PayPal and market research company Ipsos recently released a report on the state of cross-border payments. Titled "Cross-Border Consumer Research 2015," it showed unique insight on the habits of e-commerce consumers buying outside their home country.
Global cross-border shopping rates
While no country had a large share of exclusively international shoppers – the United Arab Emirates had the highest at 10 percent – most had at least a third who combined domestic and cross-border purchases. Israel, Austria and Ireland had the highest rates of mixed consumers from those surveyed – 71 percent, 78 percent and 79 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, at least half of consumers in Australia, Singapore, Nigeria, Mexico, Spain and Canada shop domestically and internationally. Japan, at 88 percent, had the highest number of consumers who only shopped at home. The United States followed close behind with 78 percent, and South Korea fell third at 73 percent. Still, despite the fact the majority of Americans only shop within the U.S., the country claimed 25 percent of international sales.
While mobile shopping is on the rise worldwide, at least half of cross-border purchases in every surveyed country were still made on a desktop. Most nations saw such purchase rates between 70 and 90 percent. Clothing and electronics were the top two goods consumers bought internationally, while travel and digital entertainment and education tied for second place.
Making international payments
Seventy-three percent of responders said they'd prefer the option to pay in either their home currency or the local currency when shopping online. Forty-five percent stated they felt their chosen payment preference was safer than the alternatives, while 38 percent said they chose methods based on convenience. Others – 36 percent – chose payments based on their processing speeds.
It's important for businesses to make sure they are prepared to accept international payments if they wish to tap into this global potential. Based on the various attitudes toward payments uncovered by the report, it stands to reason the best way to encourage shoppers is for businesses to provide various payment solutions to accommodate the differences in consumer choice.
According to Practical Ecommerce, wire transfers are the preferred option for bulk purchases and customized items. Online payment providers, meanwhile, are seen as convenient, safe and flexible. Businesses hoping to break into the international market should use a company able to handle global payments in various forms and currencies.
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