Survey: Why cross-border online shoppers favor U.S. retailers

U.S. retailers have the largest cross-border shopping audience, with a few specific reasons driving it.

According to “The State of International E-commerce: 2019,” a new survey of 1,700 respondents across eight countries in North America, Europe and Australia, from online payments provider BlueSnap, consumers in every region revealed they shopped on e-commerce websites based in the U.S. more than any other country, including China.

Of those respondents that shop on U.S.-based e-commerce websites, 63% do so because of greater product choice/availability. This was the most common response, followed by better price points for products (60%) and a lack of specific brand availability in a country or region (56%).

Overall, 42% of all respondents have shopped on an e-commerce website that is not based in their home country at least once a month. Australians were the most frequent cross-border shoppers, with 47% reporting they make an international purchase at least once a month, followed by European (43%) and North American (37%) consumers.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

• U.S. respondents stated that delivery time was the greatest challenge associated with ordering from an international ecommerce website (72%), the highest percentage across all global respondents.

• Globally, respondents cited shipping fees (64%) and delivery time (61%) as the two most common challenges faced by international shoppers, with taxes/duties coming in as the third biggest challenge (39.5%).

• Across almost every region, respondents selected apparel and footwear as the products most commonly ordered from international e-commerce websites. The only outlier was Italy, whose respondents ordered computer and electronic goods (54%) slightly more than apparel and footwear (51%).

• The majority of global respondents (64%) said they preferred to use Paypal when shopping on international e-commerce websites. This was especially true across Europe, where PayPal was the clear preference among German (76%), Italian (73%) and U.K. (70%) respondents. Canada was the only country to prefer credit cards (55%) over PayPal (43%).

• E-wallets were by far the least used international payment method across all regions, with less than 2% of respondents saying they use this technology to make cross-border purchases.