Saturday August 24, 2019

Cross-border online shoppers would pay extra for sustainable deliveries, IPC survey finds

Cross-border online shopping keeps growing
Cross-border online shopping keeps growing

Every second international online shopper would be willing to pay extra for sustainable deliveries, one third want faster deliveries, and over 70% get their typically small and lightweight purchase through the post, according to the latest in-depth IPC survey.

Online purchases from China (38%) continue to increase but at a slower pace than in previous years. On the seller side, Amazon and Alibaba/AliExpress remain the two largest marketplaces for cross-border consumer online purchases, but third-placed Ebay is losing share and fourth-placed Wish is growing fast. In term of price, 40% of goods purchased cross-border cost less than €25.

These were among the main results from IPC’s 2018 cross-border shopper report, based on a detailed survey of over 33,500 consumers in 41 different countries around the world. This makes it the largest-ever global consumer survey focusing on cross-border e-commerce, according to the international postal organisation.

Consumers ready to pay more for sustainable packaging and delivery

According to the latest research, consumers in all markets are well aware of the environmental consequences of the increase in cross-border e-commerce.

When looking at several aspects of sustainability, the survey found that 60% of respondents agreed that they would like their e-commerce packaging to be sustainable. When asked if they would be willing to pay €0.10 for sustainable e-commerce packaging, 50% of consumers agreed.

Moreover, 48% of respondents would like the delivery of their parcels to be carbon-neutral, and 43% would be willing to pay €0.10 for carbon-neutral delivery.
Cross-border e-commerce landscape still dominated by China and large retailers

Overall, China accounted for 38% of the most recent cross-border purchases, followed by the US (15%), the UK (10%) and Germany (9%). Japan and Hong Kong each accounted for 3%, and France, Australia, the Netherlands and South Korea each accounted for 2%.

When looking at the 25 trend countries, China’s share has increased year-on-year. It rose by 7% in 2017 and by a slightly more moderate 3% in 2018. On the other hand, the other four largest countries have all slightly decreased in share over the past two years.

In terms of individual marketplaces, Amazon, Alibaba / AliExpress, eBay and Wish accounted for 64% of the most recent cross-border e-commerce items purchased, based on the 41 markets surveyed. The main trend has been the rise of Wish over the past two years, while eBay’s share continued to decline in 2018, IPC noted.

Amazon was most common in Luxembourg (65%), Austria (59%) and India (48%) while Alibaba / AliExpress was most popular in Russia (73%), Latvia (42%), the Netherlands (36%) and Brazil (35%). eBay was highest in Australia (44%), Cyprus (36%), the UK (35%) and Greece (33%) while Wish was most common in Sweden (25%), Hungary (25%) and Brazil (23%).
High number of lightweight items delivered by postal operators

When asked about delivery, consumers confirmed that the post accounted for 71% of their most recent cross-border deliveries. The majority (84%) of cross-border parcels weighed up to 2kg, and 47% of respondents said this purchase would have fit into their mailbox.
When consumers were asked about their preferred place to have their parcels delivered to, the most convenient delivery location was home (59%), followed by a safe place at home (22%), office / workplace (18%) and an alternative address (18%).
However, the trends also show that all consumers have increased expectations in terms of delivery speed year-on-year. When asked what one thing posts should do to improve cross-border delivery, 32% chose faster delivery.

Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC, said: “Thanks to the continued increase of the geographical scope and sample of our survey, we have been able to deepen and consolidate results from the previous years. Our research showed once again that posts remain in an ideal position for delivering light-weight items through their network and also continue to be the delivery partner of choice of more than 70% of cross-border online shoppers.

“This edition is also marked by a significant expansion within South-East Asia, where consumers are younger, shop online more frequently and are more demanding when it comes to delivery. This provides important insights into future market developments for the posts.” 

The 41 countries covered were Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The survey was conducted during October 2018 and targeted frequent cross-border online shoppers who had bought physical goods online at least once in the previous three months and had made a cross-border online purchase in the past year.

To download the key findings go to

SourceIPC, CEP-Research

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