Consumers are increasingly spreading their purchases across borders. A report, “PayPal Cross-Border Consumer Research,” revealed insights on the international market to help companies increase sales while also describing a market that is more globally minded, especially with the U.S. and China.
PayPal and Ipsos conducted the research in order to gain insights on online commerce and the development of cross-border spending, how and why consumers shop online domestically and internationally and how consumers pay for said purchases. To collect the data, PayPal surveyed 32 markets that included approximately 28,000 consumers to evaluate spending habits.
According to the report, the growing availability of technology and correlating e-commerce is opening up new revenue streams for retailers and brands as consumers avidly seek out new product. The U.S. and China in particular have proven to be the biggest markets for online spends — India is building quickly, too.
The report said that Western and Eastern Europeans have the most open attitudes to cross-border shopping. “Major Western countries and some Asian countries show more negative attitudes and prefer global stores,” the report said.
Specifically, cross-border online shopping is most popular in Portugal, Peru and Ireland, the report said. The general markets in which international spending is most prevalent is within the Middle Eastern and Latin American markets. Asian markets overall lag in cross-border purchases.
China was the most popular destination for cross-border purchases — securing 21 percent of online shopping. Seventeen percent of online shoppers had purchases in the U.S. in the past 12 months — Great Britain made up for 13 percent of cross-border online shopping.
According to the research, the top category for international purchases comprised clothing, footwear and accessories. Consumer electronics was the second-highest segment, followed by travel and transportation.
Consumers primarily opt to complete purchases via a computer; however, this is beginning to fade in the face of mobile device popularity. “In some markets such as China, U.A.E., and Thailand nearly half of purchases are made on an alternate device, the majority being on a smartphone,” researchers of the report said. The U.S. completed 64 percent of its purchases on a computer, 18 percent on a smartphone and 12 percent on a tablet. Chinese consumers completed 48 percent of its purchases on computers, 35 percent on smartphones and 12 percent on tablets.
The research found that European shoppers are slow to adopt the use of mobile devices for cross-border purchases. Western and Eastern Europe markets only used smartphones for 10 percent and 11 percent of expenditures. Shoppers in the Asia Pacific completed 27 percent of their cross-border purchases via smartphones, for comparison.
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