The logo of United Parcel Service, the world's largest package delivery company is pictured on a truck on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, FranceUPS, Paris, France - 20 Sep 2017

It’s a small world, after all. According to UPS’ Pulse of the Online Shopper, consumers are making purchases from global, third-party online marketplaces and international retailers while “relying more on digital devices and seeking alternate delivery options.”

Authors of the report said that “nearly every e-commerce shopper reported making a marketplace purchase.” The revelation comes as cross-border technologies and platforms as well as global fulfillment makes it easier for sellers and consumers to transact.

UPS researchers said a “large majority” of consumers in Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Europe make online purchases from international retailers. The poll also showed that U.S. consumers are the most likely to return online purchases.

“Understanding shoppers and meeting their demands is crucial in this rapidly changing landscape,” said Alan Gershenhorn, chief commercial officer for UPS. “To stand out, smart companies must recognize that, with competition now coming from around the world, consumers want different ways to make purchases, more convenient ways to receive them and innovative experiences from start to finish.”

UPS said that “almost all” of the online shoppers polled at marketplaces, which it described as “third-party e-commerce sites that let multiple merchants sell products.” By country and region, 99 percent of respondents in Mexico reported making an online marketplace purchase, which compares to 98 percent in Asia, 96 percent in Europe and 96 percent in Canada.

“The top reasons for using marketplaces are better prices and free or discounted shipping,” UPS noted.

Regarding international online retailers selling abroad, 83 percent of Canadians do so, which compares to 81 percent in Brazil and 78 percent in Mexico. In the U.S. 47 percent of shoppers said they made international purchases online. “Consumers shopped internationally primarily for better prices and access to specific or unique products,” authors of the report said.

“Meanwhile, shoppers expect quick fulfillment of online orders and speedy delivery across all regions, but expectations for what counts as quick delivery differ,” authors of the report added. “Consumers in Asia, Mexico and Brazil expect to be able to place orders later in the day and still be eligible for same-day and next-day delivery.”

With returns, 44 percent of U.S. consumer “are the most likely to return an online purchase, while shoppers in Mexico are the least likely (22 percent).”

UPS said that when both return options are available, “shoppers in Asia and Europe prefer to ship online purchases back to retailers compared to consumers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil, who prefer to return online orders to a physical store.”

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