70% of US consumers have shopped online from abroad in the past year

High delivery costs are named as a key barrier to shopping globally, but it hasn’t stopped many US shoppers, but 22% would abandon their carts if they can’t use their preferred payment method.

Only 30% of shoppers in the US have bought solely from online retailers based on home soil in the past year because they felt they could “get what they need from home”.

However, payment methods on overseas websites are very much an influential factor on shopper choice, with more than a fifth (22%) of consumers stating that they will not make a purchase if their preferred method of payment isn’t available to them.

The research, from a survey of almost 1,100 adults by online payment service provider PayU, which operates in more than 50 markets, found that those who had not shopped abroad largely felt they should support stores in their home country.

High delivery costs were cited as a main barrier to shopping abroad for consumers (29% of those surveyed), while for 23% of respondents, high charges and a complex returns process were a reason to choose to shop closer to home. However, just 6% of those aged 18 to 24 said they felt they could get everything they need from local retailers.

“It is clear that the trend for shopping internationally is accelerating, even in well served markets like the US,” said Mario Shiliashki, PayU’s CEO of Global Payments. “This growing trend represents an ever more attractive opportunity for retailers to boost their growth by extending their business outside their home countries.

China the main place to shop away

Almost half of those shoppers who have purchased overseas have done so at least once a month, while more than half (53%) have done so from China, according to the survey.

Other popular shopping territories for Americans included Europe (33%), Canada (28%), Southeast Asia (21%) and Latin America (21%).

Almost three-quarters felt safer shopping online – both home or away – if they recognised the brand of the payment service provider, with 36% saying that knowledge influenced their purchasing decision.

Just one in 10 Americans shopping abroad had done so using a ‘buy now pay later’ method, indicating a relatively weak appetite for delayed payments in the market.

Shiliashki concluded: “To capitalise on this opportunity, it is important that merchants have the right technology partners to navigate the complex payments and logistics landscape in order to provide the best consumer shopping experience locally – one critical aspect of that is to optimise their ability to offer the most relevant payment methods in every market they expand to.”