The rise of the international shopper: Global consumers look overseas for online bargains – Netimperative

58% of global consumers stating they would purchase more international products online if they were made aware of the brands, according to new research.

The international research by Rakuten Marketing finds that interest in purchasing internationally is highest amongst bargain-focused coupon users (68%) and 18-34-year old shoppers (67%) worldwide, as well as those from APAC (65%).

As consumer expectations are higher than ever before, other key findings include:

  • The APAC opportunity – 99% of Singapore consumers have purchased from another country already, with 61% looking to up this next year
  • Barriers to purchase – 67% of APAC consumers perceive shipping costs and wait times to be the largest barriers to purchasing internationally
  • Discount culture – 57% of APAC consumers want at least a 25-49% discount from the full price of an item of apparel when considering a purchase
  • The new research looks into the rise of the international shopper, surveying over 3,570 consumers across seven countries including the UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore and the USA.
  • According to the findings, interest in purchasing internationally is highest amongst coupon users (68%) and 18-34-year-old shoppers (67%) worldwide, as well as those from APAC (65%).


    Breaking free of British borders

    In Singapore, 99% of consumers have purchased from another country already with 61% of shoppers looking to buy more online next year. By comparison, only 43% of UK shoppers are looking to increase online purchases next year.

    To make the most of this international purchasing opportunity, particularly from APAC, brands must overcome key barriers. For example, despite the arrival of freight forwarding, 67% of APAC consumers still perceive shipping costs and wait times to be the largest barrier to purchasing a product internationally.

    Moreover, roughly a quarter of both coupon users and the 18-34 demographic report cost as the greatest barrier to their international purchase journey.

    Anthony Capano, Managing Director, International at Rakuten Marketing comments, “Consumer expectations are different across the world. The truth is you can almost guarantee the messages you’ve developed domestically won’t work further afield. When it comes to winning favour, it’s crucial to lean on in-market expertise. It’s about being able to test and optimise across a variety of publishers to find what resonates.”

    Tactics to winning loyalty

    Given the diversity of consumer expectations, it’s vital marketing efforts are responsive. For instance, enabling consumers in APAC with bespoke discounts can help purchase decisions. 57% of APAC consumers require at least a 25-49% discount from the full price of an item of apparel when considering a purchase. Just over a third are waiting for a discount between 50-74%.

    Aligning marketing with the individual consumer need is even more important given 63% of global consumers surveyed state they typically only consider 1-2 brands when purchasing something online. Two-thirds of consumers stress the importance of breadth of selection and simplicity of the shopping experience, with millennials in particular having high expectations.

    Anthony Capano explains, “Simply being online is not sufficient – to succeed, brands have excelled at delivering the expected breadth and removing the largest barriers. It can feel quite alien to suddenly lead your campaigns with an entirely different message for a new market, but it’s important to realise this is the first step in proving to global consumers that you understand their needs and deserve their loyalty.”

    Methodology

    Rakuten Marketing conducted research amongst 3,570 consumers in 2019 across the United Kingdom Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore and the United States

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