57% of online shoppers around the world have made at least one online cross-border purchase in the last twelve months. Meanwhile a further 22% have considered doing so. Additionally, 43% agree or strongly agree that doing more online shopping in general during COVID-19 means they are now more willing to consider cross-border e-commerce purchases.
Clothing and footwear is the sector most likely to generate cross-border e-commerce sales. More than half (56%) of consumers saying they are likely to consider ordering these products from abroad. Next came sport, hobbies, leisure (44%), followed by health and beauty (42%), and consumer electronics, computers and, phones (41%).
Not giving a foreign company a second change
However, many consumers continue to have a poor opinion of the delivery experience for international e-commerce. In addition, they are less forgiving if things go wrong. For example, a little more than 59% of online shoppers agree (24% strongly) they are less likely to give a company in another country a second chance if they make a mistake with their order.
Consumers believe cross-border purchases bring delivery issues
Approximately 66% say they believe cross-border purchases will arrive later than promised. Meanwhile 47% believe they are more likely to be damaged in transit. Moreover, 69% believe delivery charges will be higher for international orders. And 59% believe they will have to pay additional fees or duties which have not been made clear at checkout.
Overall, product returns remain one of the biggest concerns related to cross-border purchases. 73% believes product returns will be more difficult.
Difficulty getting help
On top of this, online shoppers think it will be more difficult to get help if they need information about their order. 64% believes it will be harder to contact the company to ask about their order than if buying from a domestic business.
People are becoming more open to shopping on e-commerce sites based in other countries. Ultimately, this is great news for online retail businesses. However, businesses need to address the key concerns about shipping and delivery.
Encouraging cross-border sales
Certain factors also encourage consumers to make an online purchase from a foreign company. Top of the list for online shoppers was a guaranteed free returns policy. A large majority (72%) of respondents agree this would encourage them to make an online purchase from a company in another country. Next came the ability to easily track orders online (71%), with up-front transparency about additional charges or taxes for cross-border orders (70%).