Cross-Border Shoppers Purchasing Clothing Online

Close to 50 percent of cross-border digital buyers age 18 and over have made purchases of clothing, apparel, footwear and accessories from cross-border eCommerce sites during 2016.

Citing data from PayPal and Ipsos, eMarketer said in a report that nearly one-third of digital buyers age 18 and over said they made purchases of electronics, computers, tablets, mobile phones and peripherals from websites outside of their country. But it doesn’t end there. EMarketer reported a quarter of those people surveyed purchased travel or transportation from cross-border eCommerce sites, and close to as many purchased digital entertainment and education items, such as eBooks and digital music. Finally, 23 percent said they spent money on toys and hobbies on cross-border websites.

As a result, eMarketer is forecasting that retail eCommerce sales worldwide will hit $1.9 trillion this year, excluding travel and event tickets. That’s an increase of close to 25 percent compared to a year ago. What’s more, eMarketer projects worldwide retail eCommerce sales will near $2.4 trillion in 2017, when, for the first time, retail eCommerce will make up 10 percent of total retail sales. By 2020, eMarketer is forecasting sales will surpass $4 trillion, nearly 15 percent of all retail sales worldwide.

Last month, eMarketer said cross-border eCommerce is gaining in popularity in China. A quarter of the Chinese population will be shopping either directly on foreign-based websites or through third parties, like Alibaba’s Tmall Global and’s JD Worldwide, by 2020, according to eMarketer. That emerging trend represents a big opportunity for global entrepreneurs, said Cleveland Brown, CEO of Payscout, a global payment processing provider in October.

“We encourage small to medium-sized businesses in particular to prepare themselves for taking advantage of the growing Chinese appetite for goods from abroad,” Brown said, noting that cross-border digital shopping in China, according to eMarketer’s figures, grew by more than 70 percent in 2015 alone. This is partly due to a higher standard of living in China, along with a greater exposure to foreign products, the company said.


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