PayPal merchants bet on China sales this Christmas

Source: CNBC

As the countdown to Christmas ticks, Santa Claus isn't the only one making international deliveries. Results from a new survey showed American merchants are looking beyond domestic consumers, and increasingly to China, for more sales opportunities.

The research found that cross-border shoppers—defined as those who spend 10 percent or more of their online spending on international purchases—are buying about twice as much as consumers who shop domestically. Conducted by PayPal and research company Ipsos, the poll surveyed 17,500 consumers in 22 countries in a bid to reveal best practices and opportunities for merchants.

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Top markets for American merchants were China with 33 percent of the market, followed by Canada and Brazil. Within the Chinese market, apparel, cosmetics and consumer electronics were the top three goods. China also boasts important growth opportunities, as only 26 percent of the country makes online purchases from international sites.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found the top two motivators for shopping online were convenience and savings—with convenience ruling across every markets. Shipping costs were also a significant concern. Below are PayPal's top barriers and drivers to cross-border shopping:

Top barriers and drivers to cross-border shopping

Country Top Barrier Top Potential Driver
China Concerns about duties/fees and/or taxesSafe way to pay
CanadaDelivery shipping costsFree shipping
BrazilDelivery time not fast enoughFree shipping
MexicoConcern about identity theft/fraudSafe way to pay
Russia Concern that item might not be receivedFree shipping
UKDelivery shipping costsFree shipping

"Advancements in technology are helping to open up commerce opportunities for everyone—across borders, anywhere, anytime and via any device," Anuj Nayar, senior director of global initiatives for PayPal, said in a release.

Looking beyond the realm of U.S. merchants, the survey found that Austrians were the most likely to make cross-border purchases, with 83 percent of the country's consumers shopping internationally. Israel and Australia followed with 82 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

While Chinese consumers were on the lower end of cross-border purchases, 52 percent of them said they planned on increasing their international shopping, giving the country the third largest projected growth.

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Chinese and U.S. goods were the most popular in overall global online purchases.

Recently, PayPal launched "PayPal PassPort" and a China Singles' Day program to encourage international buying and selling opportunities. The company said it hopes this survey helps its merchants continue the push into international e-commerce.