A clear and accurate online buying process, confidence and transparency in delivery and competitive pricing will all help bring down barriers to cross-border buying, according to new research released by Pitney Bowes.
The latest Pitney Bowes’ ‘Global Online Shopping Study’, conducted across 12 countries and involving 12,000 adults, reveals that nearly 40% of consumers have purchased goods online from outside their country of residence. Nearly all (96%) of those involved in the study had previously made an online purchase.
Reasons for making a purchase from another country were better prices (68%), product availability (46%) and more choice (38%).
Shoppers in some countries, namely South Korea (21%), China (21%), India (15%) and Japan (15%) were under the impression they could only make purchases from retailers sited in their own country. However, other countries had shoppers who were unafraid to buy outside their nation’s borders including Australia (63%), Canada (54%) and Russia (54%).
The U.S. and U.K. were the countries deemed the most desirable for purchases outside of a consumer’s own country which, says Pitney Bowes, puts retailers in those countries in the perfect position to expand their reach to global buyers.
Several barriers to cross-border ecommerce were identified by the study including high delivery costs (68%), additional fees at time of delivery such as duties and taxes (58%) and time taken to deliver (42%). Just 46% believed it was safe to purchase a product online from a retailer based outside of their own country and 33% were not sure.
“Retailers looking to expand their businesses online to international markets should consider the unique mindsets and shopping preferences of consumers in each country”, said Craig Reed, vice president of global e-commerce.
“In addition, it’s critical for retailers to provide buyers with clarity and accuracy in the online buying process, certainty and transparency in delivery, and competitive pricing. Once these barriers to consumer confidence are overcome, the opportunities and appetite for buying goods outside their own country can increase dramatically.”