Asia Pacific leads for mobile cross-border shopping

Asia Pacific leads the world in mobile cross-border shopping, according to the third PayPal Annual Global Report, released in conjunction with global market research company Ipsos.

With its investigation of the online domestic and cross-border shopping habits of more than 28,000 consumers in 32 countries, the report reveals international opportunities for merchants.

Of the Asia Pacific shoppers interviewed, 68 per cent said they had made a cross-border purchase by smartphone in the past 12 months.

There has been a marked shift to mobile purchasing in China, with an average of 35 per cent of cross-border purchases being made on a smartphone this year compared to 27 per cent last year.

Fewer than 15 per cent of shoppers in both western and eastern European as well as North America, however, used a smartphone for cross-border purchases.

Meanwhile, their online spending will increase in the next 12 months according to 64 per cent of internet users in China, 39 per cent in Russia and 26 per cent in the UK. This is primarily driven by convenience (76 per cent), changes in disposable income (30 per cent), faster shipping (35 per cent) and cheaper shipping (27 per cent).

“Selling internationally is a substantial opportunity for merchants around the globe to grow their business,” says PayPal director of global initiatives Melissa O’Malley. “We’ve seen our cross-border volume grow 38 per cent in the past two years, from $14 billion in the third quarter of 2014 to $19 billion in the same quarter this year.

Merchant benefits

“PayPal’s mobile payment volume is also up 56 per cent over last year, so we see the direct benefits merchants can reap by optimising their mobile shopping offerings.”

For the first time in the survey’s three years, China is the most popular online cross-border shopping destination – 21 per cent of online shoppers interviewed claimed to have shopped from Chinese websites in the past 12 months, followed by the US (17 per cent) and the UK (13 per cent).

What is attractive about cross-border shopping? Of the global consumers in the survey, 76 per cent cited better prices, while 65 per cent said they could buy items not available in their own country.


Factors that would make online shoppers more likely to buy from a website in another country include free shipping (46 per cent of respondents) and secure payment system (44 per cent).

In 24 of the 32 countries surveyed, PayPal is most used for payments. Key factors for choosing particular payment methods include security (53 per cent of respondents), convenience (44 per cent) and acceptance by retailers (41 per cent).

Of the shoppers using PayPal, 44 per cent say it is their preference as they do not need to share financial details with the seller.

On behalf of PayPal, Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of about 800 to 2000 (28,012 in total) adults who use an internet-enabled device in each of 32 countries, including China, India, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Interviews were conducted online between late August and early October.

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