Nielsen reports 57% of online shoppers now buy across borders

Nielsen has published its Global Connected Commerce Survey for which it polled respondents in 26 countries. The researchers found that while e-commerce is still largely a domestic affair, with consumers primarily ordering from retailers in their own country, cross-border ecommerce is a growing phenomenon: 57% of the respondents made at least one cross-border online purchase throughout the past 6 months.

Greater choice
Italians (79%) Indians (73%) and Germans (73%) are leading the way when it comes to purchases from an overseas retailer. “Retail has been one of the last holdouts of globalization, but technology is giving consumers access to a world of products previously unavailable,” comments Patrick Dodd, president, Nielsen global retailer vertical, in a press release. “Choice is greatly enhanced by cross-border e-commerce. In many developing markets, the growing middle class is trading up and demanding greater assortment than found at their domestic retailer. For example, these consumers are looking overseas to purchase authentic foreign brands, often at lower prices than they can find in their home country. Meanwhile, developed-market consumers gain access to a range of goods directly from foreign companies at often significant discounts to what they would pay domestically.”


Opportunity = challenge
But with huge opportunity comes great challenge. The choice has widened, which makes consumer pickier and more critical- especially when it comes to their shopping experience: The shopping experience becomes a key differentiator between banners. Optimizing the experience starts with a deep understanding of the local market, including local perceptions, delivery infrastructure, technology adoption and use, financial and currency systems and regulatory and customs requirements. In addition, retailers must ensure that products meet quality standards, prices are set reasonably, logistics systems are safe and efficient and after-sales service is optimized for fair refunding/exchanging processes.