Online shopping is the growth engine for retail markets and even more so during the holiday season. With flexible payment and shipping options increasing, last year’s Christmas period saw cross-border shopping volumes peak around the world, except for Britain.

Research from CJ Affiliate’s Holiday Intelligence Report has revealed that British consumers are increasingly buying from home-grown brands compared to that of Europe and North America.

While consumers buying Christmas gifts overseas is on the rise across the globe, cross-border retail sales over the holiday period in the UK decreased from 20% in 2016 to 17% of overall sales in 2017, resulting in the UK being ranked 25th out of the 80 top markets for the volume of retail sales completed on non-native sites.

CJ’s report highlights what affiliate marketers can learn from the holiday shopping trends of 2017 and what strategies they should take in 2018. A key takeaway for brands to achieve a broad reach for its promotions is to forge or deepen relationships with content and social publishers, such as influencers, connecting and engaging with customers via authentic content.

“Clearly, more flexible payment and shipping options are helping encourage more Christmas shoppers to buy their presents from overseas retailers, but British brands are the preference for UK shoppers, with retailers such as Argos being revealed as particularly popular,” commented CJ Affiliate’s Head of Strategy, Owen Hancock.

“It seems Brits want to support local businesses, while also having a greater aversion towards international shipping fees, even with the introduction of the likes of free shipping day,” he continued.

“Though there’s been a rise in cross-border sales, marketers and brands still need to be offering a localised experience to entice shoppers, particularly Brits. For those aiming to reach foreign markets, a proficient partner with a high-quality affiliate marketing network will play a major role in achieving this and help convert both local and overseas shoppers this Christmas,” concluded Hancock.