In Australia, 98% of shoppers would like to buy local, but the vast majority turn to overseas retailers in search of lower prices.

Fortunately for digital High Street retailers in the U.K., British shoppers are less influenced by prices than their friends in the Southern Hemisphere according to a survey conducted by digital marketing solutions provider EPiServer.

In conjunction with OnePoll, EPiServer quizzed 1,000 consumers in the UK about their online shopping habits in the past year. Over a third indicated that they’ve upped their online purchases in 2012, and nearly half have made a purchase using a mobile device.

But despite fierce competition between retailers and an abundance of websites that make bargain-hunting easy, the majority of those polled (57%) said that they prefer to buy from their favorite online retailers — even if they don’t offer the best price.

According to EPiServer product manager David Bowen:

Our research goes to show that the ease of online shopping has not killed brand loyalty and a positive customer experience is still more important to UK shoppers than price. Retailers shouldn’t just be trying to compete on price. Instead they ought to concentrate on delivering the best possible online experience to keep customers spending.

The social factor

And delivering a great customer experience isn’t just about instilling the type of loyalty that will make consumers less price-sensitive.

According to EPiServer’s study, “consumers are increasingly vocal online” with a third of respondents indicating that they’ve used social media to bring a customer service inquiry or complaint to a retailer’s attention. Even more (35%) have used social media to publicize or comment on a purchase.

That, for obvious reasons, raises the stakes for retailers when it comes to customer experience. As EPiServer’s Bowen observes, “There is nowhere to hide online, so a great customer experience is championed widely whilst poor service can spread like wildfire”.