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Asia takes cross-border shopping lead

News, 18 November 2016

GLOBAL: PayPal, the financial transactions firm, has seen its quarterly cross-border sales volume grow 38% to $19bn over the past two years and consumers in Asia-Pacific are driving the global trend.

Specifically, more than two-thirds (68%) of cross-border shoppers in the region have said they made a cross-border purchase on a smartphone in the past 12 months.

And for the first time China has become the most popular cross-border online shopping destination for global online consumers, according to PayPal's survey of more than 28,000 consumers in 32 countries that was conducted in partnership with research firm Ipsos.

Now in its third year, the survey found that about a fifth (21%) of online shoppers reported to have shopped cross-border from Chinese websites in the last year, followed by the US (17%) and the UK (13%).

An average of 37% of cross-border purchases in Asia-Pacific were made on a mobile device, with most occurring on a smartphone, and the report noted a "marked increase" of mobile shopping in China where an average of 35% of cross-border purchases were made on a smartphone in 2016 compared with 27% in 2015.

That compared with less than 15% of cross-border purchases being made on a smartphone in the three markets of Western Europe, Eastern Europe and North America.

"If the growth in Asia Pacific is an indication of a global shift to increased mobile cross-border shopping, there is a tremendous opportunity for merchants in Europe and North America," the report said.

Retailers and brands engaged in e-commerce also will be encouraged by the news that almost two-thirds (64%) of Chinese internet users, as well as 39% in Russia and 26% in the UK, claimed they will spend more online over the next 12 months.

"Selling internationally is a substantial opportunity for merchants around the globe to grow their business," said Melissa O'Malley, PayPal's Director of Global Initiatives.

"At PayPal, we've seen our cross-border volume grow 38% in the last two years from $14bn a quarter in Q3 2014 to $19bn a quarter in Q3 2016. PayPal's mobile payment volume is also up 56% over last year, so we see the direct benefits merchants can reap by optimising their mobile shopping experiences."

Data sourced from PayPal, Ipsos; additional content by Warc staff