Exporting to Great Britain

Understanding customers in Great Britain


In broad terms, customers across GB tend to be similar to those in Northern Ireland. However, there is a long tradition of different regional and local cultures GB.

London and the Southeast are the wealthiest areas of GB. Other English regions, as well as Wales and Scotland, have their own identities and business needs. Some parts of GB, particularly larger cities, also have large ethnic populations. Locals take pride in the traditions of their own area, and any knowledge you have of regional culture will be appreciated. Welsh and Scottish people may strongly object to being called English.

English is spoken across England, Scotland and Wales, though regional accents and local slang vary. As many as a quarter of the Welsh speak the Welsh language, but Welsh-speakers will happily use English to do business. A small number of Scots speak Gaelic but will use English.

Decision makers

Businesses across GB use the same structures as in Northern Ireland - sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. Larger organisations can have relatively complex and slow purchasing procedures. Identifying both decision-makers and individuals who influence purchasing decisions can be essential.

The public sector, while less prominent than in Northern Ireland, can also be an important customer particularly in sectors such as health care. For more information see an overview of selling to government.

Thorough market research can help you understand customers and their decision-making. You may also want to consider working with contacts or advisers with local expertise. Visits will almost always be an important part of this process: for more information see market visits in GB.