Pitney Bowes Survey Finds Majority of Global Consumers Shop Cross-Border

66 Percent of Consumers Now Shop Cross-Border with New Consumer
Insights Creating Unprecedented Global Opportunity for Retailers and
Marketplaces

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#PitneyBowes–Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), a global technology leader providing innovative
products and solutions powering anywhere-to-everywhere commerce, today
announced the results of the third annual Pitney Bowes Global Online
Shopping Survey, which finds that cross-border ecommerce has become
prevalent among consumers around the world. It’s no surprise that
consumers frequently make domestic online purchases (94%), however more
than two-thirds (66%) of consumers that have ever made a domestic online
purchase have also made an online purchase from another country in the
past year. Singapore (89%), Australia (86%) and Hong Kong (85%) have the
highest number of cross-border shoppers, while countries like Japan
(34%) and the U.S. (45%) are still growing in cross-border confidence.


The World Shops

The survey findings suggest that online shopping has become a way of
life for many shoppers. Nearly one-third of these consumers now say they
make domestic online purchases on a daily or weekly basis, with over
two-thirds in China reporting this regularity. As domestic online
shopping becomes more frequent, it can create familiarity and comfort to
reach across borders. Not surprisingly, cross-border shopping occurs
less frequently than domestic shopping with the majority of consumers
(58%) shopping monthly or annually. Top countries for monthly/annual
cross-border shopping include Australia (78%), Singapore (77%), Canada
(72%), Mexico (71%) and Hong Kong (70%).

What also drives cross-border shopping is the mutually-beneficial union
between physical stores and online shopping, which could provide a huge
opportunity for retailers and brands. Survey findings uncovered that 63
percent of consumers that have shopped cross-border are now
participating in what Pitney Bowes is describing as “In-store Global.
Online Local
.” This phenomenon is when consumers make in-store
purchases during their international travels, and follow up with online
purchases from that same cross-border retailer. Most cross-border
shoppers in South Korea, China and India cited that they often or always
revisit a retailer online following international travels.

Shopping Here, There and Everywhere

Today’s consumers have the power of choice, whether choosing to shop
online direct to a retailer website or an online marketplace, and the
study shows that consumers like it that way. In fact, while consumers
may have a preference for one channel over the other, very few shop
exclusively through one online channel.

Approximately half of consumers say that all or most of their online
shopping, whether domestic or cross-border, is through an online
marketplace. The top countries in which shoppers choose all or most of
their cross-border marketplace purchases are Japan (70%), China (61%),
Germany (59%) and India (55%). About a quarter of global shoppers choose
the retailer’s direct site for all or most of their cross-border
shopping. The top direct-to-retail countries are Canada (35%), South
Korea (34%) and Australia (33%). The remaining shoppers shop both
marketplaces and retailers with no leading preference. This suggests
that retailers should consider a broad presence and multiple channels to
reach global shoppers.

“Consumers across the world have spoken. We have moved beyond the days
of marketplace or retailer; in-store or online; or even in-country or
cross-border,” says Lila Snyder, President, Global Ecommerce, Pitney
Bowes. “The world is shopping—everywhere—as new consumer behaviors and
trends have emerged. Entering the holiday season and a new year,
retailers and marketplaces alike should take note and capitalize on
these shifts in consumer behavior, which open up new opportunities for
brands and retailers at home and abroad.”

Shopping in the Mobile Age

Throughout the shopping journey, mobile devices are playing an
increasingly greater role. Roughly half of shoppers in Singapore (51%),
India (50%), Mexico (49%) and China (47%) were most likely to use a
mobile device (including tablets and phones) for browsing. When it comes
to order tracking, over half of shoppers in China, Hong Kong, India,
Singapore and South Korea use these devices. Even though mobile is not
the first choice for completing a purchase (33%), surveyed shoppers
often use their mobile device for part of the shopping journey. For
example, in the U.S. one-third of shoppers (33%) use mobile for
completing a purchase, however mobile usage increases significantly
(47%) when tracking an item post purchase. The data reveals a strong
tracking application as highly strategic to reaching the mobile shopper.

Survey results uncovered insight into how consumers are finding products
online. While marketplaces (62%), search engines (43%) and retailers’
sites (39%) continue to be popular discovery tools, countries like Hong
Kong (26%), Australia (24%) and Singapore (22%) rely on email
communications to find new products. And now nearly one-fifth (19%) of
consumers are discovering new products through social media channels,
especially in Hong Kong (45%), Mexico (32%), India and Singapore (both
30%). In fact, Hong Kong consumers are just as likely to use social
channels to discover new products as they are a retailer’s website,
while consumers in Mexico are more likely to use social media than visit
a retailer’s website.

Getting the Basics Right Still Matters

The need for choice was also evident with regard to payment types. While
survey results varied by country, no one payment option was chosen by a
majority of cross-border shoppers. Credit cards (45%) were the most
preferred method of payment online. E-wallets, which allow consumers to
store multiple payment accounts in one place (i.e. PayPal, Alipay), were
identified as another popular payment method (34%) for cross-border
purchases. Choice again proved to be a crucial theme, as limiting
options for payment alienates a significant number of would-be
consumers. When asked about the most important factors in selecting a
payment option, consumers cited service fees/total cost of purchase
(33%), value of the purchase (25%), and offer of a purchase protection
plan (25%) as the most important considerations when selecting a payment
option.

Online shipping and returns continue to be a major pain point for
consumers, despite merchants’ efforts to improve their shipping and
returns processes. When asked about holiday shopping, 42 percent of
consumers say they experienced related challenges when shopping online
for the 2015 holiday season. In fact, even the most basic elements of
the customer experience, such as shipping the right item; accuracy in
address and tracking; a transparent returns policy; and proper duty and
tax were all cited as challenges. Hong Kong (65%), India (59%), South
Korea (55%), Singapore and China (both 54%) were among the countries
experiencing the greatest headaches with online shopping during the 2015
holiday season. Even in the U.S., almost a third of consumers (31%)
reported experiencing challenges during last year’s holiday shopping
season, putting the pressure on retailers and marketplaces to make
significant improvements in the consumer experience heading into this
holiday.

Methodology

The 2016 Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Study was conducted online
by ORC International and surveyed approximately 13,000 adults across 13
countries regarding their perceptions, habits and preferences for making
online purchases. This year’s survey polled Singapore, Hong Kong and
Mexico for the first time, where they joined survey participants from
Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea,
the United Kingdom, and the United States. The survey was conducted in
August 2016.

About Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI), is a global technology company powering
billions of transactions – physical and digital – in the connected and
borderless world of commerce. Clients around the world, including 90
percent of the Fortune 500, rely on products, solutions and services
from Pitney Bowes in the areas of customer information management,
location intelligence, customer engagement, shipping, mailing, and
global ecommerce. And with the innovative Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud,
clients can access the broad range of Pitney Bowes solutions, analytics,
and APIs to drive commerce. For additional information visit Pitney
Bowes, the Craftsmen of Commerce, at www.pitneybowes.com.

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Contacts

Pitney Bowes Inc.
Kathy Raymond, 203-351-7233
Kathleen.raymond@pb.com