It's clear that e-commerce was a winner this holiday season, but that growth also brought about an expansion across another industry that's growing in popularity: cross-border e-commerce.
After all, if consumers are sitting at home shopping, it doesn't necessarily matter if that retailer is in New York City or Beijing as the previous burdens of cross-border shopping between companies and countries are slowly being eased. The growth of international payment services like AliPay and PayPal have helped the oversees shopping trends expand even more this holiday season.
"The reality is pretty much nothing in a store is locally produced, so 99 percent of what you're buying is already a cross-border transaction. We're cutting out the middle-man," Anuj Nayar, senior director of global initiatives at PayPal, told Fox Business.
And that trend is expected to grow, said PayPal, which recently gave a report that estimated by 2018, about 130 million shoppers will be spending over $300 billion a year across the border, up from $105 billion in 2013. Cross-border shopping used to have more restrictions, but e-commerce companies and global payment companies have worked with governments to make payments between countries more seamless. PayPal has also reported that about 25 percent of its transactions are international, and roughly 2,000 cross-border transactions are made per minute. Alibaba's AliPay is also gaining more acceptance with merchants across China and the rest of the world.
"Companies are working on fixing the biggest hurdles for international shopping: The perception that it costs a lot and takes a long time," the Fox article reported. "They're handling the conversion of currency behind-the-scenes and giving shoppers the prices in their own currency. They're including tariffs and customs duties in the overall price of an item. And they're being transparent about shipping times and enabling shoppers [to] track packages online."