Logistyx Technologies, the leader in strategic parcel shipping and fulfillment technology, released new research revealing 57% of online shoppers around the world made at least one online purchase from another country in the last 12 months – while a further 22% considered doing so. And 43% agree or strongly agree that shopping more online during the pandemic increased their willingness to consider cross-border e-commerce purchases.

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The survey of 2,035 online shoppers in the U.S., Germany, Australia, and the U.K. highlights that Clothing and Footwear is the sector most likely to generate cross-border e-commerce sales, with more than half (56%) of respondents likely to consider ordering these products from abroad. Next came Sport, Hobbies, Leisure (44%), followed by Health and Beauty (42%), and Consumer Electronics, Computers, Phones (41%).

However, many consumers continue to have a poor opinion of the delivery experience for international e-commerce and are less forgiving if things go wrong. For example, 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.

Approximately 66% of respondents believe cross-border purchases will arrive later than promised, while 47% believe they are more likely to be damaged in transit. Not only do 69% believe delivery charges will be higher for international orders, but 59% expect to pay additional fees or duties not made clear at checkout.

Overall, product returns remain one of the biggest concerns related to cross-border purchases, with 73% believing product returns will be more difficult.

“People are definitely becoming more open to shopping on e-commerce 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. Shippers need to select the right carriers for each country or region in terms of service level, costs, and the ability to provide visibility over the end-to-end parcel delivery journey.”

Asked what factors would encourage them to make an online purchase from a company in another country, respondents identified the following:
Seven factors online shoppers agree would encourage cross-border purchases

To what extent do you agree that these factors would encourage you to make a purchase from a company in another country?
1)    A guaranteed free returns policy if I decided I did not want to keep the product – 72%
2)    The ability to easily track their orders online – 71%
3)    A guarantee of no additional charges or taxes aside from those mentioned at checkout – 70%
4)    A guarantee that the order will be delivered on time, or I get money off my purchase – 67%
5)    A local product servicing and repairs capability in my home country – 64%
6)    A free telephone/webchat hotline in my language that I could contact in my time zone – 60%
7)    A buy-now-pay-later option which allowed me to pay for the product only after I received it and was happy with it – 54%

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“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,” added Finlay. “Have clear 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.”

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