A world of opportunity is waiting

Your guide to selling internationally. Read on to learn how.

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How to sell internationally

Whether you’re new to selling internationally or a pro, it pays to have a plan in place. We’ve outlined
5 critical areas to consider when planning for international growth.

Identify target markets for your business

Identify which countries to target and research the unique aspects of each market.

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Determine demand and selling strategies

Generate demand by building brand awareness and taking advantage of local trends and holidays.

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Consider your payment options

Make sure consumers have confidence their payment is secure and can use their preferred method.

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Research local laws, duties and taxes

As an international seller, you’ll need to understand local laws, duties, taxes, and customs.

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Establish support and shipping services

Ensure your policies on international shipping, delivery, returns and payments are clear and easy to find.

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Read on to learn about the benefits of selling internationally

The global sales opportunity

Globalisation and internet adoption are creating opportunities for small businesses
to reach new customers abroad.*

  • 78%

    Of online adults shopped online in past 12 months.*

  • 6.7 billion

    The total cross-border spend for 2016.*

  • 76%

    Of cross-border shoppers cite "better prices" as their top reason for why they shop internationally.*

Read on to gain insights about international buyers

Insights about international buyers

PayPal and Ipsos research provides insight into where consumers are buying from, what’s important to them and how they pay for goods and services.*

Where they buy

The most popular destinations for cross-border shoppers to buy from online

  • China 21%
  • USA 17%
  • UK 13%
  • Germany 7%
  • Japan 4%

What they buy

The top reasons that consumers are buying cross-border online

  • Clothing, shoes and accessories 46%
  • Consumer electronics 29%
  • Travel and transportation 25%
  • Digital entertainment/education 23%
  • Toys and hobbies 23%
  • Cosmetics/beauty products 20%

Why they buy

The top reasons that consumers are buying cross-border online

  • Better prices (76%)
  • Access to items not available in my country (65%)
  • I can discover new and interesting products (59%)
  • Websites in this country have more variety/availability of different products and styles (52%)
  • Shipping is more affordable (50%)

What stops them from buying

The top barriers to cross-border shopping among those consumers who shop cross-border include

  • Delivery shipping costs (43%)
  • Concern that they may not receive the item (35%)
  • Return shipping costs (34%)
    Find out about PayPal’s Returns Shipping On Us here
  • Having to pay customs duties/fees and/or taxes (33%)

How PayPal can help

PayPal is widely and frequently used for cross-border online shopping.

67% of consumers

Nearly 7 out of 10 cross-border shoppers preferred to use PayPal for their cross-border shopping overseas purchases.

192 million

With more than 192 million active customer accounts, PayPal is a truly global payments platform that is available to people in more than 200 markets, allowing customers to get paid in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds to their bank accounts in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies.**

Cracking the world’s biggest ecommerce markets

Written with OC&C Strategy consultants, our report looks at PayPal and Google data on cross-border sales – and will help you to do business in three fast-moving markets.


Ready to start or expand your international sales?

Learn the tips for How to Sell Internationally


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