Amazon, eBay and Alibaba Dominate Global Cross-Border Buys

The world's three leading e-commerce platforms, U.S.-based Amazon and eBay and China's Alibaba, collectively control two-thirds of global cross-border purchases, a survey by the International Post Corporation (IPC) shows. The top three websites used by cross-border consumers in almost all countries, accounted for 65% of most recent cross-border purchases.

Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC
Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC

IPC is a cooperative association of 24 national postal services from major countries in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America and the second edition of its cross-border e-commerce shopper survey covered 24,000 respondents in 26 markets across North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.
The survey found that China is the most popular market for consumers around the world to shop from, accounting for 26% of most recent cross-border purchases, followed by the U.S. (16%), Germany (15%) and the UK (15%).

Different cross-border shopping habits
The U.S. and China are the main markets cross-border shoppers bought from in the Asia Pacific and Canada. China is the overall favoured market for Europeans, but notable differences are seen in Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria or Switzerland where cross-border shoppers mainly bought from neighbouring countries with a shared language.
The top four categories bought cross-border are clothing, footwear & apparel (33%); consumer electronics (21%); books, music & media (14%) and health & beauty (13%).

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Free of charge transportation prevails
As for the delivery of the purchased goods, the survey found that most cross-border purchases had free shipping. 59% of respondents received free shipping for their cross-border e-commerce purchase, while Chinese consumers benefited the most from free shipping (78%). Interestingly, 70% of cross-border online shoppers were offered tracking and 88% used it, mostly in the interim stage to check on delivery progress. Almost three-quarters of shoppers used the post for their cross-border purchase.
"As e-commerce continues to be on the rise it is vital for postal operators to understand the evolving cross-border e-commerce shoppers’ expectations. By understanding the consumers’ behaviour posts can better meet their needs and remove remaining obstacles for consumers to fully embrace the opportunities of cross-border e-commerce,” said CEO of IPC, Holger Winklbauer.

Nol van Fenema

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