New research from PayU shows a major opportunity for international merchants to capitalize on US consumer demand that is unmet domestically.
The company surveyed 1,092 Americans. 48% of those who have shopped online from overseas retailers in the past year have done so at least once a month.
Additionally, 53% have purchased products from China in the last 12 months. Aside from China, Americans bought products from Europe (33%), Canada (28%), Southeast Asia (21%) and Latin America (21%).
Looking at those who have not shopped online abroad in the last 12 months, only a quarter of this group said that feeling they should support shops in their own country is a reason not to do so.
Additionally, only 30% of those who have never shopped online from overseas-based retailers said it was because they could get everything they need from retailers in the US.
29% of those who had not shopped this way in the past 12 months represented high shipping costs (including taxes) they pay when shopping online for 29% of those who had not shopped this way in the past 12 months prevented abroad.
For those 18-24 year olds who had never shopped online abroad, the main reasons for doing so were high delivery costs and complicated return procedures (23%), while only 6% of people in this age group said they could do everything they needed , available from local retailers.
Fashion, shoes and bags were the most popular items for American consumers, with a third having purchased or considered purchasing these products abroad in the past 12 months.
This was followed by electronics (phones, tablets, laptops, computers including accessories and peripherals) (29%), books (26%), toys, hobbies and DIY (25%).
The survey also showed that payment options are a key factor for American consumers when it comes to shopping abroad, with 55% saying they would look elsewhere or not make the purchase at all if their preferred method wasn’t available.
Additionally, 73% of respondents said that recognizing the payment processor’s brand made them feel more secure when making online purchases, whether domestic or international, with 36% of respondents saying their knowledge of the payment processor influenced their purchasing decision .
The data also showed that when shopping online from retailers based abroad, demand for “buy now, pay later” is relatively low in the US market, with only one in 10 Americans having shopped abroad in the past 12 months has used this option.
In comparison, 55% of respondents said they use credit cards the most.
Mario Shiliashki, CEO of Global Payments at PayU, says: “It is clear that the trend towards international shopping is accelerating, even in well-served markets like the US.”
“This growing trend presents an increasingly attractive opportunity for retailers to fuel growth by expanding their business outside of their home countries.”
“To capitalize on this opportunity, it is essential that merchants have the right technology partners to navigate the complex payments and logistics landscape to offer consumers the best on-premises shopping experience – a key aspect of doing this is optimizing their ability to offering the best relevant payment methods in each market they expand into.”