7 things you can do to help grow your global sales.

Aug 17 2018 | Melissa O'Malley, Global Director, PayPal

Understanding global shoppers’ buying preferences and pain-points is a must before you start selling internationally. 
 
In our fourth-annual global cross-border commerce report1, we surveyed more than 34,000 consumers across 31 countries and asked how and why they shop online both domestically and internationally. The insights we uncovered can help you understand which markets may have more selling potential than others; and things you can do to get ahead of your global competition.

Global consumer insights for selling internationally.
How can you identify and connect with more consumers who are willing to make purchases internationally?
  1. Focus on developing countries. E-commerce growth is making headway in developing countries. In countries like India, Argentina and the Philippines, consumers surveyed report significant increases in their online spending year-over-year – with 42 percent, 40 percent and 26 percent annual e-commerce growth rates in each country respectively.
  1. Optimize your website experience. International online shopping continues to increase at a rapid pace. Across the 31 countries surveyed, about 50 percent of consumers surveyed say they shop online internationally – led by 70 percent of Middle Eastern consumers and 62 percent of African consumers. In countries like Ireland, Austria and Israel, around 80 percent of shoppers polled say they make online purchases with international merchants annually. Clothing and footwear (68 percent), consumer electronics (53 percent) and toys (53 percent) are the most popular products purchased internationally.
 
  1. Don’t forget to optimize your mobile and tablet shopping experience too. Online purchasing is growing and approaching nearly half of all purchase volume in some of the world’s most populated countries. According to the survey, in China, 53 percent of purchases are made on a mobile or tablet, 48 percent in India and 45 percent in the U.S. With the exception of Eastern Europe, purchases on mobile and tablet devices make up 30 percent or more of total payment volume across the world.
 
  1. Offer competitive pricing. Businesses who compete on price or offer discounts to shoppers will have a better chance at winning globally. And keep in mind it’s not just about product cost; consumers look at pricing holistically. 25 percent say high delivery shipping costs would prevent them from making purchases from websites in another country, and 24 percent express similar concerns with paying customs duties, fees or taxes associated with the purchase. Merchants who transparently list all fees associated with a purchase up-front have a better chance of converting their international shoppers into buyers.
 
  1. Add unique products to your product mix. The second most cited reason consumers shop internationally is for the novelty of accessing items that are not available in their own country (49 percent) or to discover new and interesting products (34 percent). Over half of global consumers who shop from merchants in Norway, Mexico, Ireland and Canada do so for access to items not available in their country, and four-out-of-10 who shop from merchants in the Czech Republic, Israel and Brazil do so for new and interesting products. Merchants who offer unique products and have a clear SEO strategy in place to make products easy to search for will get ahead in these markets.
 
  1. Make local currency options available. 75 percent of global shoppers would prefer having an option to pay for their purchase in their local currency and 60 percent check conversion rates before making a purchase. Integrate with a global payments processing platform like PayPal so you can receive money in more than 100 currencies while letting your customers pay the way they want.
 
  1. Give consumers security and peace of mind. Making an international purchase (especially for the first time) can make consumers feel cautious, but you can help alleviate some of that concern. 44 percent in our survey said ‘a secure way to pay’ was a top consideration. Consumers want to make sure their order will get to them, and if in case anything is wrong with the order, that they can return it. PayPal offers both Purchase Protection for consumers and Seller Protection for merchants – that help secure eligible transactions for both parties.
Making simple tweaks to your website to address these consumer preferences can help businesses capture more international sales. If you are looking for specific insights by country, we’ve uploaded all of the data on the refreshed PayPal PassPort site
 
The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

On behalf of PayPal, Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample1 of c.1000-2000 (34,052 in total) adults (aged 18 or over) who use an internet enabled device in each of 31 countries (USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, UAE, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, India, China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Philippines)Interviews were conducted online between 13th March and 1st May 2018.

Data was weighted in all countries to adjust for panel bias based on external trend data on incidence of online shoppers in each country.