Aussies lead world for cross-border e-commerce

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 20 November, 2017

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Australian shoppers continue to lead the world in terms of the percentage of consumers engaged in cross-border online shopping, according to research from transaction technology company Pitney Bowes.

The company’s fourth annual Global Online Shopping Study found that 88% of Australians purchased products from retailers in a different country within the last year, a percentage only equal to Hong Kong and nearly double the percentage of US shoppers (47%).

Australians are turning to online shopping after being unable to find products while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores (72%). The top three reasons for Australians shopping online were price (64%), quality (42%) and selection (24%).

The survey also found that shipping costs are influencing Australian online and cross-border purchasing decisions.

More than four in five (82%) Australian online shoppers prefer free shipping with a longer delivery time to paying for shipping and receiving their item sooner.

Even difficult online shopping experiences don’t seem to deter Australians. The high percentage of e-commerce users persists despite 40% of respondents reporting facing challenges with their online orders during the holidays, including shipping tracking inaccuracies (12%) as well as having items shipped to the wrong address or being lost in the mail (8%).

In addition, the survey identified a shift in the way Australian consumers are researching products and shopping. This year, 52% of respondents reported looking at a marketplace directly for research, compared to just 41% last year. The percentage looking at retail websites directly for new products declined two percentage points over the same period to 50%.

“Australian shoppers have an entire global marketplace at their fingertips. The demand for a seamless customer experiences means customers expect that there is always a way to get the product they want, shipped wherever they want, whenever they want it. This creates both opportunities and challenges for retailers,” Pitney Bowes EVP and president for global e-commerce and presort services Lila Snyder said.

“With even more purchases expected to be online this holiday shopping season, retailers need to double-down on the elements of the consumer experience that matter most — delivery, returns, tracking and world-class customer service.”

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