40% shoppers have purchased online from another country

E-commerce is crossing international borders, as a recent online shopping study from Pitney Bowes reveals that 40 percent of all consumers have purchased goods from another country. The United States, U.K. and Germany topped the list as the most desirable e-commerce destinations outside of a shopper's own country.

And who does the most international online shopping? Australians are the most likely to buy online from a foreign company, 63 percent, followed by Canada and Russia, 54 percent. Three countries in Asia, however, had the most shoppers who believe they can only purchase goods from retailers in their own country: South Korea, 21 percent, China, 19 percent, and India and Japan, 15 percent.

"Retailers looking to expand their businesses online to international markets should consider the unique mindsets and shopping preferences of consumers in each country," said Craig Reed, VP, global e-commerce, Pitney Bowes. "In addition, it's critical for retailers to provide buyers with clarity and accuracy in the online buying process, certainty and transparency in delivery, and competitive pricing. Once these barriers to consumer confidence are overcome, the opportunities and appetite for buying goods outside their own country can increase dramatically."

Consumers did note several barriers to more cross-border purchases. The biggest hurdle, for 68 percent of respondents, was shipping costs. Other hurdles included duties and taxes, 58 percent, and products taking too long to be delivered, 42 percent.

Another barrier to international purchases was data security. About 46 percent of shoppers believed it was safe to buy a product outside their own country, but another 33 percent were not so sure. Trust varied from country to country, and has certainly taken a toll on U.S. consumers. In a recent report from CreditCards.com, almost half of U.S. shoppers, 45 percent, said they would avoid holiday shopping at stores that were affected by data breaches in the past year.

On the flip side, the number one driver to purchasing internationally on e-commerce was a cheaper price, 68 percent; availability, 46 percent; and better selection, 38 percent.

For more:
-See this Pitney Bowes press release

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