Cross-Border Ecommerce A Growing Phenomenon, Nielsen Global Survey

Piyush Goel | Sep 09, 2020


Consumer research and Market measurement company Nielsen recently released findings of ‘The Nielsen Global Connected Commerce Survey’. The online survey was conducted in 24 countries. Right from rise of cross border ecommerce, payment trends, and mobile innovations driving the ecommerce growth, the Nielsen study revealed interesting facts.

74% of Indian respondents have shopped from an overseas retailer

Ecommerce has drastically changed the way people shop. A decade ago it was difficult to imagine shopping from a neighbouring city unless planned in advance or part of travel itinerary. But now, people shop from across the border with absolute ease thanks to online retail.

Patrick Dodd, President of Global Retail – Nielsen shared, “Retail has been one of the last holdouts of globalization, but technology is     giving  consumers access to a world of products previously unavailable. Choice is greatly enhanced by cross-border e- commerce. In many developing markets, the growing middle class is trading up and demanding greater assortment than found at their domestic

According to the Nielsen Global Survey report, 74% of Indian participants who have shopped online in the past six months purchased products from international retailers. The percentage was highest in Italy with 79% and third highest was Germany with 73%.

“Shoppers are increasingly looking outside their country’s borders, as more than half of online respondents in the study who made an online purchase in the past six months say they bought from an overseas retailer (57%),” stated Nielsen.

Mobile innovations fuelling this trend

This growing popularity of cross border ecommerce is attributed to the rise of mobile commerce. 32% of online survey respondents said that due to factors like low internet penetration, erratic broadband services, and high cost, shopping online (desktop) isn’t a feasible option for them. This is why shopping via mobile devices, particularly in India has grown tremendously.

“As more consumers turn to mobile devices to shop, a coherent mobile strategy should be a key innovation pillar for retailers. The most    successful strategies will be those that optimize and differentiate their mobile experience and improve the integration of thei  in-store and mobile services specific    to the realities in each market,” said Dodd.

Cash on delivery is the most widely used payment option

Among the 24 countries that were surveyed, credit card (53%) and digital payment systems (43%) were the common methods of online payment. But when it comes to developing nations like India, cash on delivery (COD) was the preferred mode of payment.

83% of online Indian survey participants divulged that COD is the commonly used option out of all payment methods. Low debit/credit card penetration and security concerns were named the major reasons for the COD trend.

Dodd affirmed, “India illustrates that the growth of online shopping isn’t dependent on credit card penetration and development. Shoppers prioritize security above all else, and retailers need to collaborate with banks to ensure they’re providing secure and trusted ways to transact online.

Not just India, COD was found to be extremely popular in other countries too like Nigeria (76%), the Philippines (73%), Russia (70%), and United Arab Emirates (68%).


About Author

Piyush Goel

Piyush Goel

Piyush is the Editor-in-Cheif of IndianOnlineSeller.com. Piyush has many years of experience in Ecommerce, has had experience with marketplaces in Europe, USA and India since 2007, both selling domestically and dealing with imports and exports.


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