Europeans Buy In To Cross-Border eCommerce

A newfound taste for online shopping and international brands has European eCommerce soaring by an additional $200.5 billion, a new study has found.

PostNord’s “Ecommerce in Europe” report, which surveyed 11,000 adults from 12 European countries, including the U.K., Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Spain and the five Nordic countries, found consumers in the U.K. to have the highest penchant for shopping online.

An average consumer from the U.K. was found to spend about $1,155, whereas an average shopper from Nordic countries spent about $617 online. Following the U.K. were German shoppers who spent an average of $755 in a year.

Consumers from the U.K. and Germany also emerged as the top spenders in the U.S. with 10.6 million from the U.K. and 7.5 million from Germany shopping online at U.S. merchants’ websites.

“We are no longer scared of buying from other countries. We have previously displayed slightly ‘country-centric’ behavior as national borders have been highly significant in various contexts, but this has loosened up through globalization,” said Arne Andersson, eCommerce expert at PostNord. “Today, many of us feel that it is just as natural to shop online as in a physical store, even when we buy products online from abroad.”

While shopping online, clothing and footwear were found to be the most popular category among the surveyed countries, except for home electronics, which emerged as the top category in Italy.

When shopping from international merchants, China ranked as the country of top choice with 34.4 million Europeans picking it over its neck-and-neck competitor, the United States, which served a 34.3 million-wide consumer base.

The report also looked into consumer expectations for order delivery time and found that the Dutch had the highest expectations, with more than a third wanting to receive their order within 1–2 days, which is twice as high as the U.K., Germany, Belgium and Italy.

Consumers from Spain and the Nordic countries were found to be the most relaxed, with 25 percent ready to wait six or more business days to receive their deliveries.

For shopping online, though a tendency to prefer local payment methods was observed, payment habits for the most part were found to vary across Europe. For instance, paying with a debit or credit card is the most popular option in France and the U.K.; PayPal and other similar services were found to be more popular in the Nordic countries, where a fifth preferred them over any other payment method. Poland, on the other hand, has a unique taste for cash on delivery for its choice of payment method.

For more on cross-border payments, click here to take a look at our X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker, a monthly update on the trends and players driving cross-border payments

To check out what else is HOT in the world of payments, click here.


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