Retail shopping

It’s time to go global. According to the results of PayPal’s fourth annual “Global Cross-border Commerce Report,” international online spending continues to grow, largely driven by Middle Eastern consumers. The research found that 50 percent of survey participants shop online internationally — 70 percent of Middle Eastern consumers confirmed they’ve shopped on international e-commerce sites.

To collate the results, PayPal polled more than 34,000 consumers in 31 countries to understand key motivators in determining to shop locally or internationally.

No matter their homeland, survey participants opt to visit international e-commerce shops for apparel and footwear — 68 percent said they shop online internationally for these items. Trailing behind apparel and footwear was consumer electronics and toys, which each secured 53 percent of expenditures, respectively.

Likely linked, mobile devices continued to corner the majority of internal online purchases. “According to the survey, in China, 53 percent of purchases are made on a mobile or tablet, 48 percent in India and 45 percent in the U.S. With the exception of Eastern Europe, purchases on mobile and tablet devices make up 30 percent or more of total payment volume across the world,” a PayPal spokesman said.

When consumers shop online internationally, the research found that finding the lowest price is a primary factor. “The number-one reason — 72 percent — consumers across the globe cited they shop internationally is for better prices,” the spokesman said. “Consumers look at pricing holistically — 25 percent say high delivery shipping costs would prevent them from making purchases from web sites in another country, and 24 percent express similar concerns with paying customs duties, fees or taxes associated with the purchase.”

E-commerce continues to democratize not only retail, but also the potential to curate one’s personal style. The research found that the opportunity to uncover unique items was the second most popular reason that consumers ventured into cross-border sites. “Consumers shop internationally is for the novelty of accessing items that are not available in their own country — 49 percent — or to discover new and interesting products — 34 percent,” the spokesman continued.

Other motivators included the opportunity to jump on advantageous currency exchange rates and strong security measures. “Three out of four consumers polled would prefer having an option to pay for their purchase in their local currency while six in 10 check conversion rates before making a purchase,” the spokesman explained. “When choosing a payment method, ‘a secure way to pay’ — 44 percent — is international shoppers’ top consideration. Additionally, consumers cited they are looking for peace of mind that their order will get to them — 24 percent.”

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