Digital wallets and social selling among top cross-border sales trends

- March 21, 2024 2 MIN READ

Aussie-born global fintech Airwallex has dropped its State of Cross-border eCommerce report, revealing the payment and logistics trends and challenges facing both consumers and merchants online.

The report spotlights the dynamics of cross-border eCommerce, suggesting there are opportunities for  Aussie businesses and consumers when transacting globally.

“ECommerce is more global than ever,” said Kai Wu, Chief Revenue Officer at Airwallex.

“Despite ongoing economic uncertainty and slowing global growth, it is clear that consumer spending will continue to grow. With the global cross-border eCommerce market set to reach USD 7.9 trillion by 2030, it is critical for international merchants to solve consumer pain points and deliver the best possible customer experience in order to thrive in this competitive market.”

International sellers gain consumer trust

The report reveals consumers are increasingly comfortable engaging in cross-border transactions, with 61 per cent of global consumers viewing international sellers as trustworthy entities.

Interestingly, however, Aussie shoppers are ready to shift their spending habits towards domestic retailers. Twenty-eight per cent of Australians said they would love to decrease their international online shopping and support local, signalling a potential opportunity for Australian business owners.

Cross-border shopping booms

Despite this trend, the allure of cross-border shopping remains strong for many consumers, driven by factors such as enhanced online shopping experiences, competitive pricing, and broader product selections. In Australia, consumers are drawn to international shopping because of the prospect of greater product options (32 per cent) and better deals (32 per cent). This suggests that to compete, local businesses need to match or surpass global offerings.

More purchases, more often

Looking at future trends, Airwallex reports over half of global consumers anticipate increasing their purchase frequency from overseas merchants. Consumers across Asian markets such as  China, Hong Kong, and Singapore are also showing a preference for Australian merchants, suggesting there is an opportunity for local Aussie businesses to expand their reach.

Payment preferences and consumer behaviour

The report also sheds light on evolving payment preferences. Credit cards were the most popular form of payment amongst 39 per cent of those surveyed. Unsurprisingly, digital wallets have also gained traction across most regions, with 26 per cent of consumers using a global digital wallet for purchases. Additionally, when shopping with international merchants, 77 per cent of consumers said they would likely abandon their cart if their preferred payment method were not available

Social selling the big winner

Social platforms have emerged as major players in international sales, particularly among digital natives. Almost six in ten (59 per cent) of consumers said they would likely make online purchases from international merchants through social media.

Accessing better deals and offers on social (49 per cent) was the number one motivation for consumers to buy from international merchants, followed by personal recommendations (42 per cent) and interactive online selling (38 per cent). On average, consumers used Facebook the most (28 per cent) to make online international purchases, followed by TikTok (22 per cent) and Instagram (20 per cent).

Get your logistics right

Further findings suggest that solid logistics are a must for businesses looking to capitalise on international sales trends. When it comes to gripes, the survey reported that shipping costs and transparency ranked as some of the most important factors when evaluating an international merchant with 40 per cent of customers. Meanwhile, lengthy refund processing times and returns represent the most prominent challenge for consumers (47 per cent).

Check out the full report here

How a ‘borderless business’ approach could help your business expand globally