More Shoppers Go Global

Cross-border e-commerce has grown so quickly that 25 percent of PayPal's transactions are now international, with about 2,000 cross-border transactions per minute, according to the Associated Press.

A PayPal report estimates that by 2018, about 130 million shoppers will be spending over $300 billion a year across the border, up from $105 billion in 2013.

Online retailers are working on fixing the biggest hurdles for international shopping: The perception that it costs a lot and takes a long time. They are handling the conversion of currency behind the scenes and giving shoppers the prices in their own currency, as well as tariffs and customs duties in the overall price of an item. And they're being transparent about shipping times and enabling shoppers track packages online.

Some, like Alibaba's AliExpress, also offer features like free international shipping. And some retailers that work with PayPal, such as Australian-based companies KeepCup (which sells reusable coffee cups) and WallFry (which sells wall art for children's rooms), have opened warehouses in the U.S. and U.K to keep up with demand from overseas.

In the opposite direction, Colorado online bicycle parts store Pro's Closet now sees 45 percent of its orders coming from Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, China and other countries, thanks to PayPal and eBay's translations of product listings into customers' language and currency.

And luxury deal site now does 20 percent of its business internationally by partnering with cross-border logistics company Borderfree and Alibaba's Alipay payments service.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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