Mar 9, 2023
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Cross-border shopping jumps in countries with high brand affinity says ESW

Mar 9, 2023

Regardless of what’s going on in the world, cross-border shopping continues to expand and a new study from a key specialist in this area, ESW, shows that countries whose consumers are most focused on brands are seeing the fastest growth in fashion and beauty.

Photo: Pixabay/Public domain

“Countries indexing highest on brand affinity scores reported increased cross-border sales in the last six months of 2022, creating a map of global demand for brands looking for international growth opportunities in 2023,” ESW said, based on research for its report, A Brand Guide to International Expansion.

Its brand affinity tracker, informed by research from more than 16,000 consumers across 16 countries, shows that China, the UAE, India, Mexico and South Africa scored the highest levels of “brand rapport” across five markers, including emotional connection, engagement, relevance, and purchasing benefits. 

And even with global economic headwinds, these high-affinity markets all reported increased rates of cross-border purchasing from July to December 2022 across four tracked product categories — clothing, footwear, luxury and cosmetics.

Total international online purchasing by consumers in the UAE increasing the most at 12%, followed by South Africa (+8%), China (+7%), India (+3%) and Mexico (+2%). 

Not that other countries should be neglected because, overall, global cross-border shoppers have a +13% brand score and +4% above-average spend level, “highlighting the importance of a robust direct-to-consumer international strategy,” said Martim Avillez Oliveira, ESW – Europe and UK CEO.

He added that it may be tempting for European retailers to assume domestic trading conditions prevail across all markets, but the data shows “areas of opportunity exist despite ongoing economic headwinds and inflationary challenges. Cross-border online sales amongst discerning, highly brand focused shoppers in some of the highest value economies around the world continue to grow.”

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