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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 02, 2011


Etailers say customer service, returns biggest issues for international selling

The world is now a shopper's paradise - in more ways than one. With the help of etail shops, consumers around the globe now have better access to things they need - whether it's the latest fashions or a newer computer model. And, according to data from eMarketer, those global shoppers are now pushing US-based ecommerce.

by Kristina Knight

onlineshopping.jpgThrough 2010 eMarketer estimates that only about 7% of sales by American etailers were from international buyers, but those numbers are steadily increasing. Nearly three-quarters (70%) of US retailers say they sell internationally. The biggest export-shoppers are from Canada, Australia and the UK.

But, although the Internet has helped broaden the sales base for etailers, there are still issues. Although the biggest buyers of US goods are still English speaking, when buying from another part of the world it can be hard to get questions answered. No wonder, then, that customer service is seen as the biggest issue (31%) when it comes to international sales; returns are also seen as problematic. Payments/conversion rate (29.9%) is another worry that international sellers face.

Fifty-One has identified an international 'power shopper' profile, that of a shopper who makes larger purchases, returns to online stores more often and spend more time in-store. Most of these shoppers, at least the shoppers visiting US hubs, are Canadian or European, there is a growing base of Pacific Rim shoppers who are looking to US sites to find deals.

How much more are these power shoppers spending?

  • Canadians spent just over $1200 (2010)
  • Asian shoppers spent $100 more than the American shoppers average (2010)
  • Australian and New Zealand shoppers spent about $100 less than American shoppers (2010)
  • Middle Eastern shoppers spent an average of $1600 (2010)





  • Tags: 51, ecommerce, eMarketer, Fifty-One, global online shopping, international ecommerce, international marketing








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