Shopping the World: New Study on Global Ecommerce

A new study from Pitney Bowes on global online shopping shows that online retailers who are looking to expand their global presence are well-positioned for global growth. According to the study, which surveyed 12,000 adults in 12 countries, nearly 40% of consumers have made a purchase online from another country. Here are some other interesting findings from the study.

Global Ecommerce Trends Vary Significantly by Country

The United States is the top country that consumers in most countries, followed by the United Kingdom and Germany. Retailers based on these three countries are well-positioned to expand their global reach and make offerings to buyers in other countries.

Which countries have the buyers who are most receptive to making a purchase from outside their home market? Australians, Canadians, and Russians are very likely to buy from retailers online that are based outside their home country – 63%, 54%, and 54% respectively.

International Customers Cite Barriers to Adoption

Some of the biggest barriers to global ecommerce adoption include the high costs of shipping and fees, duties and taxes, long delivery timeframes, safety, data security, and fraud. Consumers in some countries, such as Japan, were the least likely to believe it was safe to purchase products from outside their home country.

So, why do so many international consumers make online purchases from companies outside their home country, if so many barriers stand in their way? Price is the top reason, cited by 68% of all consumers who have made a purchase from outside their home country, followed by availability (46%), and better selection (38%). Brand names were extremely important to customers in India (52%), China (34%), and both Russia and Korea (27% each).

People Are More Likely to Buy with Information in Their Language

Numerous studies show that ecommerce localization helps in increasing sales. That is, consumers are more likely to buy when presented with information in their native languages. While the study apparently did not ask questions about this topic, it only makes sense. With marketers moving more and more toward personalization and customization, providing people with relevant content, in a language they can understand, will be critical for global ecommerce companies to do business with the world.