82% of shoppers have made a cross-border purchase online

Cross-border shopping is on the rise, as 82 percent of shoppers report making an online purchase from a merchant outside their home country. The United States, China and the U.K. are the top three exporters of online purchases.

In the United States, 67 percent of respondents indicated they buy items online at least once a month and more than 30 percent say they make online purchases from merchants outside the United States every few months. Their reason for shopping cross-border was the availability of hard to find items, 34 percent, according to a newly commissioned study by FedEx and Forrester Consulting. The study questioned more than 9,000 respondents in 17 countries, as cross-border shipments are a significant part of e-commerce.

"This research provides deep insight into the priorities and preferences of global online customers and highlights how small and mid-sized retailers can better take advantage of the cross-border opportunity," said Raj Subramaniam, executive VP, global marketing, FedEx. "Knowledge about both the cultural similarities and differences in geographic markets can help businesses gain real online retail advantage."

The highest rates of international online shopping come from Canadians, 90 percent, compared with the lowest rates, the Japanese at 59 percent. On average, these customers spend about $300 on cross-border items a year.

Canada is the largest cross-border online market for U.S. retailers today. It was also Borderfree's number one market for cross-border sales from U.S. retailers in 2013.

And what retailers are they purchasing from? Cross-border shoppers prefer buying from well-known major multi-brand retailers and global online marketplaces.

While shipping cost and delivery time were at top of mind for respondents, more than one-third of them cited high duties/taxes as a concern for cross-border shopping. If all online purchases under $200 were duty free, 56 percent of respondents would increase their international shopping.

At the end of 2014, logistics and transportation company DHL Global changed its name to DHL eCommerce to show its renewed commitment to e-commerce solutions. Recent research from DHL shows that e-commerce already accounts for 11 percent of all trading volume in the United States and is expected to rise 40 percent in developed countries and 30 percent in developing countries by 2025.

For more:
-See this Forrester press release

Related stories:
Canada shoppers top target for US retailers
DHL rebrands itself for e-commerce
Target fires head of Canadian operations 
Sears Canada CEO resigns
Sears Canada to cut 1,600 jobs as it outsources, restructures

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