A study released by shipper UPS earlier this month concluded that today’s U.S. online shoppers are more likely than before to make purchases from international retailers, and more likely to buy from online marketplaces.
What does this trend mean for the merchants looking to attract those shoppers – and the payment facilitators enabling their payments?
According to the study, 38% of online shoppers in the U.S. start at a marketplace rather than directly at a retailer, with 30% of respondents saying they intend to do more shopping at a marketplace in the future.
Price seemed to be a major consideration for the online shoppers surveyed in the UPS report. The top reason for preferring to begin a shopping expedition at a marketplace was to secure better prices.
The study also reported that an increasing number of online shoppers are making purchases from international retailers. Better prices were also a driver for these shoppers, with 43% saying that finding a lower price from an international retailer on a U.S. marketplace was their reason for shopping internationally.
According to the study, providing shoppers with a total price that includes duties and other fees – as well as providing that price in local currency – is key to attracting these customers.
More than three-fourths of respondents (77%) said that having a total price clearly stated was important to them, and nearly the same number (76%) said the price should be stated in their home currency.
Those statistics ring true in general for payment facilitator BlueSnap, according to the company’s CEO, Ralph Dangelmaier.
BlueSnap supports e-commerce payments and launched its own global platform specifically in support of marketplaces in January.
Dangelmaier told PaymentFacilitator.com that BlueSnap is seeing a rise in both international and marketplace shopping.
“Merchants are looking for marketplace functionality that can specifically handle international purchases,” he said. “We are seeing a huge uptick in merchants looking for this, like Autodesk and FedEx Cross Border.”
Two things are critical for merchants operating in this space to boost their sales, he said.
“They need to offer local currencies and languages so that shoppers feel comfortable buying from the site,” he said.
Additionally, Dangelmaier said, “they need to be able to offer their shoppers global payment types including cards, wallets, ACH and local payment types like iDeal, SOFORT, SEPA Direct Debit, etc., to reach shoppers who don’t typically use credit cards.”
Dangelmaier also said that retailers selling to international shoppers need to work with payment facilitators that can offer a merchant account and gateway, and can process their payments through a global network of acquiring banks, he said.
“Without it,” Dangelmaier said, “international marketplace payments can get declined nearly 30% of the time.”