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Fashion is the top category for cross-border online shopping

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

Oct 28, 2021

Retail

Image: Pexels

A survey of online shoppers in the US, UK, Germany and Australia suggests 57 percent have made at least one cross-border purchase in the last 12 months. Clothing and footwear are the mostly likely products purchased via ecommerce sites in other countries, as are beauty (42 percent) and leisure items (44 percent).

In a survey of 2,035 online shoppers commissioned by Logistyx Technologies, a strategic parcel shipping and fulfilment technology, 43 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that doing more online shopping in general during the pandemic means they are now more willing to consider cross-border e-commerce purchases.

Most shoppers still harbour negative beliefs about the shipping and delivery experience of cross-border shopping, however: 66 percent believe goods will arrive later than promised; 59 percent think they’ll be hit with unexpected fees or duties; and 73 percent feel returning products will be more difficult.

Customers value transparency

According to the research, the best tactics for ecommerce retailers to encourage international online orders are offering free product returns (72 percent); making it easy for shoppers to track their orders online (71 percent); and being transparent about any additional duties or taxes that need to be paid (70 percent). Crucially, around 59 percent of online shoppers agree they are less likely to give a company in another country a second chance if they make a mistake with their order.

“People are definitely becoming more open to shopping on ecommerce sites based in other countries, which is great news for online retail businesses,” said Geoffrey Finlay, CEO of Logistyx. “But if you want to win and retain international customers, you need to address the key concerns around shipping and delivery highlighted by our research. While you can mitigate some of these issues by implementing the right supply chain systems, you also need to select the right carriers for each country or region both in terms of service level and costs. It’s essential to work with carriers that can provide visibility over the end-to-end parcel delivery journey – ideally in real time, and you should be sure to leverage carrier performance data to identify opportunities to improve processes.”

“Returns appear to be a major pain point. While making them free may not always be feasible given the cost and complexity of international shipping, it’s important to make the process as easy and hassle-free as possible. Be clear about returns policies, provide returns packaging and labels with the original parcel, make booking a return quick and painless, and ensure the refund is initiated as soon as the return is collected from the customer.”