American retailers and holidays are taking the world by storm.
The country's merchants are the world’s best at appealing to international audiences. The country led the pack in our hot-off-the-presses Q3 2016 X-Border Payments Optimization Index™, with a score of 67.5 points, up slightly from last quarter.
They do have some competition, however. Merchants in China, the U.K., Canada and Spain each earned scores within 10 points of those in the U.S.
Other key takeaways from the Q3 2016 Index include:
- Only 23 percent of merchants accept six or more currencies on average, but in the top 10, 80 percent accept six or more currencies.
- Free shipping may be expensive to implement for merchants, but it is the largest differentiator between the best and worst sites.
- Ninety percent of bottom 10 merchants always ask customers to sign up for an account to make a purchase. By comparison, only 30 percent of top 10 merchants require this.
Meanwhile, American holidays are also catching on overseas. The index also features a conversation with Brad Butler, COO of Halloween Express, a spooky seasonal merchandise provider operating more than 200 stores. PYMNTS recently caught up with Butler to discuss the increase in global demand for Halloween-related products and how the company ships costumes around the world.
Here’s a preview:
Butler said it hasn’t proven cost-effective to build and support a homegrown international shipping infrastructure for a seasonal business like Halloween. “If Halloween was year-round, it would be a different story.”
What has been effective is handing off the international shipping component to Globalshopex for the past five years, Butler said. The partnership has enabled Halloween Express to treat international orders like domestic shipments and allowed it to focus its core energy and resources on capturing as much of the October business as it can by “super-serving” the customers.
“It's just so much easier for us to subcontract out the international component of it,” he said.
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About The Index
This quarter, the PYMNTS X-Border Optimization Index™ tracks the journey of 192 merchants who are vying for their share of the global eCommerce windfall.
The index takes the pulse on how merchants are improving on attributes conducive to international eCommerce in countries that include Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United States. The verdict: The U.S. is still ahead of the rest, but not by much.