What are Cross-Border Millennials’ Online Shopping Preferences?

New research from PayPal and Ipsos identifies cross-border shopping habits among millennials (18-34) in 29 countries. These insights provide merchants with valuable guidance to expand international sales among the millennial set.

The study looks identifies trends in online shopping and consistencies across cultures and locations.

So what can you learn from the PayPal study?

Let’s start with what they buy, by region. Based on its survey, clothing is the top product category that millennials buy cross-border. Entertainment and education, both physical and digital, are also popular. Consumer electronics and travel are likewise in demand among millennial cross-border buyers. These commonalities suggest millennials are likely to expand their horizons to find unique items that reflect themselves personally.

Region Top 3 Shopping Categories Among Millennial cross-border shopper in each region (% have purchased in category in past 12 months)
North America
  1. Clothing: 50%
  2. Entertainment/education (digital): 29%
  3. Entertainment/education(physical): 27%
Central & South America
  1. Clothing: 49%
  2. Entertainment/education (digital): 47%
  3. Entertainment/education(physical): 39%
Western Europe
  1. Clothing: 56%
  2. Entertainment/education (physical): 35%
  3. Travel/transportation: 31%
Eastern Europe
  1. Clothing: 59%
  2. Consumer electronics: 38%
  3. Toys/hobbies: 36%
  1. Entertainment/education (digital): 46%
  2. Clothing: 46%
  3. Consumer electronics: 39%
Middle East
  1. Clothing: 53%
  2. Travel/transportation: 35%
  3. Consumer electronics: 31%
  1. Clothing: 58%
  2. Cosmetics/beauty: 38%
  3. Entertainment/education (digital): 35%
  4. Consumer electronics: 35%

Mellissa O’Malley, Director, Global Merchant and Cross-Border Trade Initiatives at PayPal, takes a deep dive into the survey results, and interviews some of the millennial respondents, in this post on PayPal’s website.

In the post, O’Malley, who will discuss the survey results in greater detail during her keynote session at Growing Global on April 13 in Cincinnati, discusses the attributes of ecommerce sites that drive cross-border shoppers to buy. Among those attribured: discounts, free shipping, and authenticity.

Tim Parry is Multichannel Merchant’s Managing Editor, and the lead programmer for Growing Global.

Tim Parry is Multichannel Merchant’s Managing Editor, and the lead programmer for Growing Global.

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