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International Shoppers Scoop Up Black Friday Deals from US Retailers

Merchants in the U.S. do a lot of importing of goods from other countries to sell online, but how much shopping do international buyers do on U.S. websites? Statistics from Borderfree suggest it’s growing at a fast pace thanks to shoppers looking for deals, especially during the holidays – and it provided a list of top countries buying on its US clients’ websites.

Borderfree helps over 140 U.S.-based retailers sell internationally to more than 100 countries and territories. It found that international shoppers took advantage of this year’s holiday shopping days, with a 330 percent growth in cross-border spending from its clients on Black Friday compared the average shopping day in 2013 (these are not year-over-year statistics).

Cyber Monday also showed a significant boost in international growth, with cross-border spending at U.S. retailers more than tripling (+232 percent). Cross-border spending remained elevated throughout the entire holiday season, averaging an increase of 53 percent compared to the average shopping day in 2013.

While Canada, Australia and UK were the top countries for U.S. retail sales during this year’s holiday season, U.S. retailers saw the highest growth coming from China, with 279 percent growth in same-store sales this holiday season compared to the previous year. Other top countries for year-over-year sales growth were South Korea (91 percent), Israel (78 percent), Sweden (74 percent), Mexico (67 percent), Spain (56 percent) and Russia (49 percent).

And rounding out the list of top countries buying from the US after the big three mentioned above were the following: Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Germany.

Borderfree said the holiday shopping season kicked off earlier for international shoppers – on October 7, and said thanks to cutoffs for international holiday deliveries, which started December 13, the season ends earlier as well.

Borderfree CEO Michael DeSimone said, “The significant uptick in cross-border spending throughout the holidays, especially over Cyber Weekend, illustrates the significant opportunity for U.S. retailers, who are steadily becoming more aware and actively courting an international audience.”

And among Borderfree’s U.S. retail partners that launched targeted international marketing campaigns this holiday season, several saw sales gains of 50 – 100 percent, he said.

Borderfree offers advice on its blog for merchants selling internationally, including this piece from earlier this year with tips on how to increase conversion rates for international shoppers.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.