Majority of shoppers shop cross border – Pitney Bowes

The latest Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Survey has shown that cross border e-commerce is a norm for consumers all over the world. This comes from a survey of 13,000 adults in 13 countries – it is a survey of a significant number of consumers.

The survey saw that Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong have the highest number of cross border shoppers, while Japan and the US, where cross border shoppers are still a minority but are growing in confidence.

“Online shopping has become a way of life for many shoppers,” according to Pitney Bowes.

“Nearly one-third of these consumers now say they make domestic online purchases on a daily or weekly basis, with over two-thirds in China reporting this regularity. As domestic online shopping becomes more frequent, it can create familiarity and comfort to reach across borders. Not surprisingly, cross-border shopping occurs less frequently than domestic shopping with the majority of consumers (58%) shopping monthly or annually. Top countries for monthly/annual cross-border shopping include Australia (78%), Singapore (77%) Canada (72%), Mexico (71%) and Hong Kong (70%).”

One of the key drivers for cross border shopping is a symbiotic relationship between brick and mortar stores and online shopping. 63% of consumers who have shopped cross border now participate in what Pitney Bowes call ‘In-store Global. Online Local’.

The company has said that this phenomenon occurs when consumers make in-store purchases during their international travels and follow up with online purchases from the same cross border retailer. Most of the cross border shoppers from South Korea, India and China have said that they will often or always revisit a retailer after they have physically visited the store.

Around half of consumers say that all or most of their online shopping, whether domestic or cross-border, is through an online marketplace, and the survey also found that mobile devices are playing an increasingly greater role.

The survey found however that online shipping and returns “continue to be a major pain point for consumers”, despite merchants’ efforts to improve their shipping and returns processes.

“When asked about holiday shopping, 42% of consumers say they experienced related challenges when shopping online for the 2015 holiday season,” said Pitney Bowes.

“In fact, even the most basic elements of the customer experience such as shipping the right item; accuracy in address and tracking; a transparent returns policy; and proper duty and tax were all cited as challenges. Hong Kong (65%), India (59%), South Korea (55%), Singapore and China (both 54%) were among the countries experiencing the greatest headaches with online shopping during the 2015 holiday season.

“Even in the US, almost a third of consumers (31%) reported experiencing challenges during last year’s holiday shopping season, putting the pressure on retailers and marketplaces to make significant improvements in the consumer experience heading into this holiday.”

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