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Domestic inflation drives global cross-border e-com shopping

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Due to different inflation rates between countries and currency fluctuations, cross-border e-commerce has become a way to fight inflation. Regardless of product categories, at least 30 per cent of respondents in Mumbai and Bangkok said they had started using foreign shopping websites where they could buy things cheaper than in their country, as per a study.

When asked how their online shopping behaviour has changed as inflation soars, respondents in different cities across the world said they look for value for money and make the most of coupons and sales promotions. Some also rethought their shopping habits, and started buying in bulk and shopped less frequently, according to the ‘Global Online Shopping Survey in 8 Cities 2023’ report by Transcosmos.

Even in Shanghai and Jakarta, which have relatively lower inflation rates, many consumers changed their shopping habits and started to plan before making a purchase, showing the same trend as other cities. Compared to other cities, fewer consumers in Tokyo changed their shopping behaviour.

Cross-border e-commerce is being used to fight inflation due to various inflation rates and currency fluctuations.
Respondents in 10 Asian cities, including Mumbai and Bangkok, said they have started using foreign shopping websites where they can buy things cheaper than in their country.
Online shoppers also said that they now look for value for money.

Bangkok led in the number of respondents who have used live streaming e-commerce. More consumers in Asian cities, excluding Tokyo, have used and are aware of the channel compared to other cities, the trend remains unchanged.

Although lower than in Asian cities, around 60 per cent of respondents in New York and London are aware of the channel, indicating that live streaming e-commerce has created a market of almost the same size as last year.

The 2023 survey again revealed a significant difference between Tokyo and other cities. Despite the gradual increase in awareness, the number of consumers who have used the channel remains significantly low at 2.8 per cent. More than half of the respondents said they had never heard the term.

“Rising global inflation during the past 12 months has significantly affected consumers’ online shopping habits,” commented Masashi Hagihara, an analyst at Transcosmos global business headquarters. “The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift from offline to online, allowing the e-commerce market to achieve relatively steady growth. However, the energy crisis and rising commodity prices may reduce the financial leeway to discount offers as well as increase in delivery fees, thus slowing down this positive trend. Inflation and consumer mindset vary from country to country, city to city. Therefore, businesses must first understand key characteristics of each country and city before developing strategies.”

The survey was conducted in Tokyo (Japan), Shanghai (China), Seoul (South Korea), Mumbai (India), Bangkok (Thailand), Jakarta (Indonesia), New York (US), and London (UK).

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)

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