Let These U.S. Cross-Border Shopping Insights Inform Your 2022 Digital Strategy

November 30, 2021

As another year ends, it’s the perfect time to assess your international sales strategy for 2022. Staying abreast of consumer wants and expectations outside your home market can help you capture the attention of worldwide shoppers. Don’t let cross-border be an afterthought. Digitally savvy customers around the world are taking advantage of favorable exchange rates and improved shipping times to explore global brands. 

The United States is among the most matured and developed e-commerce markets in the world, making it an attractive target for e-commerce brands with global ambitions. In 2020, e-commerce revenue in the US amounted to $431.6 billion, and the Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates that number will increase to $563.4 billion by 2025. Given this growth in the U.S. e-commerce market, it is no surprise that international businesses are increasingly looking to sell goods to American consumers as a way to expand their global footprint and capture additional demand. If you are a brand looking to expand to the United States or already have a brand presence you wish to improve, our latest research can help you to better understand the behaviors and preferences of these consumers.

Flow recently conducted an in-depth survey of U.S. consumers to see how their cross-border shopping habits have changed compared to 2019. We found that customer expectations continue to evolve post-pandemic and have identified key trends to help companies make the most of their cross-border efforts.

Read the full report here: U.S.A. Market Guide to Cross-Border Best Practices 2021

Here is what we found:

1.       More U.S. shoppers than ever are buying products from retailers outside their home country.

Have you checked your website traffic lately? It is likely that visitors from the United States are already viewing your site. According to our latest report, sixty-four percent of US shoppers say they’ve shopped cross-border, a 3% increase compared to 2019 results.

2.       More than half of shoppers are concerned with slow product delivery.

Shipping times still play a large part in on-site conversion, and 56% of U.S. consumers cite slow delivery as a major barrier to cross-border purchases. Improvements in logistics and shipping, such as increased use of machine learning and other advanced technologies, can help companies meet customer delivery expectations. Despite recent supply-chain disruptions, most customers expect to receive products within 1 to 6 business days. Addressing concerns related to delivery windows is important for retailers to keep in mind when serving customers in a new market.

3.       What shoppers want most is fast, trouble-free checkout.

Simplifying the checkout process will make your customers happy, near and far. Start with localization, offer one-click purchases when possible, and accept multiple local payment methods.

Which payment methods do U.S. cross-border shoppers prefer? Take a look at the report--the results may surprise you. [link]

4.       Social media influence is growing.

In 2019, only 18% of U.S. shoppers cited social media as a channel that influenced their buying decisions. In 2021 that number grew to 26%. The United States had 223 million social media users in 2020, according to Statista. What would capturing just a fraction of those connected consumers do for your business? These shoppers aren’t concerned with borders when they find a brand online that they like. Localizing your online advertising will help you improve brand engagement and convert more scrolling consumers into paying customers. 

5.       U.S. shoppers appreciate a deal.

According to our report, 41% of U.S. cross-border shoppers made sale purchases in 2021, compared to 32% in 2019. And, just 12% of consumers reported not using any discount code or promotion when shopping online. Our report found that free shipping is the most popular promotion among US shoppers and similarly, high shipping costs lead to the most cart abandonment. It’s clear that U.S. shoppers don’t just appreciate a good deal; they expect one. Companies that offer free shipping and regular promotions to their U.S. shoppers will increase not only conversion rates but also repeat sales. 

Making changes to your website, streamlining shipping, offering promotions, and meeting the expectations of today’s online customers will significantly grow cross-border conversions of United States consumers. If your business is looking to expand into the U.S., be sure to use these key findings to inform your strategy in the new year.

Are you interested in taking your cross-border approach to the next level? Let Flow’s international experts guide you to making more sales and gaining customer loyalty in new markets. Contact us now

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