.

Build an omnichannel strategy

Brick and mortar retail still has value. 70% of Amazon shoppers research products in-person before buying online. 28% of shoppers like to look at an item in a physical store before purchasing. And 32% prefer paying in person. Accordingly, promoting your products and providing excellent customer service in-store may be worth the effort depending on what your UK presence looks like. Consumer behaviour in the UK – what are the British looking for? Finally, make sure your online pricing is competitive.


Consumers digital behaviour


Build loyalty with uk consumers

65% of UK consumers claim to be loyal shoppers – above the global average of 61%. Take the time to cultivate relationships with British consumers beyond short-term sales goals. This will pay off over time.

Through one-on-one services, social media advertising, and unique in-store experiences, businesses can create meaningful relationships with British customers.

Also popular are loyalty programs. 73% of 18-24-year-olds in Britain think they’re a good way for brands to reward customers. 59% think all brands should offer one. It’s not all about discounts, though – cashback, gift cards, and physical rewards are all more popular types of rewards. And keep in mind that for Brits loyalty programs are no substitute for a great customer experience.

Taking advantage of the trend towards buying experiences over stuff, the UK is promoting customer experience. You need to focus on your brand’s lifestyle aspect instead of selling a product to millennials and Gen Z. (For this, you’ll need to learn as much as you can about your target audience.)

Let the world know how you are making it better by shouting about it. 68% of British consumers consider a brand’s ethical behavior before buying. You should also consider how you treat your employees, logistics in the supply chain, and environmental policies.

Although being ethical offers some flexibility with price point (half of UK consumers are willing to pay more for ethical brands), for 78% of UK consumers, cost remains the most important purchasing factor. Pricing products too high is not justified by altruism.

Target specific uk regions

UK consumers respond well to advertising campaigns, especially on social media. Useful for brand building – they’ll boost sales too. 40% of those who’ve interacted with a brand online spend more as a result.

When it comes to advertising content, the UK is an interesting prospect. It’s highly urbanized, but places great value on country living. If your target audience and lifestyle appeals to your brand, then the countryside and sleepy villages, for example, are seen as quintessentially British.

Across the different regions of the UK, there is also a great deal of cultural diversity. In London, the culture differs greatly from that of Glaswegians. A sound that resonates in one place might not resonate in another. Hyper localized campaigns have been used to combat this problem. Nike’s “Nothing Beats A Londoner” ad is a fantastic example of its city-focused strategy. A large part of the advertisement is devoted to life in London – so much so that non-Londoners might be lost in the details.

HSBC adopted a similar approach with their “We are not an island” campaign. Although the ad ran nationwide, Birmingham, Leeds, London, and Manchester also received local versions. Through this, the ad was able to reach their target audience on a deeper level.

It is possible to gain national press coverage by taking a hyper localized approach, so taking a localized approach makes sense. Think about whether this strategy should be implemented as part of your marketing strategy when creating your ad campaigns.

Final thought

Consumer behaviour in the UK – what are the British looking for? is consistent with that of many other international markets. Value for money is important to Brits, as is being aligned with a brand’s values. Take into account British culture and language while balancing these three value areas, and you’ll be able to appeal to British consumers.

Take a look at our Consumer Behaviour services including our UX/UI experience today at Stich

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