Major Differences Between UK and US Shopping Habits

In many respects, the British shopping experience is becoming more and more similar to the American one every day. This isn’t just about the high street, but also online where the distinctions between countries are less relevant, and even in the humble British supermarket. However, there are still several key differences between how we tend to go about our shopping in each of these countries. A few of these are as follows…

Language differences

As we have discussed before, many words have completely different meanings in America and the United Kingdom, despite the fact that we supposedly all speak the same language. Many of the differences are small and simple to remember, but when it comes to shopping there are a few crucial differences. A lot of clothing items actually have different colloquial names, from pants to trainers, so international fashion retailers notice this the most.

Mobile shopping

The US was one of the first countries to pass the milestone of more than half of its online traffic being from mobile users, while the UK only reached this point in 2016. A trait that has been observed among American consumers is that they love to browse potential purchases and compare prices on mobile, but after some consideration, the vast majority sit down at a computer to make the actual purchase.

Similar behaviours are emerging slowly in the UK, but only time will tell if we prefer the same approach or are more willing to make snap decisions from our phones. Companies would certainly prefer it that way.

Fast and free

In the UK, although online shopping is quickly catching up with the level of service available in the US, people still don’t have quite the same expectations. One-day delivery in Britain is still seen as a luxury service, but in America it’s usually a minimum, and waiting days or weeks for a package would be unheard of. Brits love to complain about slow service, but when it comes to shopping, Americans can give us a run for our money.

Not only that, but free delivery is also expected in the USA whereas UK customers might not be surprised to pay a few pounds per parcel. The vast majority of American online deliveries are fulfilled by free services, while the same cannot be said in many other places.

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