What keeps global consumers from shopping online? The top challenge is shipping costs, such that a recent survey showed that 64 percent of consumers worried about the charges associated with moving the products they planned to order. Only 39 percent cited shipping delays as a barrier, and another 33 percent claimed that return policies kept them from shopping online with international retailers. Despite the global connectivity offered by the Internet, buyers also noted challenges related to international purchases, such as product descriptions in foreign languages, currency conversion issues, and merchants that did not accept their credit cards. Among those who do buy globally though, shoppers generally seek product offerings from merchants located in the United States, United Kingdom, or Germany. Moreover, 62 percent of shoppers rely on search engines to find their desired products. Only about one-quarter mainly use their mobile devices for their purchases, though this percentage is higher in some countries (e.g., United Kingdom, China, India) and among Millennials. Finally, in addition to the challenges and barriers noted, the survey revealed that the main driver of international online purchases was price, such that 61 percent of respondents bought from a vendor outside their own country because it offered a better price on the products they wanted.
Source: Dan Berthiaume, Chain Store Age, October 15, 2015