Big in China

While apparel & accessories are popular everywhere, these categories do particularly well in specific cross-border markets.

3 in 4 international consumers report that they would (and do) purchase products online from US brands and have them shipped from the US. But what are they buying?

When we average responses across all 6 markets we survey, the most sought-after products are still in the traditionally-popular categories of apparel, footwear, and accessories—but driven by pandemic-induced quarantine boredom, the toys/hobbies segment has marginally surpassed accessories to become the third-most popular product category overall. And we have Australians in particular to thank for this trend.

chart showing US products which cross-border shoppers interested in

When we asked international consumers what products they were interested in buying from US brands, here’s what stood out for each country:

  • Australians are playing games. For a country with a penchant for travel, pandemic lockdowns have been especially unnerving. In an attempt to cope, 43% of Australian consumers say they are looking to buy toy/hobby products from US brands (versus an overall average of only 28%). As with many pandemic-era behaviors, the toy/hobby binge in Australia is likely an acceleration of a pre-existing trend.
  • Canadians are racing to buy auto parts (23% vs. 14% overall average). Across North America, online growth in aftermarket automotive parts had seen a 33% increase between Q2 and Q3 last year, landing the Canada auto parts ecommerce market at an estimated $3.7B in size by the end of 2020.
  • Chinese consumers are running toward footwear brands, the #1 product category for cross-border shoppers in China—8 percentage points above 2nd place apparel. Driven partly by a national passion for basketball, the burgeoning Chinese athletic footwear market is expected to reach $10B by 2025 and US brands have athlete-endorsed cachet.
  • Germans aren’t über-thrilled about any category. 1 in 3 Germans say they wouldn’t buy a US brand from ANY category, driven by more negative perceptions about US brands. Germans report lower interest particularly in US footwear (25% vs. 32% in UK and France), given national pride and availability of domestic brands such as Adidas and Puma.
  • British and French consumers have channeled the average sentiment. They are reliably within the norm among all cross-border shoppers in all top categories, avoiding the extremes of Australian & Canada on the one side and Germany & China on the other. That said, UK indexes higher in jewelry (25% vs. 20% overall) and France has la preference nationale for home goods (22% vs. 18% overall).

Take a look at our detailed heatmap below to see where your core product categories rank among the interests of cross-border consumers in each of the markets we’ve surveyed.

BOXpoll™ by Pitney Bowes, a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture, and ecommerce logistics. Conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult //2094 US consumers surveyed February 2021.© Copyright Pitney Bowes Inc.

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