Jewellery comes third in cross-border buying habits

Jewellery is the third most popular category for customers making cross-border purchases online in the US, according to new research. 

The research, commissioned by PayPal and carried out by Ipsos, interviewed more than 17,500 online adults in 22 markets and found that the UK was the third most popular shopping destination for international online shoppers – behind the US and China.

It also found that some 17% of cross-border buyers purchasing from the US buy jewellery – the third most popular category.

Chinese consumers are the biggest online buyers of British goods, followed by the US. The analysis found that 25% of cross-border consumers buying online from the UK are from China while 18% are from the US.


In China the most common shopping internationally online is for clothes, footwear and accessories. 45% of Chinese cross-border consumers have purchased a product from these sectors from another country in the last 12 months.

Over 38% of Chinese cross-border consumers have bought cosmetics and beauty products online from abroad, whilst 31% have purchased consumer electronics, computers, tablets and mobiles.

More than half (53%) of the Chinese online shoppers interviewed said that they would be more likely to buy online from abroad if businesses provided a safe way to pay.

Providing customer support in the local language would make 45% of Chinese online shoppers more likely to buy online internationally, whilst free shipping and free return shipping would encourage 43% and 42% of online shoppers to buy online from abroad respectively.

In the US, clothing, footwear and accessories are also the biggest reasons for international online shopping in the last year, with 34% of US cross-border shoppers surveyed buying these products from abroad in the past 12 months.

Cameron McLean, MD for PayPal UK, said: “Given the ongoing woes in the Eurozone, the strength of Chinese and US online demand for British goods will come as welcome news to British exporting businesses.

“The US is also a large consumer of British goods online, with consumers looking for clothes, toys, travel opportunities and jewellery from abroad. British businesses can capitalise on the international online shopping market, provided they can offer the right levels of safety, trust and translation to build consumer confidence.”

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