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Study: The fastest-growing market for cross-border online sales is…

Despite the global impact of COVID-19, international online transactions nearly doubled year-over-year in 2020.

According to a new study from e-commerce technology/services provider eShopWorld (ESW), international online sales transacted on its platform rose 82% in 2020 from 2019 levels. ESW data indicates the Philippines was the fastest-growing markets for brands and retailers using its technology and services to sell internationally in 2020, with 258% year-over-year growth.

Rounding out the top 10 global markets for cross-border online sales were Morocco (+215%), Chile (+211%), Puerto Rico (+203%), Egypt (+196%), Luxembourg (+184%), Israel (+150%), Malta (+144%), Lithuania (+139%), and Ireland (+137%).

Strong growth of cross-border online sales slowed in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated, but ESW data indicates that initial ebb was short-lived. Cross-border e-commerce sales went on to rebound rapidly beginning in April, rising to unprecedented levels as consumer demand for online shopping soared amid lockdown orders. In response, many retailers accelerated their digital transformation to keep up with international e-commerce demand. 

ESW data recorded accelerated global sales growth in excess of 100% from April 2020 onward, peaking at 141% in July, as retailers found sources of growth in multiple international markets. 

In addition, a new ESW consumer survey of more than 22,000 consumers across 11 countries reveals the impetus behind these record figures. The study found that more than half (52%) of respondents said they had made six or more cross-border purchases in the past year. The top reasons cited for purchasing internationally were lower cost, including duties, taxes and shipping (36%), and availability of products that couldn’t be found in the shopper’s own region (35%).

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