A Country-by-Country Look at Consumer Behavior and Trends

How and why shoppers in markets in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America buy on foreign ecommerce sites.

Key Summary:

  • Cross-border ecommerce continues to grow, as more of the world’s population become digital buyers, and retailers become better able to facilitate these transactions. In 2016, Forrester Research forecast that worldwide business-to-consumer (B2C) cross-border ecommerce would reach $424 billion by 2021, making up 15% of all online commerce.
  • About one-quarter (24.2%) of merchants worldwide surveyed by Payvision in August 2016 said the “biggest game-changer” for cross-border ecommerce this year would be the growth of mcommerce, the same answer given for the past two years. There was also an uptick in concern about data breaches and fraud (20.7%) and interest in alternative payment methods (19.9%).
  • An October 2016 survey of global online shoppers by Ipsos and PayPal found that China was the №1 cross-border online shopping destination, cited by 21% of respondents, followed by the US (17%) and the UK (13%). Clothing was by far the most popular category purchased worldwide (46%), followed by consumer electronics (29%).
  • Canada had just 11 retailers in the global top 1,000 in 2015 per Internet Retailer, but all of those merchants shipped internationally. Two other English-speaking countries, the UK (77.8%) and the US (72.2%), ranked second and third. Despite China’s popularity, just over one-quarter (28.1%) of the top retailers in China sold internationally.


A majority (65.5%) of retailer professionals worldwide considered cross-border ecommerce to be pro table in 2016, but this was down from 70% a year earlier.

Note: Special thanks to the 48 Editorial and Production Contributors for this project including Krista Garcia, Robert Bercovitz, Man-Chung Cheung, Jasmine Enberg, Jeane Han, Angela Kim, Jennifer Jhun, Natalie Marin-Sharp, Marcus Plieninger, Dustin Sodano

Source: Payvision, “Key Business Drivers and Opportunities in Cross-Border Ecommerce: A data-driven landscape 2016,” Dec 13, 2016

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