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APAC leads cross-border e-commerce

News, 13 October 2016

SINGAPORE/STAMFORD, CT: Consumers around the world are increasingly confident about online shopping across borders, with the trend particularly pronounced in Asia, a new global survey has revealed.

According to the Global Online Shopping Survey by Pitney Bowes, a US technology firm, 94% of consumers frequently shop online in their home markets, but two-thirds (66%) of them have also bought online from another country in the past year.

Consumers in Asia-Pacific are at the forefront, the report found, with Singapore (89%), Australia (86%) and Hong Kong (85%) having the highest number of cross-border shoppers.

"As domestic online shopping becomes more frequent, it can create familiarity and comfort to reach across borders," the report stated, while noting that the top countries globally for monthly and annual cross-border shopping include Australia (78%), Singapore (77%), Canada (72%), Mexico (71%) and Hong Kong (70%).

Pitney Bowes identified a growing global trend involving consumers making in-store purchases during their international travels that are then followed up by online purchases from the same cross-border retailer.

It described the phenomenon as "In-store Global. Online Local" and reported that online shoppers in South Korea, China and India say they often or always revisit a retailer online following international travels.

"Today's consumers have the power of choice, whether choosing to shop online direct to a retailer website or an online marketplace, and the study shows that consumers like it that way," the report said.

"In fact, while consumers may have a preference for one channel over the other, very few shop exclusively through one online channel."

Around half of global consumers say that all or most of their online shopping, both domestic and cross-border, comes via an online marketplace and the top countries for this activity are Japan (70%), China (61%), Germany (59%) and India (55%).

"Consumers across the world have spoken. We have moved beyond the days of marketplace or retailer; in-store or online; or even in-country or cross-border," said Lila Snyder, President of Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes.

"The world is shopping – everywhere – as new consumer behaviours and trends have emerged."

Data sourced from Pitney Bowes; additional content by Warc staff