While Alibaba is trying to bring Black Friday madness to China, other parts of the world have already launched their holiday shopping, according to cross-border logistics service Borderfree.
International holiday shopping from U.S. retailers effectively kicked off on Oct. 6, led by China, where U.S. online merchants saw the highest growth in 2013. Borderfree said it has also seen a shift in the top markets for U.S. retail sales from European countries like Germany and Switzerland to Japan and Singapore.
The strong U.S. dollar hasn't been a problem in countries whose currency trades in a tight range with the dollar. Hong Kong, for example, is seeing double-digit growth early on in the season. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the U.A.E. have seen holiday sales jump by more than 30 percent year-over-year.
Meanwhile, customers in Canada, the U.K. and Australia are making lower average orders as U.S. retailers launch targeted promotions and free shipping campaigns to increase overall sales and drive repeat shopping.
And what's different about this year's holiday product categories for international shoppers? Party clothes are trending up from 2013, with an increase of more than 100 percent year-over-year. Demand for diaper bags is down about 20 percent, but demand for baby clothes has more than doubled. And suitcases and cosmetic bags are both trending up -- rising 250 percent and 80 percent, respectively.